5 Tips for Surviving Dry January

5 Tips for Surviving Dry January

Looking for tips for surviving Dry January? Here are some tips to get you through the Dry January and make it less of a struggle.

The start of a new year is a great opportunity to do a reset of sorts and assess some of our current habits. This will be my second year doing Dry January, and here are some tips that helped me get through the month and actually look forward to doing it again.

Consider Your Why

Whether you went a little too hard with the champagne and spiked eggnog during the holidays and need a detox, or you just want to cut back on alcohol because of the calories, keep in mind why you’re doing this and honor the commitment you made to yourself. My first Dry January was in 2021, coming off of a year of drinking way too much wine. I was looking for a way to detox from the holiday and create healthier habits around alcohol.

Identify Your Triggers

Once you identify your triggers, you can plan and get ahead of them. Once I realized that alcohol was a way for me to decompress after a stressful day, I created a new ritual. At the end of the evening after the kids went to bed, I made a cup of herbal tea and drank it from my favorite mug while watching a show. I replaced my mimosa at brunch with a latte or asked for sparkling water with lemon. Try swapping out your cocktail for a mocktail or flavored water.

Find Support

It can help to have a friend or family member who is participating in Dry January with you. Having an accountability partner to check in with can be fun and make the experience easier to get through. 

If you don’t know anyone personally, who is doing Dry January, you can join a support group or online forum to connect with others who are abstaining from alcohol. I’m certain there is a Facebook group for Dry January or teetotalers.

Set a realistic goal

If you have lots of social events planned for January or a major celebration, then maybe this isn’t the month to test your will for alcohol. 

Remember the goal here is to create healthy habits and an awareness around alcohol. So a drier January may work better for you. For instance if you had a glass of wine every evening at dinner and you decided to only have a glass of wine on the weekend then that’s a step in the right direction, and perhaps a more realistic goal for you to set.

Track Your Progress

Seeing how far you’ve come is another great motivator. I use a habit-tracking app on my phone to note every day I honor my commitment. I like HabitShare because you have the option to share your streak (if you’re doing Dry January with someone or you’re just looking for some accountability). You could also use a calendar to track your progress for the month. If you do have a slip up and drink, that’s ok. Be kind to yourself and get back on track the next day. When you see how many days you didn’t drink, you can absolutely still be proud of yourself. Consider it a slightly humid January!

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