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What is Dry January?

Jan 6, 2023

Dry January is an annual challenge that takes place in the month of January when people choose to avoid alcohol after a long holiday season of drinking. It may be part of a New Year’s resolution or some other commitment to living a healthier life.

While starting what’s known as “Dry January” can provide benefits, it’s helpful to understand how it’s only a first step in sustaining sobriety beyond the start of a new year. When unable to quit drinking on your own, help for recovery is available for men at Origins Recovery Center in Texas. It’s also important to take note that if you have been drinking heavily for a long period of time, stopping alcohol abruptly without detox support can be dangerous to your health.

What Is Dry January?

Dry January is a month when men can dedicate themselves to sobriety after a long holiday season ends. You’re less likely to be exposed to drinking this month as family gatherings, and office parties aren’t happening. It’s also a typical time to make resolutions to improve your life. Men who commit to Dry January choose to avoid alcohol, in any form, for the duration of the month. They may stop keeping the fridge or liquor cabinet stocked to show commitment to Dry January. When dining out, men may order a non-alcoholic beverage with their meal. Social time may look different as  those who regularly drink with buddies may pause these routines for a few weeks to avoid the old habits of grabbing drinks after a workout, golfing, or some other favorite activity.

Benefits of Dry January

Seeing immediate benefits is one-way those participating are encouraged to stay sober during Dry January. Some benefits will appear faster than others. Each one contributes to looking or feeling better and can motivate men to abstain from alcohol longer.

Let’s start with how you’ll feel during Dry January. It’s common to experience a boost in your daily mood without alcohol. The appearance of your skin may improve as you begin to hydrate better. Also, your sleep may improve when not drinking, especially for men who tend to drink right before or up until bedtime. Waking up without a hangover is another benefit of sobriety during this month. You may also notice you’re less bloated in the morning, and you may lose a few pounds throughout the month. What you won’t see, but is equally important, is your immune system improving. That change can be significant during the winter when colds, flu, and similar threats are more likely to occur.

Creating Dry January Plans

Starting your first Dry January may feel like a challenge, but a few simple steps can help you move in the right direction.

  1. Create a daily plan. Open a calendar and create a schedule of activities for yourself outside of work and family obligations. The activities can be a mix of physical and mental ones you enjoy and keep you occupied at times you used to drink.
  2. Start a workout regimen. Shifting your focus to improving your health and wellbeing is a terrific way to start the new year and stay away from alcohol. The workout can be at a gym nearby, on a treadmill at home, on a hike, or some other preferred form of physical activity. Repetition of the activity is a benefit, too, as it retrains your brain on how to see downtime as an opportunity to restore your health and recharge you.
  3. Connect with sober friends. You may already know people who are committed to sobriety. Make plans with them to get together and watch a movie, work on a home project, or volunteer. Spending time with peers and friends in productive ways keeps you from your former drinking habits and builds stronger bonds.
  4. Write about what you want from sobriety. Your writing can be in the form of journaling, listing bullet points, or drafting a short story about your worst experiences from drinking. This is a way to process what drinking has done to you and start to examine what sober living long-term might look like for you.
  5. Find a new drink for the month. We’re all creatures of habit, so this is about creating a new go-to drink when you’re thinking about alcohol. For some men, it’s turning to coffee more frequently. With the abundance of healthier options available in stores everywhere, you may discover a new drink you truly enjoy, such as flavored sparkling water, green tea, smoothies, or coconut water.

Alternatives When Unable to Quit Drinking

There is no need to judge yourself critically if Dry January ends for you before February arrives. The important thing is to recognize when you need help staying sober and where to find that help. For men in Texas, Origins Recovery Center is a valuable resource for starting recovery and planning to sustain it long-term. You may be among the many men whose drinking is affected by underlying mental health issues. You may have experienced trauma as a child or as an adult that’s contributing to your struggle to get sober. Whatever the case, getting help on your recovery journey can secure a better future for you.

 

Origins Recovery Center is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety.

For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1019.

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