If you’re at the point of Dry January where you’re wondering why in the world you ever committed to one whole month without alcohol, we’re here to help. Though it may seem like an uphill battle, we’ve got ways to help get you through and on to the other side – feeling lighter, brighter, and just altogether better.
It’s our goal to be a resource for you throughout this month, so you’re not intimidated by 31 long days of no booze. Having a plan and tools in place can not only help you reach your goal more easily but maybe even enjoy the experience along the way. Maybe by the time February rolls around, you’ll realize you don’t miss the alcohol that much after all.
Set realistic goals that don’t intimidate you.
Though this first tip may seem unnecessary, it’s actually very important. If you don’t have a realistic goal for this experiment, how will you measure its success once you’ve finished? This doesn’t mean you have to post them online for the whole world to see (though you can if you feel comfortable doing that) but just keep written documentation of where you would like to be on February 1.
If you feel hesitant, you can start by setting a small goal for yourself; something like only having one drink per day. If you want something a little more driven, hold yourself accountable for having no alcohol throughout the month.
Create a new routine.
It’s easy for alcohol to become an integral part of our daily routines. The desire to retire from work, head home to pour yourself a glass of wine isn’t all that unusual. If you want to give Dry January a go and are worried about not being able to stick to it because you’ll feel tempted, start a new routine. Instead of going home and having a cocktail; run a few errands on your way, start a new fitness class, see a movie with a friend, or join a book club. Creating a new routine to look forward to at the end of the day will serve as the perfect distraction to skipping happy hour for the month.
Start a new kind of peer pressure.
One of the best tips to getting through Dry January in one piece? Recruiting a friend to do it with you. Not only will this friend be a source of accountability for you, but they’ll also be there to keep you company as you begin a new routine and partake in non-drinking activities. When you’re struggling mid-month to remember why you committed to this in the first place, they’ll listen to your struggles and you’ll listen to theirs. And, then when you’ve both come out on the other side, you’ll have someone to celebrate with, too.
Give yourself some grace.
Alcohol is an easy thing to turn to at all stages of life – whether you’re celebrating, sad, happy, angry, or depressed. It’s also usually the first thing we turn to when we’re stressed or need some time to ourselves. So, if you have a glass of wine two weeks into January and feel yourself wanting to give up – it’s important to give yourself a little grace. Rather than calling the experiment a failure and scrapping the whole thing, don’t look at that one glass as the end of the world. Remember – cutting back is better than nothing at all. If you end up having a drink, don’t go a step further and keep drinking for the rest of the month. Take things in stride and recommit to your original goal.
Find a non-alcoholic alternative you enjoy.
We saved the best for last. Want to incorporate an alternative that will leave you feeling refreshed and satisfied much like your favorite alcoholic cocktails do? Look no further. At Amethyst, we created two invigorating non-alcoholic botanical spirits that can be enjoyed in a similar fashion to vodka or gin. Replace the alcohol in your favorite cocktails (find some of our favorite recipes here) and we promise, you won’t even miss your old way of indulgence. If drinking is a habit, then finding a substitute that you love is the key to thriving throughout Dry January.
Regardless of whether you choose to start drinking again on February 1 or decide to keep the sober train rolling, Dry January is a great way to gain some perspective on your body and mind’s relationship with alcohol. Give an Amethyst cocktail a try and you may even find you don’t miss the alcohol as much as you thought you might.