Blog > A Coach’s 9 Tips for a Successful Dry January

A Coach’s 9 Tips for a Successful Dry January

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Empty wine glass with Dry January sign

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When it comes to alcohol, many people overindulge over the holidays, so if you’re among them, don’t feel like you’ve committed some grave mistake. Instead, you should look at the new year as an opportunity to detox and see the health benefits that follow. It’s an excellent time to finally break a bad habit.

Dry January — or sustaining from alcohol for the entire month of January — has become a trendy way to give your body a reset after the holidays and start the year on a healthy note. However, for some, achieving a fully Dry January can be difficult. Alcohol is frequently associated with social gatherings, activities such as watching sports, and the simple desire to relax after a lengthy workday. Thus, eliminating it entirely from your life is a challenging task.

Should you decide to embrace Dry January for your health and wellbeing, we’re here to support you. Debbie Chueh, an Arootah Coach and Coach Program Manager, provides nine strategic tips to navigate Dry January successfully.

5 Key Benefits of Alcohol Detoxification

Before getting into how to abstain from alcohol for a month, it can be useful to understand why you might want to. While you likely know that frequent alcohol use and living a healthy lifestyle don’t exactly go together, there are many science-backed reasons for why this is the case. Here are five ways you can expect your health to improve over Dry January.

1. Improved skin

Alcohol is dehydrating and inflammatory, and, as studies have shown, this impacts your skin in a big way. Habitual drinking can lead to broken blood vessels, flushing, perioral dermatitis, rosacea and other issues.

2. Lower blood pressure

According to Mayo Clinic, just a one-time instance of having three drinks in a single sitting can raise your blood pressure immediately. However, repeatedly drinking several drinks in a sitting, on a regular basis, can raise your blood pressure overall, long-term.

3. Lower cholesterol levels

While the occasional drink won’t damage your cholesterol, heavy drinking can significantly increase cholesterol and overall increases your risk of heart disease, according to Healthline.

4. Enhanced energy

You’ve probably realized that, after a night of drinking, you don’t sleep very well, and you wake up feeling less than refreshed. This is because, as Harvard Health explains, alcohol increases stress while you sleep, causes insomnia, can worsen sleep-related breathing issues and simply disrupts your sleep as you likely need to get up to use the restroom. So, for more energy and better sleep, skip the drinks.

5. Better memory

Alcohol impacts both your short-term and long-term memory, and, with enough alcohol use over a period of time, you could put yourself at an increased risk of dementia.

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9 Coaching Tips to Have a Successful Dry January

So, how do you avoid the negative impacts of alcohol listed above and see the health benefits that follow, at least for January? Here’s what Chueh advises.

1. Enlist an accountability buddy to keep you on track

Find someone else in your circle who wants to participate in Dry January and enlist them as an accountability buddy. They’ll help you stay motivated, and you can find fun ways to replace alcohol together, whether that be swapping your cocktails for mocktails, or adopting new hobbies that don’t require drinking.

2. Make a public declaration

Is no one in your circle interested in participating in Dry January? Enlist them as accountability partners anyway. Make a public declaration of your commitment to staying sober in January on social media and otherwise, and update those around you on your progress. You may just find that not wanting to admit to failure is enough to keep you going.

3. Use the Arootah Habit Coach app to track your progress

Using an app like Arootah Habit Coach helps you track your progress (like days gone without a drink) in real-time, so you can see your progress. The app is even more effective when used in collaboration with a coach!

4. Choose mocktails

As the sober-curious movement grows, so does the number of non-alcoholic options available to you. Check out the mocktails at your local bar, make some at home, or pick up a bottle of non-alcoholic wine or non-alcoholic beer.

“Consider this idea: Replace your usual alcoholic cocktail with seltzer water garnished with fruit. It’s a choice that keeps the celebratory ritual of the new year alive and supports you in having a Dry January,” says Chueh.

5. Make it a competition

If your friends or family members are on the fence about participating in Dry January, make it into a competition. You can see who can go the longest without a drink and aim to complete the entire month.

6. Work with a health coach

Working with a health coach can help you take a broader look at your health and nutrition and how your alcohol use impacts it. This holds you accountable and helps you take a holistic approach to Dry January.

7. Find a new habit

Often, drinking is a habit that you just fall into because you’re bored, stressed, or just because. So, replace your nightly drink with a healthy habit that offers similar benefits. For instance, if you use alcohol as a stress management technique, meditate instead. You’ll find that it’s possible to relieve stress without booze.

8. Remove drinks from your home

If you think you won’t be able to withstand the temptation, simply remove all alcohol from your house.

9. Participate in events that don’t involve drinking

If drinking is a social activity for you, begin looking for activities that don’t or can’t include drinking — such as taking a fitness class, hiking, going to the theater, etc.

The Bottom Line

Even cutting out alcohol for just a month can be beneficial. By implementing these nine tips, you can have a successful and healthy Dry January.

If drinking is an unhealthy habit you struggle with, but that you want to break in the new year, consider working with a health coach to overcome this habit and others, for your healthiest year yet. In the meantime, download the Arootah Habit Coach app, for immediate help jumpstarting your goals.

Disclaimer: This article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be taken as professional medical, psychological, legal, investment, financial, accounting, or tax advice. Arootah does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or suitability of its content for a particular purpose. Please do not act or refrain from acting based on anything you read in our newsletter, blog or anywhere else on our website.

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