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Salude! to a Successful Dry January

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Buena salud! Dry January is going to be a breeze. You know why? I’m sharing with you these best tips for making it easy and straightforward. Whether you’re cutting back on cocktails and wine glasses to lose some of the holiday weight or simply want to feel the health benefits of reducing your alcohol intake, staying focused on your goal is crucial!

Dry January and this post is made possible with Wilderton Free. As always, all opinions are my own.

New year, new month. It’s the perfect time to hit that reset button and re-establish healthy habits. Each year for the last four years I’ve said good-bye to the year past and welcomed the new with Dry January.

The concept of Dry January—where abstaining from alcohol for the month for better health—seems almost punishing as we are in a pandemic. But, this might even be a better reason to hit that reset button right now.

There are compelling reasons for maintaining or joining the annual tradition, even at the peak of a pandemic.

When giving up alcohol, even just for one month, people tend to experience a variety of health benefits including clearer skin, better sleep, improved digestion, and financial savings. Not to mention, alcohol isn’t actually doing you any favors in terms of curing your anxiety, depression, stress, or boredom, and booze fast can help you identify healthier coping mechanisms to lean on throughout the rest of the pandemic and beyond.

In just a handful of weeks, you’re going to be seeing amazing results from going booze-free — you might even want to keep going! — so pour yourself a La Croix or kombucha in a wineglass, grab a pen and paper, and let’s get to the intention setting, here are 5 things to know before you get started and how to keep it up, all month long!

5 Tips for a Successful Dry January

Write It Down

Whether it’s your Facebook status, your Instagram story, a line in your goal-setting journal, a group text, or all of the above: put your intention out there. Make it loud and clear. Tell the universe this is your plan for January. Make a clear-cut statement that you’re going alcohol-free this month, and nothing’s gonna stop you.

Surrounding yourself with the right people

Surrounding yourself with the right people is imperative for a successful dry January, particularly if you’re lacking in the willpower department. Tell your friends what your plans are so they know ahead of time not to pressure you, but also tell the people who are going to hold you accountable. Friends who will gently remind you that a Moscow mule doesn’t sound good right now, but a muddled berry mocktail does.

Align yourself with people who won’t pressure you or make you feel uncomfortable. Attend social events with the same kind of people. Chat with friends who are living sober or aren’t into boozy activities as much. It takes a village!

Purge Your House

Just like when you’re starting a diet, you’re going to want to eliminate any possibility of backsliding at home by eradicating everything that’s off-limits. Get the booze out of your house. Give it to a friend for safekeeping, throw it away, donate it — you do you. Just get it outta sight. Yes, even the Baileys.

Find a Substitute

Mocktails are all the rage right now, but if your goal is to lose weight, you may want to consider something like a heavily limed club soda, or even a tea. It depends on the situation. Luckily, this year in 2021, being homebound will make it a bit easier.. But, if you find yourself on a Zoom HH or family dinner, try this:

  • Social pressure: If you’re at a restaurant and everyone’s getting margaritas, ask the bartender for a fresh grapefruit-lime juice with a salted rim. It looks exactly the same, trust. Out at a bar and feeling anxious about people pressuring you? Club Soda with Lime, Ginger Beer, Club Soda with bitters, Kombucha are some of my faves.

  • Home habits: If one part wine, one part Netflix is your standard recipe for a weekday evening, Kombucha in an IPA glass or Champaign flute.

  • Wilderton Free is another amazing way to enjoy mocktails at home. I’ll be sharing with you some of my amazing recipes on Instagram all throughout the month!

Remember the health benefits!

There are many benefits from going alcohol-free, but the main one is that you’ll get better quality sleep. After a night of drinking, it’s usually pretty easy to fall asleep. But have you ever then woken up at 3 a.m. wide awake? That’s alcohol doing what it does best: ensuring your sleep is less than great. As the National Sleep Foundation explains, levels of the sleep-inducing chemical adenosine rise to help you nod off, but it then crashes, waking you up. Even if your body doesn’t try to rouse you for a middle-of-the-night party, it’s likely you’ll rise groggily anyway.

Alcohol squashes sleep quality; drinking moderate or high amounts of alcohol decreases restorative REM sleep. Giving up drinking for a month may help you get a sounder sleep, and better rest means more energy to dedicate to the things that matter at the start of the year.

Hi, I’m Valerie!

I'm an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), offering guidance to high achievers in aligning their lifestyle with well-being through daily wellness and self-care routines, promoting balance and harmony. Join me at Wellness Bum for tips on living well, and consider subscribing to my newsletter or booking a coaching session.