10 Inside Tips on How to Achieve a Successful Dry January 2022
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Our correspondent Meredith Lepore is sharing the inside success tips she’s heard for the sober curious about how to achieve a successful Dry January – and build healthy habits that will last throughout 2022.
Dry January is growing in popularity
Even though the holidays are officially over, our hangovers from two weeks straight (if not more) of excessive eating, drinking, and gifting are still going strong. Perhaps this is why Dry January continues to get bigger every year.
15% of Americans did a dry January last year
Recent polls from Morning Consult and YouGov found that as many as 15% of Americans took a vacation from alcohol in January 2021 and that number could be bigger in 2022.
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benefits of success in a dry January are numerous
The benefits of going dry are numerous for your health, both physical and mental. A clean month can help with weight loss, improve digestion and help you sleep better. And it can do wonders for your mental health.
Dr. Daryl Appleton, a psychotherapist, told The New York Post, “Allowing your body and brain to take a break from alcohol can potentially decrease cortisol and the stress it puts on the system, which allows for rest and repair. Since alcohol is a depressant, taking a break can also uncover if alcohol is masking emotional symptoms as a Band-Aid or contributing to them by making anger, sadness and isolation feel worse.”
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Dry January is becoming a global trend in 2022
Indeed, Dry January is no longer just a little trend but rather a global movement. Sometimes even lasting past a month. However, if this is your first time doing Dry January (or maybe just a sober-curious January), it can be a bit daunting to wrap your head around.
Luckily Hilary Sheinbaum, author of The Dry Challenge: How to Lose the Booze for Dry January, Sober October, and Any Other Alcohol-Free Month (AKA the bible for Dry January) is here to guide us through it and we’ve got some great suggestions for non-alcoholic tasty beverages that will make you forget about alcohol (until January, 31st at least.)
Insider expert tips: How to start Dry January 2022
According to Sheinbaum, “The best way to start Dry January is first by keeping in mind that giving up alcohol, even for one month, is tough — alcohol is embedded in our society and certainly our social plans are often accompanied by drinking. (Think: birthdays, networking, dating, weddings, and even grieving.) That said, be kind and patient with yourself first and foremost when you’re starting a Dry January, or any other alcohol free month.”
tips on How to set up for success at the start of Dry January
Grab a buddy
Sheinbaum said, “If you’ve never done a Dry January before and are a bit intimidated, it might be helpful to recruit a friend to do it with you, or at least a cheerleader who will support your personal goal. Not only will this person help you stay accountable, but the former will also be able to relate to your objectives. Strength in numbers, right? I think it’s also fun, and helpful, to try nonalcoholic drinks to replace boozy ones. Sometimes holding a glass of any beverage at a party can make you feel comfortable!”
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Get in touch with how drinking makes you feel
Sheinbaum told DC, “Getting in the right mindset can be different, depending on your personality. Some people set mantras or they journal about their experiences. If you’re planning on doing a Dry January and plan early enough (in December or another boozy time period), you can write down how you feel after a night of drinking or a week of parties and then compare it to a day or week during your dry month. You can also guess what might change over the course of 31 days without booze — like your skin, sleep, mood — and see if your predictions are correct!”
Find new activities that make you happy
Sheinbaum suggests looking for new activities, especially ones that don’t result in a hangover. “In terms of new tips, I think it’s fun to seek out experiences that don’t involve imbibing, so go to that ice cream shop you’ve been eyeing for months, or start a hobby or to-do list you’ve been putting off. Without drinking plans and hangovers, you’ll have a lot more time to do the things you love!”
If you “fall off the wagon” don’t give up!
Sheinbaum says it isn’t the end of the world if you drink some alcohol in January.” If you happen to have a drink or two during Dry January, not all is lost. Pick up where you left off! Call it a Damp January, or a 1-Drink January, and continue on your path.
It’s important to keep in mind that you’re human (me too) and no one is going to be perfect all of the time. Especially when it comes to new experiences, like sober months, it can be challenging! Some people prefer a Sober February rather than a Dry January because there are fewer days in the month — do what works for you!
In the end, The Dry Challenge is really about lessening your alcohol consumption and seeing how your day-to-day life improves without drinking… and of course, if you want to do more than 31 days, go for it! Kudos to you!”
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What to drink instead for a success in Dry January 2022
Ok so you have made the decision to try a sober month. But what do you drink instead? Luckily there are so many delicious alcohol-free beverages out there right now, you may end up actually wanting the month to be longer so you can try them all.
Sheinbaum recommends trying all the non-alcoholic (NA) beverages including NA wines, NA beers, NA spirits and NA cocktails.
“I’m always discovering new and innovative options! Right now, I’m loving Free Spirits because it allows you to make your favorite tequila, bourbon or gin cocktail, without the booze — and without the hangover. You can simply replace an alcoholic spirit with one of these three varieties, and voila! You have a tasty delicious drink like a NA Margarita, NA Moscow Mule, Gin-Free & Tonic.”
National Mocktail Week starts Sunday, January 9, 2022
Definitely mark your calendar now for a little treat during National Mocktail Week (the second week of January.) And sample these recommendations from our expert.
1. HOP WTR
HOP WTR – the non-alcoholic brew of crisp, bold hops, sparkling water and mood-boosting ingredients and has flavors in Classic, Blood Orange, Mango and their latest flavor, Lime.
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2. Wilfred’s Non-Alcoholic Aperitif
Made from a carefully crafted blend of traditionally British botanicals including aromatic rosemary, zesty bitter orange, and a hint of rhubarb and clove. Wilfred’s blend of naturally distilled and extracted botanicals has no artificial colors or sweeteners and just 20 calories per serving, making it perfect for the new era of drinkers who want all the great flavor of a classic aperitif, while still being good to themselves.
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Want some NA beer? Gruvi has a Dry January Sampler Pack, which comes with a four pack of NA beers, a four pack of rosé and a four pack of Prosecco for only $59.
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success tips for a Dry January and building healthy habits for 2022
Those are the inside expert success tips for the sober curious about how to achieve a successful Dry January – and build healthy habits in 2022.Mocktail, anyone?
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This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links.
Meredith Lepore is a freelance writer, editor, and content strategist. Her work has appeared in Marie Claire Magazine, Women’s Health, InStyle, Architectural Digest, The Observer, and Travel & Leisure. She earned her Masters in journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Meredith resides in New York full time, and enjoys reading, jogging, spinning, and playing with her small dog, Otis.