A Month Of No Alcohol: 4 Things I Learned

Dry January is a public health campaign encouraging people to not drink alcohol for the month of January. It’s a pretty recent phenomenon, having started in the UK in 2014. I remember first hearing about this concept a couple of years ago + brushing it off. After all, I didn’t drink *that* much… why would I need to do a dry month? I thought I might complete it in 2019, however I think I only lasted a couple of days before unintentionally having a glass of wine after work. Oops! 

So this year, 2020, I committed to dry January. I had been intrigued about it for a couple of years + I had had an epiphany on my 28th birthday in December. I realized that I hadn’t had a *sober month* in 10 years. I was a little shocked when I came to that realization . So I figured for my 28th year, doing a month of sobriety would be a great reset +  maybe I’d even learn something! Here are the 4 things I learned + why I encourage you to do a *dry month* for yourself…

#1] It takes a lot of self discipline. Staying dry for the month took a level of self discipline I wasn’t exactly used to! Sure, I work out every week + am committed to that — but this was a different kind of self-discipline.  I didn’t want to not go to social things with friends — so I would still go out + be around the *pressure* to drink ++ would have to show myself a different kind of discipline to abstain [typically by just drinking a club soda with lime ; )]. 

#2] I slept SO. DANG. GOOD. I had never realized how much alcohol impacted my sleep until I took a month of no alcohol [I was always someone who thought a glass or two of wine would *help* me sleep… wrong!]. Even today, I realize that when I have even one drink, I am not going to get a great night’s sleep. If anything, it felt great to have a month of consistent + solid sleep! 

#3] My weekends were SO productive. This probably should have been a no brainer but as someone who doesn’t drink *that* much, I didn’t realize how much time I’d get back on the weekends from not being even mildly hungover Saturday or Sunday morning. Early morning workout? No problem. Doing a hot yoga class + not smelling like alcohol? Sounds great! I was able to prioritize *me time* on the weekends + enjoyed having what felt like an additional 4 hours every Saturday to relax + every Sunday to get ahead of the week.

#4]  I realized what alcohol I actually enjoy. I didn’t miss the speciality cocktails or martinis or prosecco or rose. I missed my red wine. The pinot noirs, the cabs, the zinfandels, the grenaches. Granted – it was January — but I did have a great realization… life is short, why drink something I don’t really truly deeply enjoy? 

1. How did doing Dry January influence your relationship with alcohol going forward?

I feel like Dry January didn’t really influence my relationship with alcohol! For at least a few years, I’ve really stuck to only drinking what I actually enjoy ++ if anything, I feel like Dry January would help you find the drinks that you actually enjoy + miss when you give up. I also was not a *huge* drinker to begin with [I just really love a good glass of red wine after a long day ; )].

2. Will you do it again next year? ; )

No. Once was enough!

3. Did it affect which social things you said Yes to?

Nope — that was a non-negotiable for me when completing Dry January! I wanted to make sure I still went out + did things with friends regardless of what it involved [being at a bar, concert, movie, etc]. My go-to was drinking club soda with lime ; )

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After reading this, if you’ve decided to take on a dry month [you don’t have to wait until January to do it!] then I encourage you to grab a friend + do it! My dad did it with me + it was awesome to have him holding me accountable [even though he admittedly did *fall off the wagon*]. After all, it’s only one month… so how hard will it be?

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