Why I’m not drinking for 3 months: Reflecting on Dry January

I’ve been reflecting on Dry January a lot this week, as the month draws to a close.

I wanted to share some of the things that have come up for me, in the hope it resonates with anyone else on their Sober Curious journey.

5 things I’ve learnt from Dry January

  1. Alcohol is my scapegoat for stress. Hitting the ground running with work has made me realise how much I use alcohol as a quick fix for stress. Without that quick fix, January has been a really tough and challenging month for my mental health.
  2. It’s forced me to be strict with my other self-care practices that, although more challenging (and often take longer), are just as stress relieving whilst being way better for my mental and physical health. Meditation, walks, time off social media and the gym are my go-to’s.
  3. My body’s natural state is peace and happiness. It’s the external (and internal) pressures I place on myself that remove that positive energy.
  4. Whilst it sure is delicious, I do not need a gin & tonic to achieve this natural state.
  5. Finally, completely non-judgemental observation. People are really, really weird about alcohol. Next to caffeine, there is no other substance in the UK that is so glamorized, sugar-coated and used as a marker for social acceptance. Humans are wild!

I made a decision at the start of the year and for some reason, waited ’til now to say it online.

I’ve decided to extend my Dry January to January-March. A 3 month booze free challenge. Why? Because…

  • I love a challenge and although I’m the least competitive person in the world, I am competitive with myself
  • Intuitive eating has lead me to truly want healthier choices for my body
  • Alcohol isn’t serving me or my goals – my physical/mental health, my business, my relationships, my bank account, my life!
  • Clearly, I need to learn to manage my stress and energy levels in a way that allows me and my life to thrive. Alcohol, for me, is a barrier for my personal growth. And let’s face it, hangxiety (hangover anxiety) sucks
  • Why not, eh?

I’ve asked myself several times this month,

“Will I ever drink again?”

But that’s not really the point, is it? The point is that I have the choice. The choice to not feel anxious the day after a heavy night. The choice to enjoy a toast at a celebration. The choice to try a new cocktail on holiday. The choice to just have one and wake up clear headed.

The choice to spend time with other humans without feeling like I need to be drunk to be fun, to make memories, to be carefree, to be accepted.

That’s a choice I wanna be able to make!

Would love to hear your thoughts too if you tried Dry January this year?

Currently reading Sober Curious by Ruby Warrington, so I’m sure there’ll be more where that came from if you want to hear my thoughts and follow along!