I had heard of people doing dry January before, but my reaction had always been no thank you. Looking back, I’m not really sure why I was so opposed because I was actually excited heading into it and starting 2018 without all the nasty hangovers.
Before I share what I learned, I want to make it clear that I’m not offering advice for anyone else’s drinking habits. Everyone should certainly do what’s best for them, I just thought dry January would be a fun little experiment and a good way to kick off the new year.
So, with that said, here goes.
I don’t know how to be at a bar/party without drinking
I work from home, so usually when I have the opportunity to go somewhere, I’m pretty willing to participate. However, I noticed after the fact that I was turning down invites to happy hours and bar-related events because I didn’t even want to be in a bar or surrounded by other people drinking. I think you can definitely make a case that sometimes it’s hard to be around drunk people when you’re the only sober person, but that wasn’t what was happening here. I realized that I really didn’t know who to function in these kinds of scenarios without also having a drink in my hand.
In the first few weeks I found myself really craving the taste of my favorite sweet red wine. I thought that for sure meant I was some kind of alcoholic. Ya know when you go to the doctor’s office and they ask you on that form if you “crave” alcohol or how many drinks you have a week and you usually lie? That’s how I felt. I came to realize, though, that it wasn’t necessarily the alcohol I was craving, it was the sweetness. Cue the dark chocolate. I probably ate more dark chocolate in the last month than I ever have in my life. The craving has slowly gone down though—crazy how the body works like that.
I felt better
All-around I have just felt better. I feel like I have more energy and I’m more willing and ready to tackle projects that I would usually dread. Like working out. It has been easier than expected to get into more of a consistent routine. It just doesn’t feel as hard to get myself to work out if that makes sense?
Evening and weekend productivity was way up
The weekends have been night and day. It really is 100% true what they say about aging and hangovers. I feel like every second I get older my hangovers get 10x worse. There was one weekend where Trevor had gone out the night before and got pretty rowdy, but I stayed home. The next day I was up meal prepping, cleaning—all the things I always dream about getting done on the weekends that never actually happen because all I want is my bed and greasy food. Had I gone out, I know I would have been right there with him riding the struggle bus and it felt very good not to be.
I want to keep this going
I feel a very strong desire to keep this up. To an extent. My biggest thing, though, is I want to learn how to be able to go out and socialize in a bar setting and not feel the need to order a drink. I want to feel ok ordering just a tonic and lime. So, that’s kind of my challenge for this month—stopping saying no to all the social invites and go to the bar without ordering a drink, or maybe just having one.
Ok, so now that I’ve spilled, I want to hear about your dry January! Who else has tried it and what was your biggest takeaway?