People who engage in “Dry January” are most commonly looking for a way to take a break from the overindulgent holidays. From Thanksgiving until January 1st, many of us are paraded from one event to the next, handed one drink after the other, and asked to indulge in libations with friends, family, and coworkers.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself during the holidays, but it’s also no secret that we live in an alcohol-dominated society. It is common for many us to develop alcohol-related habits that have a negative impact on our physical and mental health.
We chose to partake in 30-days of sobriety for several reasons. We wanted to: give our bodies a break from alcohol’s negative side effects, re-train our brains so that they do not rely on alcohol during specific situations (stress, social, habit), and explore the positive consequences of not drinking on our bodies and lives!
The first 15 days of this challenge was eye-opening, but it wasn’t painful. Were there moments of uncomfortability? Sure. Did we feel a slight pang of jealousy when our friends popped a fresh bottle of wine on Friday night? Maybe a little. But what was more surprising was how much we didn’t miss alcohol. When seeing our friends and family on the weekends, it was easy to replace an alcoholic beverage with a diet ginger ale or a tall glass of tonic and lime. In fact, we downright forgot we weren’t drinking!
The most eye-opening part of this experience is how much we’ve gained by eliminating alcohol from our lives. For one, we kept money that would have otherwise been spent on a nice bottle of wine or a fancy beer.
We also conserved calories by not drinking for 30 days! The average alcoholic beverage contains approximately 100 calories. Over the course of a month, a person might on average drink one beverage per day. That’s 3,000 calories gained in a period of 30 days. Those are crazy gains for any person’s waistline.
We also noticed some physical benefits of not drinking. Both of us enjoyed clearer skin and less physical bloating. We experienced better sleep at night and as a result, woke up feeling fully rested. Having no hangovers was obviously amazing and led to both of us feeling more productive and energized on the weekends! This challenge was a real win-win for everyone.
Morgan has completed this challenge twice in the last 6 months and Meghann has completed her first round of it without any regrets! We have so many positive things to say about taking a break from alcohol, so why doesn’t everyone participate in a 30-day challenge like this more often?
We think it has to do with the fear of missing out (FOMO, am I right?). Young 20 and 30 year olds don’t want to miss out on their weekend going out with friends. They worry that if they make the decision to say no to alcohol for any period of time, they won’t have fun or enjoy themselves while they are out. We’re here to tell you that this isn’t true! You can be social, have fun with your friends, and choose not to drink. In all honesty, you will probably forget that you are not drinking in most social situations.
However, if it is true that you can’t be around your friends without the influence of alcohol for 30 days, it might be a good time to evaluate your friend group and the long-term consequences that their habits and behaviors are having on your health. It’s not something that any of us want to hear, but… maybe this is why you’re here… reading this… on our blog.
Listen. It’s called a sobriety challenge for a reason. It’s not all sprinkles and rainbows and magic, but it you set out to accomplish this one-month task, you might realize that alcohol does not play as important of a role as you think it does in your life. You might even feel as though you gain more than you lose by not drinking, just like we did!
We look forward to our next 30 day sobriety challenge (maybe in July or August) and hope that you will consider participating with us then. If you are interested in learning more or if you have any reflections from the January 2020 Challenge, please be sure to comment below or on our YouTube videos! We would love to hear from you.