Dry January: the party continues
I’m writing this on January 31st, the last day of Dry January and I have to say, I’m ready to keep this party going. In the past, I viewed these ‘booze breaks’ as just that, a break. I never fully acknowledged the benefits of being alcohol free. I didn’t listen to changes in my sleep, skin, mood or relationships. In years past, I just recognized that I felt better after a booze break, and then I went back to my normal routine, aka: rosé all day.
This year was different. I went into Dry January with three months of sobriety under me, a true lifestyle change. I also went into this Dry January with a new goal for the month: to listen and to learn.
I wanted to spend my Dry January learning as much as possible about sobriety and honestly, I was overwhelmed. There are so many resources, tools, tips and tricks available to help the sober curious, and I found myself engrossed in it all. I was wildly surprised by the amount of resources available, especially compared to my past dry stints. Despite a lot of learnings, what stood out the most to me was the following:
The Struggle is Real: Almost everyone I talked to about my own dry year referenced their own desire to drink less. Some were doing Dry January, others were not, but no matter their relationship with alcohol, they wanted to drink less of it. This confirmed that no matter the time of year, we need to continue the discussion about what it means to drink less, or not at all. Everyone’s relationship with alcohol varies, but if you are questioning your intake, then it's worth exploring further.
Sober Curiosity is Vast: Throughout the month, I had the opportunity to throw two Dry January bar crawls and I attended many events with my own alcohol-free libations in-hand. During these events, I spoke about the dry year with friends new and old, the creators and partakers of alcohol-free beverages and those responsible for educating the drinking community about the benefits of being booze-free. Through all of these conversations I learned that lots of people are curious about what life looks like when it is alcohol free. The sober curious community is larger than I expected, and asking more questions than it is giving answers. This curiosity is changing lives and experiences one drink (or one less drink) at a time. So, I’m left with the question: How do we keep the curiosity brewing and use it to make the sober curious lifestyle more mainstream?
Never Stop Learning: I consumed a lot of information during Dry January, both about the benefits of drinking less, or not at all. What I took away from each article, podcast or conversation was unique to me and will continue to fuel my desire to stay dry as I continue further into my dry year. The benefits of being booze free don’t end because January does. If you find yourself wanting to learn more about the dry life, the content won’t disappear when the month is over.
Dry January is a great introduction to being booze free. Heck, it was a large part of what triggered my dry year. I learned a lot, I listened a lot, and for the first time, I spoke a lot about why I chose to start my dry year. As February begins, I plan to continue learning and sharing.
Sober up buttercups, whether it's January, February, or March…. let's keep this party going!