Dry January is the annual wellness challenge where individuals abstain from drinking alcohol for the entire month of January. It is a great way to reset and practice mindful drinking throughout the rest of the year after a busy holiday season. Here is a guide on how to participate in Dry January, plus some ideas for drinks you can enjoy during the month.
How to Participate
The first step to participating in Dry January is to make a commitment. You can make it a public commitment by sharing it with family, friends, or colleagues, or you can keep it to yourself. It helps if you have a friend to commit to it with to provide some accountability. Additionally, you can join the official Dry January movement and download the app to log your progress.
Once you have made your commitment, it’s time to set boundaries. You can decide if you want to abstain from alcohol completely or if you want to reduce your intake. Consider what your personal goals are for the challenge and how to stick with them.
Finally, it is important to have strategies for dealing with cravings and temptations. Remind yourself why you are doing the challenge and find creative ways to distract yourself. Try switching your focus to a new hobby or activity or reach out to your support system for help.
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Why Alcohol Can Harm Your Health
Alcohol can have a damaging effect on your health, as it can increase your risk for a variety of health problems. For example, regular alcohol consumption can cause liver damage and high blood pressure and increase the risk of certain types of cancer. Drinking alcohol can also impair your judgment, making it more likely that you will engage in risky behaviors. Additionally, alcohol can worsen existing mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety.
Overall, it is important to practice moderation when it does come to drinking alcohol and to be aware of the health risks associated with it.
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Ideas for Drinks to Enjoy
Just because you’re participating in Dry January doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy flavorful drinks. Here are some ideas for drinks to make during the month that are both tasty and alcohol-free:
- Sparkling mocktails: Mix sparkling water with sweet and tart juices, such as grapefruit and cranberry.
- Fruit smoothies: Blend frozen or fresh fruit with milk or a non-dairy beverage and a sweetener of your choice, such as honey or maple syrup. You can also add nut butter or protein powder for a thicker consistency. We like to add a splash of aloe vera juice (see Lily of the Desert) to our smoothies because it helps us better absorb nutrients which can help support our immune system and our overall health.
- Herbal tea: Steep fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and mint in hot water. You can also add a splash of ginger or lemon juice for a refreshing flavor. Bigelow Tea has over 100 tea flavors to choose from. Here are some recipes to inspire you:
- Hot chocolate: Make a delicious mug of hot chocolate by melting dark chocolate and adding milk or a non-dairy beverage, plus your favorite spices, such as cinnamon and nutmeg.
Dry January is a great way to practice mindful drinking and reset your habits. Remember to set boundaries and have strategies in place to help you stay on track. Plus, there are plenty of tasty drinks that you can make during the month to help you stay motivated. Happy Dry January!