Dry January is officially underway! Although cutting back on alcohol for the month has a lot of benefits - from saving money to improving heart and liver health - it also comes with challenges. Any break in routine is difficult, and for those who are changing patterns of excessive drinking, they may experience symptoms of withdrawal. We’re sharing our fave tips and tricks to get you through the month and come out on the other side of it feeling happier and healthier and inspired for more mocktail goodness throughout the rest of the month!
Here are 6 essentials for a great Dry January.
If your impulse is to reach for a glass of wine or a beer after a long day, it can be challenging to break that habit. Instead of changing your routine entirely, we recommend replacing your usual drink with a non-alcoholic alternative. There are so many great ready-to-drink NA options on the market these days, so you’re sure to find something that matches your taste. Or, if you’re into a good cup of tea, now is a great time to treat yourself to something really special to unwind at the end of the night.
Cutting out alcohol doesn’t have to mean missing out on the enjoyment of a good cocktail. Raising the Bar was founded on a love of mixology and the idea that anyone should be able to enjoy a great drink at home, even without the booze. Take this time to experiment with new zero-proof ingredients and non-alcoholic recipes - you might end up finding your new favorite drink!
Similarly, this can be a great time to try new activities. It’s useful to replace one habit with a different, healthier one, so if you were considering picking up a hobby this would be a perfect opportunity. Expanding your horizons can help you get in touch with your own needs and wants, and throwing yourself into something new can help to distract from any alcohol cravings. Missing the creativity of mixing up a drink in the evening? Try getting into cooking to trying a new art project!
Dry January is a big change, and you’re probably going to have some feelings about it. Whether you’re celebrating a month of improved sleep and energy levels or coming to realizations about what triggers you to drink, it’s useful to get these thoughts down on paper. Journaling your thoughts and experiences can help you process them in real time, and after the month is finished, you can look back on these entries and evaluate if there are any changes you want to carry on into the rest of the year.
At some point during this month, you’re probably going to be offered a drink. Alcohol is so ingrained into our culture that even with the growing popularity of Dry January and the sober movement, most people just assume that everyone around them will be drinking. When this happens, you need to stay resolute in your decision to go dry. If you need some inspiration on how to turn down a drink, check out our ideas here.
A Great Support System
Most importantly, you’re going to need a great network of people to support and uplift you during this month. Breaking old habits and putting your health first can unfortunately feel a little isolating sometimes, but it’s so much easier when you know that you aren’t alone. There are thousands of other people doing Dry January right now. Maybe you can encourage a friend to join you in Dry January, or you can connect with one of the many online communities of people living dry lifestyles - including our very own Raising the Bar private Facebook group!