Have you ever participated in 'Dry January' before? If you haven't heard of it, it's a public health campaign where people all around the United States and Europe decide to abstain from alcohol for the month. Some think of it as a New Years Resolution, for others it's a yearly tradition.

Here at Reframe, we believe in taking small steps each day to change one's relationship with alcohol. Dry January may seem like a big step, but it's important to understand that it doesn't have to be completely dry if that's not in your best interest. Feel perfectly free to set your own goals for Dry January! We think it can be a great opportunity to check in on your drinking habits and your current relationship with alcohol to prepare your objectives for 2022.

Today, let's talk about 5 reasons to participate in Dry January, whatever that may look like for you.

1) Healthier appearance

Even over the course of a month, your body can experience changes when you cut back on or abstain from alcohol. Alcohol can have a dehydrating impact on the body, making many features dull and dry. Say 'hello' to radiant skin and brighter eyes! Not to mention, less alcohol can lead to weight loss.

2) Improved energy and sleep

There's been a rumor that alcohol can improve sleep, but actually, it hinders it. When you participate in Dry January, you'll find yourself waking up feeling truly rested and having enough energy throughout your day. In addition, you won't have to worry about hangovers!

3) Saving money

When we're spending on alcohol, it adds up so, so fast. When you set goals to cut back or abstain from alcohol, you're automatically going to spend less money. If you want, you can even do the calculations - see how much you've spent on alcohol in the month of December, then compare that to how much you spend during Dry January. You're sure to see a difference.

4) Better and brighter moods

Alcohol interacts with our brain's chemicals in a way that can lead to increased cortisol, or the stress hormone. This means that someone who drinks often may suffer from increased stress due to actual physical effects. In Dry January, you may experience decreased stress and better moods.

5) Assessing how your body feels when cutting back

Here at Reframe, we think one of the greatest aspects of Dry January is the opportunity to see how your body feels with less or no alcohol in it. It may be a bit of a transition period for you, depending on how new you are to this lifestyle of a changed relationship with alcohol. You may experience setbacks, you may experience amazing benefits, but no matter what, you'll have a better understanding of your own body and how alcohol interacts with it. And that, we think, is priceless.

If you're convinced, here's a couple quick tips on participating in Dry January.

  • Think about it ahead of time and set realistic goals for yourself
  • Ask for support from friends and family
  • Practice saying "no" to alcohol ahead of time
  • Think of some coping mechanisms you can turn to, such as a favored hobby
  • Keep track of your drinks (We can help with that!)

Whether or not you decide to participate in Dry January, we at Reframe encourage you to assess your relationship with alcohol, and we are here to support you on your journey of altering that relationship.

And remember - you've got this.