Dry January can help you form healthy habits

After the champagne bubbles have run out on New Year’s Day, many people participate in the sober “Dry January” challenge.

Those who choose to participate for the first month of the year abstain from drinking alcohol. From holiday overindulgence to numerous health benefits, like better sleep and increased energy, there are several reasons people back off drinking in January. Participating in Dry January may be easier for some than others, but there are resources available to help you stay on track and even form healthy drinking habits.

When did dry January start?

The first official Dry January challenge took place ten years ago, in 2013, after a British woman he stopped drinking in January while training for a half marathon. During this time, she lost weight, had more energy, and slept better. After her experience, she joined Alcohol exchange in the UK, an organization dedicated to preventing the harms caused by alcohol, such as drink driving, domestic abuse, neglect, and physical and mental health problems. Over the past 10 years, Dry January has spread and become more popular.

The United States alone saw an increase in attendees from 21% in 2021 to 35% in 2022, according to GTC — an organization that collects data on restaurant and bar industry.

As Dry January took root, participants noted several health benefits of reducing alcohol consumption.

Benefits of dry January

There’s no sugaring it; alcohol is not good for health. Even the slightest bit of drinking can harm your health, including liver disease, heart problems and cancerand it can also cause fatigue. Those who take breaks from drinking, as with Dry January, experience increased energy, a more positive mood, and sleep better. And better yet, the dry month also has some positive long-term effects.

Data collected from Dry January participants by Richard Pescatore from the University of Sussex and Alcohol Change UK found that after six months, seven out of 10 people continued to drink less than before. And speaking of 25 percent of people who drank at a “harmful” level were now in the low-risk category.

As popularity grew, Alcohol Change UK began providing resourcesincluding daily emails and an app to help people stay motivated to stay sober.

January dry tips

It’s normal to need help when giving up a substance, like alcohol. If you feel like you’re struggling, try these tips.

  1. Create a support group or network. Friends or family can take on the challenge with you, or you can lean on the people in your life to help you avoid temptation.

  2. Avoid temptations. Remove any alcohol from your home and avoid bars and restaurants where alcohol is frequently drunk.

  3. Find a non-alcoholic substitute. If you don’t want to stay home all month, many bars and restaurants will offer non-alcoholic (NA) options such as NA beer and NA wine.

  4. Try different apps to stay on track. Apps can help you track the money and calories you save during Dry January. You can also keep a journal of your thoughts and track your mood and sleep throughout the month.

  5. Practice mindfulness. Use this time to analyze and reflect on your drinking habits. Do you feel better without drinking? Having more trouble cutting than you initially thought? Track these feelings and goals.

  6. Don’t be hard on yourself. If one day you go wrong, consider your January dry more than one

    Wet January. You are only human, after all.

If you’re really struggling to give up alcohol and start experiencing symptoms like nausea, fatigue, headaches, and even fever, be sure to seek medical help.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *