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Considering Dry January? This Could Happen to You!

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While the assumption is that life without alcohol isn’t going to be any fun, I personally found that it is so much better than I expected. If you’re giving Dry January a go, here are some things that might happen to you! And go into it with a mindset of curiosity instead of assumptions.

1. Easier Mornings

Photo Credit: High Fliers Shutterstock.

Better mornings could be in your future! After waking up annoyed with my kids every morning on a family vacation, I had the realization that I didn’t want to live that way. The mornings are so much easier when I’m not drinking (this is even after just 2-3 drinks) and it turned into my favorite part of the day, I wake up feeling up feeling great and excited to start my day.

2. No More Shame or Guilt

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Whether it’s shame for something I did or said while tipsy or just sleeping in after a big night, these are things I no longer have to feel bad about.

3. More Energy

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It takes a week or so, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself with more energy. My improved energy lasted throughout the day as well. The most notable way to describe this is that I used to be an afternoon cold brew coffee drinker. Every afternoon I needed it to get me through the rest of the day and my cut-off would be 3pm, 4pm at the LATEST. After I quit drinking, I can’t sleep if I drink ANY caffeine, even green tea (!) after 12pm.

4. I Felt My Feelings

Photo Credit: Olena Yakobchuk.

No more numbing your feelings, which can feel like both a blessing and a curse as the good times will be that much better – but the same is true for the bad times. And I would say I found this to be true. Overall, I feel SO much happier, but when things aren’t going so great, you have to move through those feelings too, instead of drinking to numb the feelings.

5. Noticing the Little Things

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Similar to feeling your feelings, you might start noticing and appreciating little things in life so much more than I previously had. Maybe some of it is age, but noticing the birds, flowers, and the sky now fills me with gratitude, and it’s lovely!

6. Better Sleep

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Turns out alcohol is terrible for sleep, so after that initial week or so, don’t be surprised if you find yourself getting better and better sleep.

7. Read More Books

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I recommend reading plenty of quit lit (self-help genre designed to help people give up alcohol or reduce their alcohol intake – from Collins Dictionary) if you’re taking a break, but I think you’ll be surprised by how much more time you find yourself having.

8. Found Real Self-Care

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If you stop drinking, you need to find self-care that doesn’t involve winding down with a drink. Now, I would argue that drinking as self-care is more of a numbing technique than true self-care, so it’s been a fun project to figure out what self-care looks like now.

9. More Time

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I can’t figure out how or why this is the case, but you will have more time when you stop drinking. I guess we all assume drinking is a secondary activity behind something else, but maybe it’s not. It’s not always super obvious, but the fact that I needed to find hobbies and was able to read a lot more would lead me to believe this is true.

10. More Mental Space

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If you’re questioning your drinking, you probably spend (waste!) a lot of mental chatter on “should I drink? should I not drink?” back and forth or even spending mental space coming up with rules around alcohol like “I’m only going to drink on the weekends.” Removing the question will free up precious mental space.

11. Obsessed with Coffee

Cappuccino in a blue tea cup with saucer.
Photo Credit: My Everyday Table.

Ok, ok, so this one might just be me, but I love coffee even more now. Pictured is my favorite morning cappuccino.

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  1. Iris (Cookie) Plunkett

    Loved your Espresso Tonic, but substituted the Tonic Water for Diet Tonic Water to cut out the carbs since I am a Type 1 Diabetic. Loved your story even more. This December I will celebrate 24 wonderful years of sobriety. It was probably the best decision I ever made and improved my life in every way, just as it did yours. I chose AA to help me and it not only helped me to stay sober, but it literally provided me some of the best FREE therapy I’ve ever had. I recommend it to anyone who wants to get sober and stay sober. I am very proud of you and I know how much these birthdays mean to us. Good for You! I do not mind my name being published if it might encourage someone else.