4 Things I Learned from Doing Dry January

dry january

Happy February guys! Dry January is over – we made it!

In all honesty, I can’t say that doing Dry January was all that difficult for me. It may have just been timing: most of my holiday events were over and January just isn’t that busy of a month for people’s social calendars… Either way, it wasn’t all that bad, and I learned a few things along the way.

*I WILL give a disclaimer (because I know my husband will give me sh*t…lol), I did end up breaking my Dry January four days early because we had close friends in town from California. I made up for it by not drinking the first four days of February… (judge me if you will.)*

Anyway, here’s what I learned from taking a month off of drinking. 

  1. I Saved Money. This is probably the biggest change I noticed. Going out to eat while not drinking alcohol is SO CHEAP!!! I went to a “Dry January” happy hour AKA just discounted food prices and it was the best thing ever. I had an entire meal out at a nice restaurant in DC for less than $15. *Winning*
  2. I Was More Focused. I honestly found that I kind of liked being able to have Dry January as an excuse to not drink. I actually didn’t mind going to social events where others were drinking and I wasn’t. I had a clear mind and was able to stay more alert and engaged in conversations. I also had more time and got more sleep as I went to bed and woke up earlier.
  3. I Was Less Anxious. The biggest reason I dislike drinking is alcohol’s correlation with anxiety. While a glass of wine or two doesn’t affect me much, any more than that usually increases my anxiety levels afterward. While all the typical hangover symptoms suck as is, adding anxiety to the mix is not enjoyable. So, I definitely noticed an overall decrease in my anxiety levels throughout the entire month. This is something I knew already, but had never tried out how not drinking for an extended period of time would really affect my anxiety. It’s actually kind of awesome that such a simple change can make that big of a difference!
  4. I Discovered New Hobbies and Activities.  As I had a few other friends doing Dry January, we tried to plan activities that don’t require drinking. Of these, my favorite activity was a game night we hosted at our apartment. I drank tea and laughed harder than I have in months playing Cranium. It was honestly a great time, and I didn’t miss drinking one bit.

What were your experiences doing Dry January? I’d love to hear them!

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