If you’re still searching for a healthy New Year’s resolution, here is one for you: try cutting back on booze. Just because you’re late to the Dry January party doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy it.
Millions of people ditch alcohol every January after overindulging during the holidays. Some may just want a lifestyle change and are looking to feel better not just immediately, but down the road too.
Alcohol intake has been on the rise in recent years, and it took an even more prominent role in many people’s lives during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Heavy and long-term drinking can lead to several health issues, including liver and heart damage, memory issues, a weaker immune system, and mood disorders.
But cutting alcohol, even for a month, can make a noticeable health difference. A study in BMJ Open found that regular drinkers who abstained for 30 days slept better, had more energy, and lost weight.
If you think you’ve been drinking a little too much and want to cut back, joining Dry January may help. And, of course, you can keep it rolling into February and beyond.
Here are a few tips for success:
Find a substitute: Sparkling water, sugar-free soda, or even non-alcoholic beer, wine, and spirits can serve as suitable substitutes for booze. Just remember to pay attention to the sugar content – some alcohol-free wines and spirits might be loaded with them.
Avoid temptation: Don’t keep alcohol at home, and when you go to a friend’s place, be sure to bring your non-alcoholic options.
Gather support: Tell friends and family what you’re doing and ask them to help keep you accountable. Better yet, see if someone will join you in participating in abstinence.
Try the Dry App: The Dry app can help you track drinking and set goals. It can also show you how much money and calories you save by avoiding alcohol.
Don’t give up: If you slip up, don’t feel guilty. Just start again the next day.
Use the time to reflect on your drinking habits and how you feel when the alcohol cravings subside. They should disappear relatively quickly.
It is possible that you will develop some symptoms. The symptoms are generally dependent on how much you typically drink. Anxiety, shaky hands, headaches, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and even trouble sleeping are all potential symptoms of withdrawal. Contact your doctor if you’re experiencing any of them.