Ah, Dry January. The dream of going alcohol-free for the first month of the year. It seems so appealing after a holiday season of imbibing and indulging from dawn to dusk, but when you can’t reach for a glass of wine after your first stressful day back at work, you may expect to feel pretty, uh, frustrated.
Of course, the experience is different for everyone, and the truth is many people will abandon Dry January after the first week of the month right alongside their New Year’s resolutions. For the mighty who make it through, though, the results can be pretty worthwhile. According to Alcohol Change U.K., the organization that started the trend, 72% of people who make it through the month are still drinking less six months later.
To celebrate another successful (or not) Dry January, four women who completed the journey shared their experiences with HG. Cheers to that!
“It has actually been super challenging. I’ve had a stressful month in my personal and work life, and my office has a lot of opportunities for drinks either at the end of the day on Fridays. First Thursday Happy Hour that’s paid for by the company, networking events, and my husband and I host a beer, wine and spirits club. I’ve kept it up so far! It has been a challenge to not depend on alcohol to get me through social awkwardness at functions or as a stress reliever at the end of a long day. Sometimes you just want a glass of wine to unwind! I am happy to give my body a break from all the crazy social drinking I did during the holidays and I feel proud I’ve stayed strong and found other ways to cope or get around my social awkwardness. I have a bar in my basement for crying out loud! This is an accomplishment!”
“Surprisingly my dry January is going well. I work nights, though, so I picked up A LOT of shifts there. It was a welcome distraction, and the extra money didn’t hurt. I’d kill for some wine, though. I’ve found that a lot of my drinking is out of boredom. Even going out, having seltzer water isn’t so bad.”
“Overall, [it’s been] fine! It’s easier once the first two weeks are over and the habit of grabbing a beer at home after work has ceased a little. It’s caused me to rethink my relationship with alcohol and when I mostly gravitate towards it. That being said, I’m looking forward to February 1st.”
“The first week or so was pretty easy for me, I was ready for a break. It was the last couple weeks that were more difficult, especially in social situations. Doing it with friends definitely helped me make it to the end!”