We hear the saying ‘Dry January’ a lot. Although many individuals use this time to better their physical, mental, and emotional health, it may not be the best idea. This blog post will explain to you how a dry January can lead to a wet February – ultimately forgoing all of the hard work and dedication put into abstaining from alcohol in January. So rather than living a completely dry month, our team at Maui Recovery recommends taking an approach that can sustainably benefit both your physical health and mental well-being.
It’s no secret that holiday periods often result in high levels of drinking. Studies suggest that holiday seasons can increase the likelihood of binge drinking. Many people find themselves under so much stress during holiday time that they feel like drinks are their only outlet for relaxation and release of the buildup of holiday pressures. This is especially true when large family gatherings are involved, as many people may feel overwhelmed facing numerous holiday-related conversations and expectations from family members. Additionally, the holiday season is full of social activities, such as holiday parties and celebrations, where alcohol typically flows freely which can sometimes lead to excessive consumption or even binge drinking.
However, this kind of binge drinking can be detrimental in a variety of ways. The more you drink, the less aware you become–the holiday season should not be an excuse for impaired judgment and recklessness. Additionally, holiday hangovers can make participating in holiday fun much harder. And finally, holiday partying often means a potential increase in drunk driving cases.
Unrealistic New Years Resolutions
Every new year is an opportunity to make positive changes in our lives and reflect on how we want the upcoming year to look. One way to do this is by creating new years resolutions that provide encouragement and motivation to become a better version of ourselves. Our goals, which may range from simple everyday tasks such as drinking more water or exercising consistently, to larger projects like learning a new skill or saving money, can help keep us organized throughout the year and create structure within our lives. Additionally, they serve as encouragement as we track our progress and make small accomplishments along the way. Goals help us imprint moments of success that persevere us through trying times ahead.
Unfortunately, many people’s resolutions are too ambitious, resulting in an 80% drop-off rate of resolution keepers by the second week in February. To avoid disappointment and take advantage of this motivating time, it is important to set more manageable goals. Creating a realistic roadmap towards detoxing any unhealthy behaviors will ensure that progress is being made, as opposed to just giving up altogether.
Health Benefits of Dry January
Taking a break from drinking alcohol can be beneficial to health in so many ways. Forgoing alcohol for one month can result in an improvement in your skin health, energy levels, liver function, and weight loss. Even though drinking may seem socially necessary, the health benefits of abstaining from mind-alteration substances for a month are simply unparalleled. Studies have demonstrated that avoiding alcohol can improve health by reducing inflammation and resetting liver health. In addition, going without alcohol for one month allows the body to focus on metabolic processes that promote health, such as burning calories more efficiently which results in weight loss.
Dry January Mindset
After too many holiday celebrations filled with alcoholic beverages, lots of people have taken up the “Dry January” challenge to abstain from drinking this month. The trend started back in 2013 when an organization based in Britain first suggested it and has since gained traction as even US citizens jumped on board. With governmental support for public health initiatives following shortly after, Dry January is now widely popular worldwide. As the New Year begins and after a month-filled holiday season of social gatherings and celebratory drinks, many individuals are excited to take on this challenge and be proud of their accomplishment when they finally achieve it. By taking part in Dry January, not only do participants test their willpower and resilience, but they also experience improved health benefits too!
While January may seem like a good month to promote abstention from alcohol, it can actually be detrimental in some cases. Having an end date like this can lead people to think they have accomplished their goals and are free to return to their old habits. Unfortunately, the simple act of setting a month away with no alcohol isn’t sufficient in and of itself for many people. When the month comes to an end, binge drinking and relapse are not uncommon occurrences. Your hard work could soon be wasted if you do not understand how a dry January can lead to a wet February. It is important for individuals to take ownership of their part in maintaining sobriety, as having a month off from drinking is not enough to build lasting success; it must be nurtured every month of the year.
What February Could Look Like
After a month of being sober, February often looks like a binge drinker’s paradise. Many people get excited to finally have the opportunity to go out and celebrate their accomplishments from the previous month. Unfortunately, that excitement can often lead to an entire month of excessive drinking, followed by feelings of regret and shame. This can ultimately trap people in an unhealthy cycle of repeating similar behaviors each year. While celebrating is welcomed and encouraged, it’s important to make informed decisions about how much and how often we are drinking especially after a month-long break from alcohol.
Dietary Guidelines For Americans and Alcohol
Here at Maui Recovery, our team values the importance of knowing the dietary guidelines for Americans and alcohol consumption as a way to keep yourself safe and healthy. It’s important to understand that moderation is key when it comes to drinking alcohol. Too much alcohol can increase your risk for obesity, and chronic diseases such as heart disease, and liver problems, and can even lead to addiction. Learning about what should be consumed responsibly allows us to take control of our lives, stay informed on our health, and be safer from preventable problems.
To maintain a healthy lifestyle, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, established by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture encourage moderate drinking in moderation. Women are recommended to have no more than one drink per day while men can partake in up to two drinks daily. A single alcoholic beverage is equal to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits with 80-proof alcohol content.
