While “dry January” started as an attempt to make up for excessive alcohol during the holiday season, more and more people are now partaking in Dry January to curb negative drinking habits which occurred hand and hand with the isolation and stress during the COVID pandemic.
Why do people want to curb their drinking? They might be concerned about their dependency on alcohol or notice their increased anxiety and depression symptoms.
After all, alcohol is literally a central nervous system suppressant.
How might dry January help?
Taking a month off from drinking might help you:
- Assess your relationship with alcohol and assess your dependency on it to relieve stress or elevate your mood.
- Find out if you have more motivation and energy or feel less irritable.
- Form new habits — like turning down alcohol in social settings.
- Find alternatives to reaching for a drink. This could include emotion regulation skills (like counting or slow breathing) or distraction (like working on a puzzle). You can figure out what works for you with the help of a therapist.
- Find out you can enjoy yourself without a chemical aid. Maybe you decide ultimately to drink less or not at all.