Going alcohol-free for 30 days can seem challenging and intimidating at first, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether taking part in Dry January to reset from the holidays, kick start your fitness goals, or just wanting to take a break, there are many health benefits to going dry—even if it’s temporary!
If you’re considering taking part in Dry January this year or re-evaluating your alcohol consumption, here are five ways to help make your journey successful.
Identify your “why”
Why are you interested in taking a break from alcohol? Do you just need a month off to cleanse your palate? Are you interested in testing out a dry month to see if it is something you’d like to explore longer term? Are you interested in overall health and well-being and see this as a way to contribute to that? Understanding why you are taking a break will allow you to focus on the changes and impacts you see in yourself over this month and how you might wish to incorporate these changes into your day-to-day life for January and beyond.
Make a plan
With any change to a routine, in order to be successful you need to make a plan. If you’re interested in eating better, you have to make a meal plan and shop for the necessary ingredients. To succeed in Dry January, you have a plan on how to handle occasions where you might normally drink. Going out to dinner with a friend? Be ready to ask the bartender for something delicious and alcohol-free. Having friends over for a gathering? Make a batch of mocktails for yourself and any guests who may be interested! There are also some wonderful alcohol-free wines and beers now that are a great option, too.
Grab a friend
Big changes can be more fun with a friend or partner. Do you have someone in your life who is also considering Dry January? Or a friend who keeps dry who could be your buddy while you navigate a month of no booze? Having a partner to check in with is both a way to stay accountable and a great way to share zero-proof recipes and ideas.
Stock up on your favorite alcohol-free beverages
One of the most challenging parts of going alcohol-free is the social aspect of drinking—how do people still hang out with friends if they can’t drink? Alcohol is such a big part of socializing, but luckily, the booze-free market is booming with fun, creative options that make you feel like you’re drinking, but without the hangover. Between seltzers, alcohol-free beers and wines, and delicious mocktail recipes, there are so many options that can help you feel more included at gatherings where alcohol is involved.
Going dry for a month can bring on many emotions and physical changes. Journaling your thoughts and experiences during your Dry January journey can help bring awareness to these feelings. Being more mindful and present through the act of journaling can be beneficial for your mental health, especially during a challenge like Dry January.
Whether going sober for just January or wanting to experience sober living long-term, there are many ways to stay on track and focused during your journey. Take it one day at a time—you’ve got this!
For more on giving up alcohol, check out 6 Alcohol-Free Cocktails for Health Enthusiasts and the Sober Curious and Discover How to Dial Back Pandemic Drinking with 8 Helpful Tips.