Helpful Tips For Drinking Less Long Term
Monitor Your Drinks
It is important to monitor how many drinks we have in a night to prevent ourselves from engaging in unhealthy and dangerous behavior. Binge drinking alcohol can cause us to make bad decisions and suffer health complications. Monitoring alcohol consumption will ensure that our mental, physical, and emotional well-being remain healthy and that we can make decisions that are in line with our better judgment.
It’s important to measure our alcoholic drinks correctly when we go out for the night, not just for our health but also to stay safe. If we measure our beverages incorrectly, we may end up consuming too much alcohol and putting ourselves in danger. Not only can excessive drinking lead to higher risks of cancer and liver disease, but it can lead to accidents and other bad decisions that could have lifelong consequences. Measurement is key when it comes to enjoying a few drinks responsibly and avoiding overindulgence; taking a few moments each time would be worth it in the end.
Pacing yourself with alcoholic beverages is a critical strategy for having a safe and enjoyable night out. Staying aware of your alcohol consumption and using strategies to pace yourself can help keep you out of harm’s way, physically and emotionally. Moderating your drinking pace is beneficial because it helps reduce your risk of blacking out, getting sick, or even getting injured in dangerous situations. Even though it’s easy to get carried away the longer you stay out and the more alcohol that is consumed, it’s important to always keep pace in mind and find ways to limit the number of drinks consumed during any given night. Remember to pace yourself responsibly and your night out will be more enjoyable for everyone!
Alternate Alcohol with Water
Drinking water during a night out is an essential part of drinking alcohol responsibly. Not only does water help to rehydrate the body, but it also prevents dehydration, which can lead to dizziness or even more serious issues like alcohol poisoning. Alternating water with alcoholic drinks will not only keep you hydrated and feeling better the next morning, but it will also ensure that you have full control over your actions at all times. Taking the extra step of regularly alternating water and liquor on a night out is one way to take care of yourself and your friends by having one drink, then an equal amount of water–it’s a simple process that can make a world of difference!
Eating food is an essential part of sustaining health, even more so when participating in activities that can be potentially harmful to the body. Before drinking alcohol, eating food will ensure that your body enters the night of drinking with energy and a full stomach, as well as help prevent any negative reactions after drinking. During the night it’s important to eat food as not only does food absorb some of the alcohol entering your system but also helps keep up your energy levels and keeps you going through the night. Lastly, after you’ve finished drinking it is essential to eat food soon afterward to replenish lost vitamins and nutrients, as well as help soothe any queasiness or nausea. Eating food before, during, and/or after a night of drinking is essential in maintaining a healthy lifestyle while simultaneously promoting responsible consumption of alcohol.
Spend More Time With a Hobby
When you are trying to reduce your alcohol consumption, hobby activities can be a great way to replace the time spent drinking with something fulfilling. Perhaps you have an old hobby that you haven’t had a chance to pursue in a while. Take the opportunity to rediscover it and the joys of getting lost in a creative pursuit. Or find some new hobby activities that get you excited – for instance, learning woodworking or photography, joining a weekly drop-in sports team, taking classes at your local community center – anything that catches your eye and helps distract you from the urge to drink. Remember: hobby activities offer positive benefits while drinking liquor offers only fleeting moments of enjoyment followed by long-term negative consequences. By finding an enjoyable hobby or activity that brings true fulfillment, it will become easier and easier to avoid relying on alcohol as the go-to means of entertainment.
When to Know that You Need Professional Help
If you feel like your drinking is slowly becoming out of control or slipping into bingeing, it is important to seek professional help. Alcohol addiction can quickly spiral out of control and become dangerous, so the sooner professional help is sought out, the better the outcome may be. It is not an admission of weakness to know that professional help is necessary to make meaningful changes in your life and relationship with alcohol. Seeking professional help shows strength as it requires courage to take the first step in addressing and overcoming addiction. If you are struggling with drinking too much or engaging in unhealthy behaviors around alcohol, professional help may be necessary.
Maui Recovery is Here to Help
If you are looking for professional help to address your alcohol problem, look no further than Maui Recovery. Whether it’s binge drinking getting out of hand or regular dependence on alcohol, our professional team of experienced counselors is here to support and guide you in making healthy changes. We understand the various challenges faced when trying to gain control over drinking habits and are ready to help you make the positive transformation needed.
Maui Recovery offers an innovative program that fuses Holistic Wellness, Best-Practice Care, Nature & Transformative Experiences to bring about a lasting and successful recovery. On the captivating island of Maui, individuals embark on their very own Hero’s Journey to conquer difficult battles while discovering purpose and enthusiasm for life. Our safe sanctuary is designed with healing and growth at its center; giving each ample opportunity for meaningful inner work as well as spiritual development within our supportive community family atmosphere. By engaging with our services, clients can delve inward and dismiss the deceptive input that has been dictating their lives, eventually uncovering their true selves.
At Maui Recovery, we understand addiction and its effects on lifestyle. We provide comprehensive care for a wide variety of issues. Whether it’s gambling, sex, PTSD, drugs, or another type of dependence, we strive to help our clients overcome their needs and transform their lives through recovery. We make sure our patients have all the resources they need to be successful in rehab. Our experienced staff is committed to providing personalized attention and expert care for every client who walks through our doors.
If you or your loved one is struggling. Don’t be afraid to reach out to Maui Recovery at www.mauirecovery.com or (877)469-2261.