When Christmas and New Year’s Eve roll around, that’s your cue to relax after working hard all year. And at the end of this past year, all you wanted to do was wind down and have a good time. But between holiday parties, family get-togethers and nights out with friends in town, your drinking may have gotten a bit out of control.
Luckily, it served as a wakeup call and you think to yourself that maybe you should do something about your drinking habits. Whether you’re drinking too much on a regular basis or the holidays were just an isolated event, Dry January is your opportunity to start the year off on a healthier foot.
Dry January is a growing sensation across the United States. It gives you the chance to practice your sobriety without having to worry about the stigma of not drinking. As you can imagine, Dry January comes with a list of benefits, and we’re here to share some of the best ones. Keep reading to also discover some great tips that can help you be alcohol-free all month long (and even into the following months).
The Benefits of Not Drinking for a Month
If this is the first time you’ve heard about Dry January, you might be a bit skeptical. But the benefits of not drinking for one month are pretty well established. In 2018, the University of Sussex did a study on abstaining from alcohol for one month. Their results showed that a successful Dry January boosts your short-term and long-term health.
If you’re ready to charge into Dry January or you’re curious about the benefits of being alcohol-free, you can expect:
1. You’ll Be Able to Concentrate More
Did you know that alcohol can make it harder for you to concentrate? When you’re drunk or hungover, your brain has a tougher time reacting and making smart decisions. Since alcohol is a depressant, this feeling is similar to trying to focus on something when you’re tired. Being alcohol-free for a month can help improve your short-term memory, focus and concentration.
2. You Can Lose Weight
One of the most popular benefits of Dry January is losing weight. It’s no secret that many alcohol products are filled with extra calories your body doesn’t need. So, it makes sense that when you cut out those extra calories, you’ll start to lose weight. Even losing a couple of pounds over a month’s time can give you an extra boost of energy. Take that energy and invest it in other activities like yoga or weightlifting for even more health benefits.
3. You’ll Learn Healthy Coping Strategies
For many people, drinking is a way to cope with any anxiety or stress in their life. Dry January is the perfect opportunity to learn some healthier coping mechanisms for the stress in your life. If you practice mindfulness, meditation or start an exercise routine for a month, you’re more likely to continue once Dry January is over. You’ll discover that alcohol doesn’t have to be a crutch for any of the hard times in your life.
4. You’ll Save Money
We all know that alcohol is expensive. So, the benefits of Dry January can extend to your wallet. In fact, it’s common for people suffering from an alcohol addiction to have financial problems, as well. Participating in Dry January stop you from spending money on alcohol at the bar, grocery store or social events. You can even invest the money you saved to pursue a new hobby.
5. You Can Break Your Craving to Drink
The benefits of Dry January can extend even after the month is over. While the purpose is to abstain from alcohol for 30 days, getting into the habit of not drinking can decrease your alcohol consumption over longer periods of time. Need proof? Remember the study from Sussex we mentioned earlier? After one month of sobriety in January, a large number of participants reported 6 months later that they either were no longer drinking as much or weren’t drinking at all – simply because after Dry January, they no longer felt the need to.
Tips for Dry January
The benefits of Dry January can be very motivating, but what if you need a little extra boost? Take a look at these helpful tips that can help you make it through Dry January:
- If you’re tempted to drink, try going for a run, attending a yoga class or working out.
- Make your social life into more than drinking. Host game nights, explore local museums or spend time outside.
- Visualization is powerful. Just like athletes do before a big game, visualize your success and picture your alcohol-free evening in your mind.
- Try your best to limit your time on social media. Seeing people you know enjoying alcohol can tempt you to drink, too.
And if you’ve already consumed alcohol in January, don’t feel like you can’t participate in Dry January. Use Dry January as inspiration to start your own 30-day challenge, no matter if it’s later in the month, in February or in another month in the year.
Heal from Alcohol Addiction in Ohio at Silver Maple Recovery
Dry January is a great way for many people to lower their alcohol consumption. But what if your problems with alcohol are beyond the help that Dry January can provide? None of the tips and benefits above can help you with withdrawal symptoms or detox if you’re struggling with alcohol addiction.
Silver Maple Recovery is a premier alcohol and drug rehab center in Ohio that uses evidence-based treatments to help you break free from the hold of addiction. We offer private detox rooms and 24/7 monitoring from addiction professionals who can manage your withdrawal symptoms.
If you’re ready to make an important step in your journey to lasting recovery, contact our expert team today. We have professional caregivers ready to hear your story 24/7.