Is Dry January Worth it? In this blog post, you will learn the many benefits of taking part in Dry January, including how to have a successful one.
How Dry January Started
Dry January was started by Alcohol Change UK in 2013 to encourage people to think about their alcohol drinking habits. The charity aims to help people in the UK become more aware of alcohol dependence and how it can harm your health, work, and relationships. If you want to take part in Dry January, you should be committed to abstaining from drinking alcohol for the entire month.
The Benefits Of Dry January
There's a reason why thousands of people join this campaign every year. Below are some of them:
1. You'll get better sleep
Wait, doesn't alcohol help me sleep better?
It does. But only for a moment. Alcohol can easily knock you off for the night but don't be surprised to wake up wide awake at about three in the morning. This is because alcohol contains adenosine --- a sleep-inducing chemical that helps you doze off but wakes you up the moment it crashes.
Alcohol can affect the quality of your sleep. Several studies show that alcohol can decrease REM sleep --- a crucial phase where your body usually gets most of the rest it needs. This finding is supported by Alcohol Concern UK which says that by abstaining from alcohol for a month, 71% of people sleep better while 67% wake up with more energy.
2. Your mood will improve
Hey, a glass of wine makes me feel good!
It might. Alcohol is an anti-depressant which suppresses your mood. Unfortunately, many people tend to use alcohol as their main coping strategy which when abused, can hide underlying anxiety or depression issues. Taking part in Dry January will give you the time you need to examine your drinking habit and gain valuable insight as to why you are drinking.
If you are drinking because you are depressed, talk with your doctor, get therapy, exercise, or spend more time with nature.
3. Your skin will glow
Did you know that alcohol can make you pee more often? This is because alcohol is a diuretic. Peeing more than normal can lead to dehydration. And dehydration often results in dry skin. Alcohol also stimulates the production of cortisol and estrogen --- these hormones can make your blood sugars spike, causing breakouts.
4. You can lose weight
This will depend on your starting weight and the type of alcoholic drink you consume. Alcohol adds a lot of unhealthy calories in your diet. Join Dry January and cut back on your alcohol consumption. You'll be surprised to find that this one small change might help you drop a few pounds.
5. Your immune system will be stronger
Alcohol does weird things to your body. For example, studies show that healthy people who binge drink have high levels of immunity, initially. However, after three to five hours, this immunity goes down drastically as shown in their while blood cell levels. While doctors are still not sure why this is happening, your immune system taking a break after a heavy night of drinking doesn't sound like good news.
6. You will feel good about yourself
Alcohol is addictive - abstaining from it for at least a month is hard. Achieving this, however, can give you a huge confidence boost! It sends a message that you can do it. And for some people, that's the only motivation they need to keep going,
7. You will not look at alcohol in the same way again
Perhaps one of the most important benefits of taking part in Dry January is a change in attitude towards alcohol. Dry January allows you to reconsider your relationship with your favourite beer, rum, wine, or vodka. Studies show that 64% of people drink less alcohol after participating in Dry January. A change for the better!
How to have a successful Dry January
1. Make a goal and stick to it
Begin with the end in mind. Create a realistic goal, write it down, and post it somewhere where you can see it every day. Tell your friends and family about your goals too so they are aware.
2. Don't be afraid to ask friends and family for support
Communicate your goals to people who matter to you and don't hesitate to ask for their help. They can help keep you on track by holding you accountable for your actions. You can also encourage them to take a part in Dry January with you.
3. Plan beyond Dry January
If you want to reap all the benefits above, don't just settle on finishing the challenge. Commit to see it through beyond January. Staying sober will do wonders in your work, health, and relationships.