If You Are Having a Rough Time With ‘Dry January,’ This May Help
By Joy Stephenson-Laws, JD, Founder
If you are practicing ‘Dry January,’ you should be proud of yourself. I hope that you are realizing that abstaining from alcohol creates more time for healthier activities such as getting out into nature, reading a good book, meditating, listening to music, creating fun music playlists, dancing, doing a puzzle or perhaps getting creative with some arts and crafts.
If you are finding that participating in ‘Dry January’ is extremely difficult and you are white knuckling through it (only about a week left), I think it is time to reevaluate your relationship with alcohol. In the meantime, I came across a recent article with helpful tips from a life coach who is sober every month of the year that I believe are worth sharing. It’s only three tips, but I believe they can be very effective if you really implement them. These tips could help you through the rest of ‘Dry January’ and beyond.No amount of alcohol is healthy.
Life Coach Amanda Kuda considered herself to be a moderate drinker before she decided to start living an alcohol-free life.
According to one article, “...she would imbibe on the weekends by setting a three-drink limit and making sure to alternate with water, or just sticking to beer.”
(I think many people can relate to drinking like this, but the American Cancer Society recently updated their guideline on diet and physical activity for cancer prevention and no amount of alcohol consumption is considered to be healthy).
“But by making so many rules in an attempt at moderation, Kuda said she felt like she was setting herself up for failure. If she broke a rule, she would feel down about it. She decided to stop drinking cold turkey, so that she wouldn't have to think so much about it.”
Let’s go over Kuda’s tips:
- Don’t be afraid to turn down plans.
It would make sense to avoid events and places where alcohol is present and/or avoid people who will attempt to pressure you to drink alcohol. You can also leave early when you start to feel the urge to drink or people start to appear intoxicated.
In addition to this, I suggest doing a mental prep before attending a booze-filled event. This can include doing some yoga or meditation before the event. You can also write down the reasons why you are abstaining from alcohol and refer to that list whenever you feel the desire to drink. Keep that list in your purse or pocket or readily accessible on your phone.
- Find something else to do.
Drinking alcohol can really limit you, especially if you are nursing a hangover or too intoxicated to drive. If you are sober and feeling good, the options regarding how to spend your free time are limitless.
"Once I opened up my field of vision to other possibilities, there were poetry nights or craft things or art shows, or even music events that were a little more low key," Kuda said.
If you and your friends go to bars every Saturday night, suggest something else such as a cooking or painting class or host a game night with mocktails.
(Check out 11 Mocktail Recipes That’ll Get You Through Dry January With Ease).
- Remember the hangover.
I think the majority of us have been there at some point in our lives. When you wake up with the absolutely worst hangover, head pounding and stomach churning, and claim you will never do this to yourself again. But then you do! If you are struggling right now to abstain from alcohol, just play the tape forward and think of how good it will feel to wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
If you are regularly drinking to the point of not feeling well, it is most definitely time to think about your relationship with alcohol and consider getting some support.
In the article referenced earlier, Kuda tells the story of how tempting it was to drink when she attended a wedding at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico. The champagne was flowing, and it was free! Talk about temptation.
“In her brush with temptation, Kuda said she quickly realized that even though the alcohol was free of charge, it would still come at the cost of feeling physically unwell. She decided to go to the juice bar instead, and never looked back.”
A juice bar is my kind of bar!
So there you have it. These tips I believe can help beyond this month. I do not feel that it is beneficial to participate in ‘Dry January’ and then return to unhealthy drinking habits. This is why I really want to emphasize thinking about how much you drink on a regular basis and assessing if you need to quit entirely or significantly reduce your intake.
Remember, consuming alcohol excessively contributes to chronic inflammation, poor quality sleep, depression and anxiety. It also wreaks havoc on the immune system by depleting the body of essential vitamins and minerals. Drinking alcohol is even known to contribute to the development of several types of cancer.
I think another important thing to keep in mind is that when people quit drinking, they often have more disposable income because they are not buying pricey cocktails and bottles of wine. This provides a great opportunity to focus on looking your best and pamper yourself with:
I’m not a drinker myself, but I love ‘cocktails’ - vitamin therapy cocktails! I utilize these cocktails monthly to address my inevitable nutrient absorption issues. They balance my mood and hormones and improve my metabolism. The pH IV Vitamin Drips provide hydration and vitamins directly into the bloodstream to help boost my nutritional status. I believe this has successfully enhanced my immunity and health.
Hang in there. You got this! Enjoy your healthy life!
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or another competent healthcare practitioner to get specific medical advice for your situation.
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