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Are you participating in Dry January? Millions of people cut back or abstain from alcohol in January for a variety of reasons. The first step toward being successful in abstaining from alcohol for the month is knowing your WHY.

If you are wondering if a month free from alcohol can actually make a difference, the answer is yes. People who participate in Dry January say that after a month free from alcohol, they sleep better, have more energy, lose some weight, and even save money.  Some say they notice improvements in their skin and hair. They also lowered their blood pressure and cholesterol levels and reduced cancer-related proteins in their blood. Abstaining from alcohol can also benefit your heart, liver, memory, and relationships could be all the better for it.

Heavier drinking or long-term drinking can increase physical and mental problems, especially among older adults. Other common issues associated with drinking are heart and liver damage, a higher cancer risk, a weakened immune system, memory issues, and mood disorders are common issues.

Rethinking Drinking is a wevsite created by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). It is an excellent resource to get started. NIAAA recommends limiting alcohol to two daily drinks or less for men and no more than one drink a day for women.

If you'd like to cut down your alcohol consumption and start off the new year clean, join in the Dry January challenge by choosing not to drink beer, wine, or spirits for one month.

Dry January Apps

Here are some tips for a successful Dry January...

  • 1

    Plan In Advance for Social Events

    Think ahead before attending an event that includes alcohol. Whether it is watching and NFL games with friends or going out on a Saturday night, plan how what you will drink in advance. For social situations, or when you crave a cocktail after a long day, reach for alcohol-free beverages like sparkling water, soda, or mocktails (non-alcoholic cocktails. 

  • 3

    Work Together

    Going through dry January alone can be tremendous task, doing it with a partner or a friend can help make things even more rewarding. The support a pair can provide gives everyone some accountability, just like having  a workout partner. Let friends and family know about your intentions and encourage them to keep you accountable. Better yet, enlist someone to do the challenge with you.

  • 3

    Reward Yourself

    Going even a few days without a drink can feel like a humongous task, but if you treat the small milestones with tempting rewards, it can incentivize the process. Instead of celebrating with a few drinks, use that money somewhere else and go to the spa, get a fancy dinner, or buy that movie you’ve been meaning to watch.

  • 4

    Avoid Temptations

    Keep alcohol out of your house or move it to a place that is hard to reach. When you are invited to someone's home, bring your non-alcoholic drinks with you.

  • 5

    Don't Let a Slip Up Stop You

    If you slip up, don't feel guilty. Just begin again the next day.  Do not let one slip derail your plans for the rest of the month.


  • 6

    Avoid Pressure To Drink

    Ad mom used to say, "Just because the other kids are doing it, doesn't mean you have to."  This also applies to alcohol.  Make your own decisions and stick with them. Don't let peer pressure get the best of you. This is a personal choice and true friends or family should understand that.

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