Now that the flurry of cocktail parties, celebrations and special end of the year events have come to an end, many of us are looking to reset and renew for the new year. What better way is there to kickstart a healthy 2023 than to participate in “Dry January”? Dry January is the kind of self care your body will really thank you for! It’s where you give up all alcohol for the month of January to promote a healthier well being and to give your body a much needed rest. If you’re already not a fan of alcohol, some folks use “Dry January” as a time to detox from all caffeine drinks, or you can be an over achiever and do both!
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According to Harvard Health, some of the benefits of Dry January are better sleep, more energy and even weight loss, while reducing cancer related proteins in your blood, improving cholesterol levels and lowering your blood pressure. Quitting caffeine or alcohol can also improve or reduce symptoms of major mood disorders.
Whether it’a from Alcohol or Caffeine, you may experience different symptoms depending on how much you imbibed before and how sensitive your body is. Headaches, sugar cravings, awkward social events where everyone assumes, “You must be pregnant” when you turn down a glass of red wine, and a change in your usual routine will take some adjusting to. If you have any strong symptoms withdrawing from alcohol or caffeine, you should definitely seek medical help. Quitting isn’t easy but here are some tricks below to help you get started and get through the month!
Download the “Try Dry” app. It’s a free app that helps you calculate how much money you are saving and how many calories you are reducing by avoiding drinking.
Pick up a new hobby to occupy your free time. You could try something that is social like language learning, a book club, or joining a sewing circle. You could set up a game night with neighbors and dust off that collection of board games or find a challenging puzzle. Duolingo is a free language learning app. Many libraries offer social events centered around community. Check out this weekly event “Steeped in books” for Tea Time and discussing current reads.
Experiment with healthy mocktail options. It’s helpful to have a “go to” drink to order at any social events. A virgin mojito is refreshing and light needing just fresh lime juice, sugar syrup, mint leaves and soda water. Club soda and a fresh squeezed lime with a sprig of mint works well too if you’re looking for a lighter, sugar free option. Another popular drink is called the “Shampagne” which is just apple juice and ginger beer. It has a nice bite to it and is beautiful in a glass.
Create a new ritual. If you’re used to having a night cap, try creating a new nightly drink routine. You could try a new hot tea each evening. If you’re not a tea fan, you could invest in a soda stream and test your skills at infusing different flavors into sparkling water. Instead of mimosas at brunch, try mixing Canadian Dry Ginger Ale with orange juice.
Treat Yo’self. Give yourself spa treatments. A nice soak in the tub with a good book, a candle, and your favorite scented bath bomb or bubbles is so soothing. If you prefer shower, fizzing shower aromotherapy bombs are a game changer. Try a detoxing face mask. Going for a good massage or trading food rubs with your partner can help relieve stress and tension and can help ease headaches or body aches..
Find a supportive community. Facebook has multiple “Dry January” Facebook groups you can join to share ideas, recipes, and find motivation or you could create your own group with friends taking the pledge together.