12 Tips for a Successful Dry January, According to Experts
If alcohol is part of your weekly routine—think post-work cocktails with co-workers or wine nights with pals—giving up booze for a month sounds daunting, and it can, in fact, be a very challenging feat. However, if you plan to join the growing number of people cutting back on alcohol as part of Dry January and beyond, there are some helpful tips to keep in mind when saying bye to booze, and these pointers can be especially helpful given the current climate.
"This year poses unique challenges in adhering to a Dry January. Stress levels are at an all-time high and many people have been turning to alcohol and food to cope," explains Lori Ryland, PhD, LP, CAADC, CCS, BCBA-D, a licensed clinical psychologist, behavior analyst, and advanced addictions counselor. "There is a higher prevalence of a remote workforce, which means access to alcohol is more available, and alcoholism or even day drinking is more difficult for employers to detect."
Giving up alcohol for any extended period of time has worthwhile benefits that extend beyond whatever may be trendy at the moment. "Even one month of abstinence from alcohol can result in health benefits. Many individuals report better sleep and feelings of well-being," adds Ryland. "One month free from alcohol can result in improvements in liver function and reduced abdominal bloating. Any reduction and abstinence from a substance can result in health benefits, such as receiving higher nutrition when healthy food is consumed rather than liquid calories."
If you're considering Dry January but want pointers before you take the plunge, keep reading for expert-approved tips that ensure your alcohol-free month (or more) will be a rousing success!