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Sobriety Is More Than Just Abstaining From Alcohol – 5 Dry January Tips

Written by: Kathryn Sauser, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Are you sober curious? Are you considering participating in Dry January and abstaining from alcohol for a month? Dry January, or Sobriety January as it’s sometimes referred to, is the annual practice of abstaining from alcohol during January. It has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many people embracing the challenge as a way to start the year on the right foot. But Dry January is more than just abstaining from drinking; it’s a chance to take stock of your relationship with alcohol and reset your habits for healthier, more sustainable sobriety throughout the year.

 Legs of a man and a women pointing to a sign ''No Alcohol beyond this point''

So what does Dry January involve? Here are five tips for making the most out of this sober-curious experience:

1. Ask yourself the tough questions and understand your relationship with alcohol.


Are you in the vicious cycle of binge drinking, guilt, and shame? Are you relying on alcohol or food to cope with stress and anxiety? Is it affecting your bank account, your relationships, physical health, mental health, and overall well-being? The feelings of guilt and shame preventing you from enjoying life to the fullest and reaching your goals? Maybe it’s time to take a break and discover your relationship with alcohol. When it comes to achieving a better relationship with alcohol, it’s important to understand your relationship with alcohol. Whether you’re actively abstaining from alcohol or simply considering a dry January, it’s important to think about how alcohol has impacted your life and your relationships. If you’ve found yourself wondering if you have a drinking problem, chances are that you do. Some common signs of a drinking problem include blacking out, intense anxiety, and feeling ashamed of your behavior after drinking. If you're ready to break free from the vicious cycle of binge drinking, guilt, and shame, consider giving Dry January a try or exploring the Sober Curious movement. You may find that these approaches allow you to reset your relationship with alcohol, break unhealthy habits, and ultimately help you live a happier and healthier life.

2. Set Some Sober Goals


As you start your journey of Sobriety, Dry January, or any other sober journey, it is important to set some goals. Goals provide a clear and tangible way to measure progress in your sobriety journey and will help to keep you motivated and on track. Here are some sober goals that you might want to consider:

Create a daily routine – One of the most important things you can do when you’re getting sober is to create a daily healthy routine. Sober Community ‒ It’s also important to surround yourself with others who are on a similar journey, as this can provide much-needed support and encouragement. Start a gratitude journal – Writing down what you’re grateful for each day can help remind you of all the positive aspects of your life, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day. This practice can be especially helpful when facing cravings or feeling tempted to drink. Looking for a gratitude journal? Shop my Guided Progress over Perfection Sober CuriousJournal at kathrynsauser.com

Take up a new hobby – Getting sober doesn’t mean you have to give up all of your hobbies and pastimes. Now might be the perfect time to pick up a new hobby that keeps you busy and away from alcohol. Setting achievable goals can be a great way to stay motivated and inspired throughout your sobriety journey. You’ll feel proud of yourself for achieving those goals and motivated to keep going. By setting these simple goals, you can make sure that your sober journey is successful and that you reach your long-term goals of sobriety. Take it one day at a time, celebrate your small victories, and don’t forget to reach out for help when needed!

3. Educate Yourself on the Benefits of Sobriety


It’s no secret that the trend of Dry January has been gaining popularity in recent years. With more people seeking out sober lifestyle options, it’s clear that the Sober Curious movement is growing. So who do you think can benefit from leading a more sober lifestyle? I believe that anyone can benefit from leading a sober lifestyle, whether you choose to participate in Dry January or not. A sober lifestyle can bring greater clarity and focus, reduce stress, promote weight loss, improve sleep quality, and create better relationships with yourself and those around you. The benefits of leading a sober lifestyle are especially noticeable for individuals suffering from alcohol addiction or substance abuse problems. Even if you’re not in recovery or struggling with an addiction, many people report feeling more energized, productive, and focused when they abstain from drinking or drug use.


Furthermore, living a sober lifestyle can provide people with valuable skills in dealing with difficult situations without relying on substances. I want to encourage anyone considering embarking on a dry January or looking to incorporate more sober living practices into their lives to take the leap. The health benefits, mental clarity, and increased self-awareness that comes along with a sober lifestyle are undeniable and can be life-changing for many. I hope this inspires you to explore your reasons for a sober lifestyle and make the decision that is best for you.

4. Set yourself up for success in social situations


If you're looking to take on Dry January, setting yourself up for success is the key. It can be difficult to give up something that has become so embedded in your social life. But it’s important to remember that you don’t need alcohol to have fun and enjoy life. By taking the time to assess your relationship with alcohol and develop healthier habits, you can make the most of your sober journey. It's important to establish a strong support system that can provide you with encouragement and guidance throughout the month.


Consider joining a support group of like-minded individuals or hiring a professional coach who can help keep you on track. It's also important to remove people, places, and things that could potentially hold you back from reaching your goal. This could be anything from a drinking buddy, to a specific bar, or even a certain type of alcohol. To set yourself up for success, it's important to make small changes daily. This could mean taking an extra walk around the block each day, drinking an extra glass of water, or engaging in a new hobby or activity that replaces alcohol. Emotions when sober can be heightened. Be ready for any feelings that come up when you remove alcohol from your life. For many people, alcohol can be a symptom or a tool they use to cover up or ease social anxiety. When you remove it, it isn't always pure freedom. From my experience, it can be helpful to embrace any emotion that comes up and look at it as an opportunity for growth. Negative emotions such as anger, sadness, or resentment often indicate that something needs to change in your life. This is why it's really crucial to have a sober coach or support group. Finally, I can’t say this enough. It is extremely important to remember that if you do have a drink, don't just throw in the towel and give up! Aim for progress not perfection, where you recognize each slip-up as an opportunity to learn and come back stronger.


5. Self Compassion and Ask for Help!


Making the commitment to go alcohol-free for the entire month of January, or any length of time for that matter can be a difficult challenge to undertake. That's why it's so important to practice self-compassion during the journey and please don't be afraid to ask for help.


It's understandable to feel overwhelmed and even scared of entering into sobriety, so take it one step at a time and remember that you are not alone. There are many resources available to help support you on your journey, including sober coaches, support groups, and online forums.


Reaching out and connecting with friends and family who understand your goals can be an incredibly powerful way to stay motivated and accountable. It's ok to not be perfect—in fact, it's essential to practice self-compassion when it comes to sobriety.


Celebrate every small victory and don't be too hard on yourself if you experience a slip-up.


Taking part in Dry January or the Sober Curious Movement is an opportunity for self-reflection and introspection. It’s an opportunity to tune into your body and mind so that you can make healthier decisions in the long run. Checking in with yourself, taking the time to reflect and listening to your body, you can create healthier habits that will help you lead a healthier and happier life.


Deciding to abstain from alcohol during Dry January can be a great way to kickstart your year with a healthier lifestyle. As with anything, it's important to remember to take it slow, one day at a time, ask for help when needed, and practice self-compassion. Good luck and happy sobering!


 

Kathryn Sauser, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Kathryn Sauser Sober Curious Lifestyle Coach. Certified NLP, Fitness & Nutritionist. WBFF Pro Athlete. Founder of the Progress over Perfection Guided Journal. Shares Her Powerful Fitness & Sober Conscious Fitness Method guided women on end the guilty cycle of dieting, restricting, and weekend binging with a FUN & Sustainable Lifestyle Routine! Many programs only focus on physical goals without addressing the subconscious thoughts that rule our eating and drinking habits. As someone who started from nothing and has gone on to have massive success and impact thousands, she is obsessed with sharing the powerful tools she used to carry her out of depression and addiction into a life of freedom and joy.

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