Dry January: What’s The Hype?

Every year since 2013, Alcohol Change UK has run a public health campaign they deemed:

Dry January

After a holiday season of boozed parties, it’s easy to see why anyone would advocate one month of recuperation from alcohol. Which is basically the basis for the campaign itself.

The call to action is simple, people in the UK (and now the US) participate in cutting back their alcohol intake.

In the UK, 20 people daily die as a result of their own drinking, and the total amount of lives affected is innumerable. As a result, Dry January has become a widely accepted ‘challenge’ -for lack of a better term- many people partake in.

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Hundreds of people who took part in Dry January were also polled in 2016, and more than 75% of those people, then went on to drink less for the six months to follow.

While the name might suggest it, Alcohol Change UK says, Dry January is anything but ‘anti-alcohol’.

In reality, the campaign calls for change.

Change in how we view drinking.

Change in how we partake in drinking.

Change (recognize and treat) the real problems driving us to drink.

Even those who don’t consider themselves to be ‘alcoholics’ rave about the benefits of ditching booze for an entire month.

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Better Skin

–> Less water in the body, and therefore in the skin will result in possible dry skin. However, I think many of us will take the dry skin over drinking acne any day! You may only notice slight effects of this after a month. Before long, you will see effects that keep you grinning.

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Better Sleep

–> As I’ve touched on in a previous post, Sleeping In Sobriety, drinking stops the deep REM cycle of your sleep, depriving you of crucial sleep and physical rest. When you stop drinking, it may take a few weeks to return to a normal sleep schedule, but after that two weeks, the brain’s activity during sleep returns to normal.

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Boosts Immune System

–>Who doesn’t need this at the peak of cold and flu season? Your immune system is one of the first things affected in your body after you drink. Compromised in as little as 20 minutes after consumption, it’s one of the first things to go. Rest assured the lack of drinking will bring your immune system levels and reaction rates back to normal.

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Weight Loss

–> Just from water weight! I’m not implying you are fat. Though, who doesn’t love that feeling when those jeans you couldn’t button before Christmas slide on with ease?  Something as simple as not drinking can change your relationship with a bathroom scale.

Each one of these things has it’s own is a selling point for many of us, let alone the fact that almost all of the people who were polled after partaking in Dry January reported one or more of these side-effects.

For most of us who are continuing our sobriety journey, Dry January is just another 31 days with a cute name tag. If it’s your first or only Dry January, it’s a great chance, to be honest with yourself, and analyze the real questions.

The what’s and why’s behind your drinking.

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In reality, January will only be as long and difficult as you let it be, in your sobriety journey. If you choose to focus on the drinking aspects, or lack thereof, the days will be hard, they will drag on, and little progress will be made.

However, if you choose to focus on the new life in front of you, all the blessings you have, and the healthy lifestyle you are creating Dry January will fly by in a blink. Soon your healthy habits won’t even have room to entertain the thought of drinking.

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