What Is Dry January?

December 28, 2021

What better time to redefine what mental health and recovery mean to you than in the New Year? Creating healthy habits will help you along your recovery journey, whether you are just kicking it off or reinforcing positive progress.

Dry January is a chance to relax, reset, and reprioritize after the holiday season to take control of your relationship with alcohol - and with yourself! 

What Is Dry January?

Dry January was conceptualized by a British organization called Alcohol Chance UK. The movement, challenging individuals to abstain from alcohol for the entire month of January, has millions of followers. 

Whether the goal is to improve one’s relationship with alcohol for better sleep, weight loss, or just an overall health reboot, Dry January is a short-term commitment that feels attainable for most people. 

Why Go Dry?

There are plenty of reasons to start off 2022 with a break from booze. As a major part of socializing, it is easy to lose track of consumption patterns and what intake level is healthiest for our personal states of body and mind. Here are five reasons to consider going dry next month:

1. You could experience a mood boost.

A glass of wine or cocktail at the end of the day may be your go-to for de-stressing and decompressing. Over time, this can turn into an unhealthy coping strategy that may shadow underlying problems like anxiety or depression. Alcohol tends to worsen these symptoms, so cutting back on consumption may actually stabilize our moods. While Dry January won’t cure an illness like depression, taking a break from your nightly alcohol intake could help you take note of your motivation for drinking. With a clearer head, you’ll be in a more fit position to assess what other changes you can or should make to better your physical and mental health - whether that be talking with your doctor or a therapist, getting outside for an extra walk and eating better, or just spending more time with your loved ones.

2. Your heart will get healthier.

According to the American Heart Association, significantly cutting back or quitting drinking altogether could lower your blood pressure, levels of fats called triglycerides, and chances of heart failure. Excessive drinking, on the other hand, can increase the risks of high blood pressure, obesity, and stroke. 

3. You could see a decrease on the scale.

The average glass of regular beer has about 150 calories and a serving of wine has around 120. Besides having these nutritionally empty calories, alcohol tends to ramp up appetite in most people! It decreases the center in our brains which controls impulse, making us less able to resist the temptation of food when it is available. So, when you take a break from booze you may see your belly debloat and your number on the scale decrease.

4. You’ll have a more peaceful sleep.

Alcohol tends to make people drowsy, but once an inebriated person falls asleep they are far more likely to experience a restless and fitful slumber than a sober person. But don’t take our word for it, ask the National Sleep Foundation who says, “Research has shown sleepers who drink large amounts of alcohol before going to bed are often prone to delayed sleep onset, meaning they need more time to fall asleep…these individuals are also more likely to experience sleep disruptions and decreases in sleep quality.” So, put down that vino and rest your head on that pillow!

5. You’ll have a new and better relationship with alcohol.

Taking a break from alcohol may help you come to the conclusion that you don’t have to drink every day - or ever. According to the official website for Dry January, participating helps people to adopt healthier drinking practices year-round. Taking a short 31-day break shows us that we don’t necessarily need alcohol to have fun, relax, or socialize. 

It’s no coincidence that the Dry January Challenge happens at the start of the New Year, a time filled with self-bettering resolutions and forming healthy, consistent habits. That’s what Oberit is all about – using a bit of positive reinforcement, a bit of behavioral science, and lot of community support to help you discover the best possible you. So, this January download the Oberit app and take the leap to try for a healthier, more sound of mind, and alcohol-free you!

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