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Take a Break from Alcohol During Dry January

You’re out with friends at your favorite watering hole and notice that your friend isn’t having their signature glass of wine. Curious, you ask if something’s wrong. 

“Oh no, ” they reply cheerily, “I’m just participating in Dry January!” 

Dry January? What in the world?

Yup, your friend reassures you, it’s a real thing. Cut out alcohol for a month and you’ll feel better, mind, body, and spirit (pun not intended.) But you don’t have a problem, you think, and why would you want to give up something that’s such a big part of your social life? But…maybe that’s just it. Maybe this could be a way to be a little healthier, find other ways of socializing, and take a step back to reflect on your maybe not so healthy habits. 

So, what do you say?

Dry January: Checking Your Relationship with Alcohol

Whether you know you have an alcohol use disorder, you want to cut down on drinking since the start of COVID, or you simply want to start off the year on a healthier note, Dry January offers more than just a sense of achievement. Every year, millions of people choose to abstain throughout the month of January. Many use this month to form a healthier relationship with alcohol and enjoy the physical and mental health benefits from abstaining, while others use this month as the start of their road to recovery. 

The Benefits of Abstaining from Alcohol

Need some enticement to participate in Dry January? Let’s start with some of the physical health benefits:

Physical Health Benefits of Abstaining from Alcohol:

  • Better sleep
  • Healthier weight
  • Better insulin levels
  • Lower heart rate and blood pressure
  • Better skin
  • Less heartburn and reflux
  • Less headaches
  • Lower risk of cancer

Alongside physical benefits from abstaining, you can also look forward to these mental and emotional benefits.

Mental Health Benefits of Abstaining from Alcohol:

  • Better attention and clarity
  • Improved memory
  • Increased self-confidence and self-respect
  • Decreased anxiety and depression
  • Higher motivation
  • Stabilized mood
  • Improved relationships

Tips for Taking a break from Booze

Now that you know the benefits of taking a break from all alcohol, here’s some tips to help you still have fun during social outings, avoid pesky urges, and enjoy your Dry January. 

  • Curb cravings with a different beverage.
    • If you find yourself missing your drink of choice, reach instead for a seltzer, or a fruit infused water. 
  • Enjoy the alcohol free trend.
    • Nowadays you can find alcohol-free spirits, beer, and wine, along with plenty of virgin options of popular drinks. Keep in mind that even some alcohol-free beverages can still have a small percentage of booze in them, so keep an eye on that label. 
  • Encourage friends to join the challenge.
    • The more the merrier! When you have a strong support network around you, you’re less likely to default into bad habits. 
  • Stay strong.
    • Even if you slip up, don’t count it as a total failure. Tomorrow is a new day! 

Help for Alcoholism: Therapy for Substance Abuse in Parkland, FL and for all Florida Residents

For some, Dry January may seem like a piece of cake. For others, it may prove to be more of a struggle. Sometimes our relationship with alcohol can get the best of us and we need a little help to curb addictive habits. Reach out today and together let’s set positive intentions for health and happiness. Learn more about addiction therapy with me here

**Please Note**: Those struggling with alcohol addiction should not abruptly cease drinking alcohol. If you are dependent on alcohol, the sudden absence of the substance can lead to withdrawal symptoms, which can sometimes be fatal. Alcohol withdrawal is deadly and must be approached carefully, oftentimes with a medical detox, a detoxification process supervised by a medical professional.

Dr. Lindsay Howard, Parkland, FL

Dr. Lindsay Howard, Psychologist, Psy.D.

Hi! My name is Lindsay Howard, and I specialize in addiction counseling for Florida residents. If you’d like to learn more about how I can help you build an alcohol-free lifestyle, feel free to schedule a free 15 minute consultation with me.

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