The History of Dry January
Dry January, an alcohol-free challenge from January 1st – 31st, officially started in 2013 by Alcohol Change UK. During that first year, four thousand people participated. Dr. Richard de Visser from the University of Sussex surveyed participants on the effects that a booze-less month had on their behavior and habits. Above all, he found that an alcohol-free month had lasting effects throughout the rest of the year. For example, 7 out 10 people drank less riskily than before participating in Dry January, and enjoyed a variety of health benefits. In the US, 1 in 5 Americans stop drinking alcohol this month. Are you doing Dry January? It’s not too late to start this week!
3 Tips to Rock Dry January
1. Tell a Friend for Accountability
Tell a friend or family member that you are doing Dry January. I am more likely to achieve a goal when I share it out loud with a friend. If they’re a good friend, they will give you praise and words of motivation…that’s definitely my love language. By sharing this challenge with a friend, it gives you the opportunity to not only increase your accountability but to also think about the reasons why you have decided to go booze-free this month. Also consider using apps like Try Dry to keep track of your streak and understand your own patterns.
2. Have Fun with NA Drinks
Explore different non-alcoholic drink options throughout the month. Since this is a beverage company after all, I can’t help but suggest ordering some Crisp & Crude and trying one of our Botanical-forward CBD Cocktails. I find the benefits of CBD to be helpful for relaxation…perfect for an alcohol replacement. There are a ton of NA beverage options out there. I suggest following @sans_bar and @zeroproofnation for beverage reviews and other helpful content. Meanwhile, if you want to mix some alcohol free cocktails at home, check out @thesoberxbartender.
3. Follow Accounts That Will Inspire You (if you use social media)
The For All Drinks Team has organized an epic Dry January Festival filled with events, zero-proof giveaways, and support. This is a great one to follow to stay in the know.
Abbey shares the peaks and valleys of a personal journey with such authenticity. You can get a personal perspective on Dry January, along with empowering posts on body neutrality.
I’ve been following Khadi for a while now, and the content is always on point with the perfect balance of informative, inspiring, and fun. Check out the Dry January Bingo Board.
This is a great one to follow for some extra positive vibes. I first met Shea this past Thanksgiving, when she hosted virtual Babesgiving 2020. Let me tell you it was so heartwarming. She has an infectious personality. You can’t help but smile.
What To Expect During Dry January
Climbing Past The First Week
With a booze-free month, we ask our minds to adjust a habit, to reach for a zero-proof drink instead of a glass of wine. Then, our bodies follow suit, chemically rebalancing. The first week is a transition week. It can be difficult to fall asleep, and for moderate to heavy drinkers, it can feel like a few days of a hangover.
While alcohol can help you fall asleep quickly, it does not allow for good quality sleep. On the other hand, 71% of Dry January surveyed participants reported better sleep. You can expect more REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, leaving you better rested and more energized.
Better Hair, Skin & Nails
Without alcohol, your body is able to better hydrate itself and absorb more nutrients. The majority of participants experience clearer skin (less blotchiness) and stronger hair during this sober month. If losing weight is a personal goal and you replace alcohol with beverages lower in calories, you can expect to drop some pounds in the second half of the month. Over 58% of participants reported experiencing weight loss.
With lower inflammation and more nutrient absorption, your body will also get an immunity boost when you abstain from alcohol. Who isn’t on board with working towards a top-notch immune system these days?
No matter what, make the decision that is right for you this month. And most importantly, treat yourself with grace.