For some people, Dry January is a chance to restart living healthy again after a hectic Christmas and New Year’s Eve party season. Taking a break from alcohol has been shown to be beneficial for both physical and mental well-being. This year, commit yourself to not drinking alcohol during Dry January.
Benefits of Participating in Dry January
Going a whole month without consuming any alcoholic beverages has been shown to improve health outcomes like blood pressure levels, cholesterol levels, and even sleep patterns. If you’re a heavy drinker or someone who has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol then the benefits associated with Dry January may be significant for you.
By abstaining from drinking during Dry January, you may be able to reduce your expenses associated with buying alcoholic beverages. Instead of wasting your money at the bar or on bottles of liquor, wine, or beer, you’ll have the opportunity to save money or allocate funds to something else.
Quality of Sleep
While some people believe that consuming alcohol as a sleep aid is beneficial, it actually disrupts your sleep cycle and decreases your quality of sleep. Researchers at the University of Sussex revealed that 71% of Dry January participants reported better sleep.
Among the most important sober January benefits is the fact that quitting drinking has an extremely beneficial effect on one’s overall health. Depending on how much you were drinking before, you may notice less bloating or even weight loss. Alcoholic beverages add liquid calories, which according to research published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, do not fill you up like the calories in food.
Another physical benefit of a sober January includes better skin. According to research, 54% of Dry January participants, reported noticing an improvement in their complexion. Alcohol can increase hormones such as cortisol and estrogen, and increase your blood sugar which is commonly linked with acne breakouts.
If you quit drinking entirely, you may lower your risks of certain cancers and improve your liver health.
In addition to positive physical health benefits during Dry January, another advantage may be an increase in mood and overall mental health. If you consume alcohol as a coping mechanism, it may prevent you from noticing mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression. Alcohol consumption can actually cause these symptoms to become worse in the long run. This is especially true for heavy drinkers.
Additionally, completing a sober January without alcohol will provide a sense of achievement.
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How Dry January Can Jump-Start Your Long-Term Sobriety
- Connect with Alcohol-Free & Sober Communities: If you decide to continue your sobriety beyond the month of January, it can be helpful to join a community of like-minded people navigating their new sober lifestyle.
- Self-Care and Evaluation: Be easy on yourself during the beginning of your new sober-free lifestyle. It can be especially difficult if drinking alcohol played a major role in your day-to-day life. Deciding to take each day, one step at a time, individuals may find it easier to adjust to their new lifestyle change. Journaling, meditation, yoga, or outdoor activities are a great way to boost your mood and enhance your overall wellbeing.
- Attend 12-Step/ AA Meetings: Engaging with a self-help group, like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) can provide access to supportive people who may have had similar experiences as you. These programs also help you learn healthy new coping skills. This can be helpful if you’re used to drinking during stressful or anxious situations.
- Seek Treatment: If you find yourself struggling to stay sober after a few days, it might be a red flag that you may have developed a dependence on alcohol. Seeking a rehab center for alcohol dependency can help you learn how to develop healthy habits and coping skills
At Riverside Recovery of Tampa, we understand that the road to recovery can be difficult. Nearly 75% of our staff have been in your shoes and are living a new life in recovery. To learn more about alcohol use disorder and treatment programs at our facility, contact our admissions team today.
US National Library of Medicine (NIH)–Effects of Alcohol on the Endocrine System
US National Library of Medicine (NIH)–Blood Glucose Level, Alcohol Heavy Drinking and Alcohol Craving during Treatment for Alcohol Dependence: Results from the Combined Pharmacotherapies and Behavioral Interventions for Alcohol Dependence (COMBINE) Study