You’ve probably heard of Dry January by now. It’s becoming a thing. Perfectly timed to launch just after weeks of overindulging during the holidays, it offers a month-long reprieve from the damaging effects of alcohol.
What started as a public health campaign in the UK in 2014 by a nonprofit organization called Alcohol Change, Dry January has gained popularity in the United States over the last few years. But no matter how ready you may feel for a break from alcohol, abstaining for 31 days might be harder than you think. Alcohol, like sugar, releases “feel good” chemicals in the brain that make a person feel more relaxed and content. On top of that, alcohol use is usually associated with powerful habits like having a glass of wine, a cocktail, or bottle of beer to unwind after the workday or in social settings. Those two things combined create a tenacious pull towards alcohol, even after you’ve decided not to drink.
So much so, that a week or two into your Dry January, you might find yourself thinking “Well, one can’t hurt. I deserve a drink.” In addition to recalling your own reasons for committing to an alcohol-free month, remember the benefits of going sober during the first month of the year.
Eliminating alcohol for a month can result in:
· Feeling better
· Increased energy
· Improved athletic and work performance
· Losing weight
· Better sleep
· Stronger immune system
· Clearer skin
· Saving money
· Lowered sugar intake
· Improved memory
· Lowered blood pressure
· Decreased diabetes risk
· Lowered cholesterol
· Reduced levels of cancer-related proteins in the blood
· Long-term change around alcohol use
Wow, that’s quite a return on your investment.
Participating in a supported Dry January challenge increases your chances of success with it. There are several Dry January groups out there that offer support and accountability to help you get through the month without alcohol.
Hurley Health’s Dry January challenge includes more support than most of the Dry January groups you’ll find. Included in Hurley Health’s Dry January:
· January 1st Zoom call kick off to help you solidify your commitment to this challenge. You’ll hear from Recovery Coach Nell Hurley about Dry January and have a chance to share in a small group your “why” behind taking on this challenge.
· Weekly Zoom call group check-ins and topic discussions every Thursday in January. Facilitated by Nell Hurley, these topic discussions focus on habit change, goal setting, diet, and exercise as they relate to alcohol use.
· Two one-on-one sessions with recovery coach Nell Hurley for increased support and accountability.
Happy Sober New Year!