The concept of Dry January originated in the UK in 2013, when a non-profit group called Alcohol Change UK started the movement with the goal of raising money for alcohol abuse awareness and treatment.
The trend caught on around the globe, with a significant number of people choosing to take part in Dry January as a way to simply drink less or reset after a month or two of over indulging.
To successfully abstain from alcohol for an entire month, it is important to understand your “why”.
It is perfectly normal to want to cut back on alcohol after Christmas, especially if you feel like you have not felt to be in control over your intake recently.
For starters, it is useful to understand what even counts as heavy drinking.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, heavy drinking is having more than seven drinks in one week; binge drinking is having more than four drinks within two hours. These types of alcohol consumption come with negative health effects, which are a great reason to reconsider your drinking habits.
If you are binge drinking or drinking heavily, talk to your doctor before abruptly quitting for a month.
If you don't feel like you have an alcohol problem but want to try Dry January anyway, it could result in several positive health benefits. You may not notice them within the first month, however if you decide to keep limiting you alcohol intake or abstaining all together, it is highly likely that you will feel more of the healthy effects listed below.
- You'll sleep better and have more energy
- Your skin could clear up
- You may lose weight
- Your immune system could get stronger
- You may feel less anxious
- You will have less headaches
- Your overall health will improve
What is it like to do Dry January?
If you have been skeptical about the benefits of taking on a Dry January, look no further than the #DryJanuary hashtag on social media, where people have shared how the challenge has helped them, from getting better sleep to reevaluating their relationships with others.