When the holiday season finally hit, that was your time to relax and let loose after working hard all year long. But maybe you had a little too much eggnog on Christmas and indulged in one too many glasses of champagne on New Year’s Eve. Or perhaps you’ve simply grown increasingly concerned about your drinking habits.
No matter if you simply over did it during the holidays or are consistently drinking too much, Dry January may be just the spark you need to get your drinking under control and be healthier in the new year.
Often referred to as the “Dry January” challenge, this growing fad throughout the UK and United States gives people an opportunity to give up alcohol without worrying about the stigma or judgment that often comes with not drinking. And thanks to its many benefits, Dry January may be just what you’re looking for!
5 Benefits of Participating in Dry January
In 2018, the University of Sussex published a study that researched the effects of abstaining from alcohol for a full month. Using data from 800 participants, the study found that Dry January offers both short- and long-term benefits to help you live healthier.
If you’re ready to start the Dry January challenge, here’s just a few of the key benefits you can expect to experience:
- Higher Quality Sleep. Have you ever been jolted into waking up abruptly after drinking too much and had trouble falling back asleep? And you may not be a stranger to the groggy, lethargic feeling caused by hangovers. Either way you look at it, alcohol ruins your quality of sleep. Avoiding alcohol can help your body return to normal sleep patterns, which will leave you more refreshed every time you wake up.
- Increased Concentration. When you experience a good night’s sleep, you’re more likely to feel energized and more focused the next day. Has alcohol disrupted your ability to concentrate at work or left you feeling run down during class or a study session? Choosing not to drink in January can help improve your concentration, memory and ability to pay attention.
- Weight Loss. It’s no secret that heavy drinking can make you gain weight because of all the extra calories you’re consuming. So naturally, it makes sense that cutting out alcohol from your diet would help you lose those extra pounds you’ve gained. Plus, the extra energy you have can be put towards exercise to help you feel good both physically and mentally.
- Money Saved. Take a look at your monthly budget or create one to see how much you spend on alcohol and nights out at the bars. It’s probably more than you’d like to spend, right? When you add up the costs of alcohol, you’ll probably find that money could be used towards a new car or maybe even a mortgage. By abstaining from alcohol, you’ll actually be saving money right away and in the long-term.
- Improved Mental Health. Alcohol is oftentimes seen as a quick fix for depression and anxiety. But the reality is alcohol makes symptoms of these mental health challenges worse. By no longer consuming alcohol, you’ll have a clearer mind to identify the symptoms of depression or anxiety you’re struggling with and seek the help you both need and deserve.
Ultimately, Dry January can even help you lower your alcohol intake beyond this first month of the year. In the University of Sussex study, the researchers found that many of the participants were not drinking as much more than six months after the study had completed. After abstaining for a month, you may lose the taste for alcohol and get your consumption back on track.
Tips for Successfully Completing Dry January
The benefits of the “Dry January” challenge are extremely motivating, but what if you know you’ll be tempted to drink? Try these tips and tricks to help you successfully get through Dry January:
- When you feel like drinking, get a workout in at the gym, go hiking or hit the trails for a refreshing run.
- Suggest game nights or other activities that don’t require you and your friends to drink.
- Keep track of how much you’re saving each day and each week when you’re not buying alcohol. Keep these calculations on you to use as motivation.
- Start a new hobby to keep you entertained and engaged.
- Try sober bars to help you enjoy the social scene without the temptation of alcohol.
Recover from Alcohol Addiction at Fountain Hills Recovery
There’s no doubt that Dry January can help you lower the amount of alcohol you consume and help you feel better. But what if your struggle with addiction is too great or what if you immediately start drinking again after the month’s challenge is over? It could be that you’re struggling with an alcohol addiction.
If this is the case, it’s important that you seek treatment and not try to detox on your own, as the withdrawal symptoms can be put you in a dangerous situation. If you’re suffering from alcoholism and want to get your life back on track, Fountain Hills Recovery can help.
As the top luxury addiction treatment center in Arizona, we offer evidence-based and holistic alcohol addiction treatment personalized to your needs and designed to help you find lasting recovery. Contact us today and a member of our admissions team will answer any questions you may have and walk you through our admissions process.