Sunday, January 5, 2020

Dry January?

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This week's focus is on physical (and mental) health.

The holidays have come and gone. Parties, celebrations, work events, time with family and friends, vacations and more. And for many people, this five-week period from Thanksgiving through New Year's likely included overindulgence. Overdoing alcohol, sugar, calories, spending and more.

Dry January is a way to hit the reset button on one of these areas--alcohol consumption. It is a conscious decision to not drink booze during the month of January.

This practice recently started in Britain as part of a public health campaign. A 2018 poll in the UK showed as many as 1 in 10 people had planned to stay dry for the month of January 2019. Researchers at the University of Sussex then tracked participants. They found that abstaining from alcohol for a month can have many benefits, including:

  • better overall health
  • saving money
  • sense of achievement
  • improved sleep
  • weight loss
  • improved skin appearance
People who abstained for 30 days also reported that they thought more about why they drink, and felt they had more control over their drinking. 

Additionally, the study also showed that giving up alcohol for 30 days had long term effects as well. People who abstained in January and then resumed were found to have decreased the frequency and amount they drank, as well as how often they drank until drunk seven months after completing their one-month period of abstinence. (For more information on the study click here.)

Sound good? Remember from last week's post it is easier to give something up if you replace it with something else (the plus minus trick). It's also easier to do if you make the commitment with a friend so that the two of you can find something else to do instead of going to a bar or sharing a bottle of wine. There is also a free ap available for both Apple and Android that can help (to download the ap click here.) For more tools and tips, visit the Alcohol Change UK website.

Toasting you and your health with a cup of mint tea with honey. Cheers!

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