While the month of April may officially be Alcohol Awareness Month, many people are now participating in “Dry January” – taking the first 31 days of the year to abstain from alcohol. It makes sense. After all, the holidays are typically a time of indulging in rich foods and more frequent cocktails, and a brand new year seems the perfect time for a fresh start.
But as we are entering year two of a pandemic, Dry January may make more sense than ever. Studies have shown that alcohol intake for adults has increased approximately 14% since early 2020.
We’re spending more time at home and/or alone, and pouring a drink or two (or three) at the end of the day can easily become justified, and a habit in which you’d rather not partake.So, if you’re considering participating in Dry January, here are some tips that may help you:
1. Partner up with a buddy and/or let your friends and family know that you are abstaining from alcohol. Ask for their support and lean on them for accountability.
2. Switch up your routine – if you typically pour a drink at the end of the workday, use that time instead to exercise, meditate, journal, call a friend, go out for a cup of tea, etc. The key is to do something that you actually enjoy, so that you feel more relaxed going into the evening, rather than deprived or antsy.
3. Shop for non-alcohol substitutes – there are many delicious booze-free elixirs available these days, some that even taste like alcohol but are good for you. If, however, that triggers you to want a real cocktail, switch instead to sparkling waters or herbal teas.
4. Reward yourself weekly – use the money you would normally spend on wine, booze, etc. for a massage, manicure, books you’ve been wanting to read, etc.
5. Go easy on yourself. Many people are currently experiencing an unusually high amount of stress; remind yourself that you’re doing this for your mental and physical health, and that you’re worth it.
Good luck – you’ve got this! Happy New Year from Insights.