No, but in all seriousness, I do truly want to make a serious go of “Dry January” for 2021. I did well in 2020, but didn’t finish my month completely free of alcohol (read about it here). I wanted to chronicle the 2021 efforts a bit more, so here we are. Side note, I find it annoying to keep reading/typing “Dry January” so henceforth it is abbreviated to DJ. :).
As a bit of backstory/comparison, I am a person who really enjoys all the alcohols (mostly, gin does quite a number for my mean streak lol). I consistently have one glass of wine per evening (sometimes 2 if I have a smaller wine glass), and multiple beers during the viewing of a football game (average of 3). I drink alone and I drink with others. Of course I can’t go to bars/pubs, but when I could/can, I typically will have 2-6 drinks in an evening. I do not believe I have an alcohol problem or addiction, but I probably drink more than I “should” by standard medical recommendations.
I finished 2020 New Years Eve with a (surprisingly) low alcohol consumption tally. partially because I didn’t start my “drinking” until after 9pm, so perhaps that was an (accidental) kick start to DJ.
Taking note of some things I learned from the last few goes at sobriety:
1. I stocked my fridge with sparkling waters, kombucha (something I am learning to like, but not drawn toward greatly), protein shakes, and of course, loads of coffee.
2. Without being ridiculous, I tried to corral and downsize the amount of alcohol in my home. I have some beers and wine in the fridge, and my usual liquors, but honestly not much. I didn’t want to waste my money and dump all the alcohol down the drain, because that seemed silly to me.
3. I made a list of other hobbies and things I want to focus on doing/accomplishing.
In this first week I have noticed the following:
1. The quality of my sleep and ability to wake feeling refreshed is noticeably improved. I didn’t think I would feel so different, but I truly can tell. I have also been prioritizing my time sleeping, so I have been getting at least 8-hours per night. This feels sustainable and I have even woken up before my alarm a few mornings.
2. Not sure if it’s directly linked to the sleep improvement, or less alcohol BUT I also have more mental clarity and energy. I can very much recognize a shift in my focus, as well as my desire to do things that I might have previously postponed/procrastinated.
3. Less bloating. I feel less bloated overall, and I noticed significantly after day 2, from an aesthetic/physical view. I can see where my body/face looks less puffy and I can feel my stomach is not as distended. Without drinking as much, I am sure that I’m less drawn toward junk foods, but I HAVE noticed an increased sugar craving. Not so surprising, as I think my go to (wine) would normally stave those cravings for me, so without it my body is looking for other sources. I have tried to not overindulge in food/sweets though, as I want this month to be a strong physical change opportunity.
4. I am almost antsy. I think because I am not filling my body with depressants, I am now almost on edge because I feel myself having TOO much time. Productivity is at an all time high. Keeping in mind this could also be attributed to the “New Year” high that makes most feel spurred to action in the start of each January, I won’t take this as a direct link to the decrease in alcohol…but my house is literally clean, organized and so tidy that I feel a bit compulsive about it. I also have been well balanced with my hobbies/activities and such, so I feel like I could feasibly “waste” more time with mindless things, but then I would cycle through some sort of guilt lol. I have been working out regularly (4-5 days per week at a minimum), so I am hopeful that with the arrival of my new Peloton Tread+ (gets delivered next week!), I will be able to expend some of this newfound extra energy.
Overall, week 1 hasn’t felt awful. I could sense at times when I was craving a drink out of habit or routine, but able to recognize the pattern and shift my focus elsewhere. I haven’t really felt too tempted to indulge, though to be fair, my upcoming photo shoot (next week) has also been a great motivator in staying clean. I think the competitive streak in me also wants to best my DJ, year over year, so I want to make 2021 a full Zero, rather than having a few drinks like last DJ.
Anyone else out there doing DJ? How’s it going? Tips, tricks or just want to share your experience?
Also – If you suffer from any sort of addiction, or just feel like you want to take better control of your interactions with any substance or experience, please contact your medical practitioner, clergy or any other trusted source. I, nor my blog, are advocates for or against the use of drugs, alcohol or any other behavior.