As the name implies, a “Dry January” means you don’t drink for the month of January. But where did it start, and when? And what is all the fuss about? Let’s find out:
It’s a tradition started in the UK in 2013 by a charity called Alcohol Concern with the goal of helping people establish healthier drinking habits. It’s since spread to other countries and now millions do it every year (here’s one real account, to give you a sense of what it’s like).
One often-cited study showed that people who participated in dry January ended up (consciously or unconsciously) seeing reductions in their drinking throughout the year. There a few reasons that could be:
You discover dry fun: If you take an entire month and don’t drink, you start to realize it’s possible to have fun without drinking. There are other ways to celebrate!
You become more aware of how much you normally drink. The drinks can add up. If you take a break, and realize how often that was your standard pastime, you might start making more conscious choices about your drinking in the future.
You learn how to ignore or fight urges to drink. This not only gives you practice exercising your willpower, but also gives you confidence that it is possible to resist an urge.
You learn how to relax sober. Alcohol can be a tempting self-medication for anxiety. If you fight through the post-holiday blues and stress of re-starting work without drinking, you can use those coping mechanisms to deal with stressors throughout the year instead of drinking.
If you’re considering giving it a go, download Drinker’s Helper today and see how we can help!