What is Dry January 2022?
Here we will explore "what is dry January". We will also look at the benefits dry January has on your body, mental health and finances.
We have added a link to some FREE tools that can help you if you decide to be one of the estimated 50 million people that will participate in Dry January 2022.
What is Dry January?
Dry January was a public health campaign created by the UK charity Alcohol Change UK around 9 years ago.
With alcoholism being a world wide problem and 25.8% of people recording that they engaged in binge drinking within the last month (niaaa.nih.gov)
Alcohol Change UK decided to introduce a Social challenge that they named "Dry January".
The idea behind the challenge is simple, you take a vow of sobriety for the month of January. In order to complete dry January all you need to do is not drink; sounds easy right?
For many it is difficult, but having an end date in sight makes it much easier. Also the social pressures of sharing the challenge with friends on Instagram and Facebook certainly helps people to keep going.
What are the benefits of dry January?
Should I take part in dry January 2022? Well the simple answer is yes. And here are some of the benefits dry January will have for you if you decide to take the challenge.
The benefits of dry January on your body and physical health
Dry January has so many benefits for your physical health, here are some of the key factors.
Alcohol is an inflammatory, which means that when you take a gulp of your favourite poison it triggers your body's natural stress response. Your body breaks down your alcoholic drink into a toxic chemical called acetaldehyde. This toxic chemical actively damages the cells in your body and this can trigger many different health concerns.
A study showed that on average people who took one month absence from alcohol (the equivalent of Dry January) generally improved in a multitude of ways.
- Improved their insulin sensitivity
- Decreased their levels of VEGF (a Cancer-Promoting Growth factor)
- Improved liver function
- Reduced cholesterol
- Lowered their blood pressure
- Improved their BMI (Lost weight)
Will dry January be good for my Mental health?
Many people have built up not just a physical dependance to alcohol but also a mental one. Here at Clear Minds we know the power of the mind and how persuasive it can be.
Some common misconceptions people have are that they use alcohol as a way to sleep, overcome anxiety issues or simply relax at the end of a stressful day.
Spoiler alert! Alcohol has been proven to do the very opposite and makes things worse.
Most people, at some level, have feelings of Anxiety, this is a normal emotion and often relates to an underlying fear, self esteem, or confidence issue. "Dutch courage" is a term people have used for many years and is the idea of having a drink before doing something or going somewhere.
Many people remember drinking alcohol in a dorm room in college before a night out in order to save some money, but many people actually drink before a night out as "Dutch courage" in order to pluck up the confidence to engage socially with others. Alcohol changes the levels of Serotonin in your brain which is the hormone that stabilises our mood. You take a few shots and you feel happy and ready to hit the town.
The issues here is (apart from the obvious dependance to alcohol in order to engage in social activities) when the alcohol wears off and the Serotonin levels drop you can often feel much worse.
Just as the alcohol gave you the boost that made you feel happy, content and relaxed it will also leave you feeling anxious, paranoid and generally unhappy. This can also be known as "Hangxiety" and can last from several hours to a number of days after your alcohol binge.
Alcohol always helps me sleep ...ok
Many people think that alcohol helps them sleep and we will let you off to a certain degree as studies have shown that alcohol often reduces the time required to fall asleep (otherwise know as sleep onset latency).
And if you have ever seen a drunk person sleeping at a loud party you will know it can even increase the amount of deep sleep you get.
However, and here is the catch. It reduces the amount of REM sleep. REM sleep (Paradoxical sleep) occurs around every 90 minutes and lasts around 5 to 30 minutes.
It is thought that REM sleep benefits learning, memory and mood. It is also thought that a lack of REM might have a negative effect on your physical and mental health.
When you reduce the intake of alcohol you will notice that when you wake up in the mornings you will have more energy and feel as if you had a good night's sleep.
Once you are 2 weeks into your sobriety challenge you will start to notice that your sleep patterns seem much more normalised and the sleep you're getting is nourishing your body.
Dry January and Vanity
Mirror mirror on the wall...
Everybody cares about how they look especially in this world of high quality images and constant selfies. Having good clear skin is a confidence booster in itself.
Here is an example of what to expect when you give up drinking in your dry January challenge. This shows someone who went from drinking a moderate amount of alcohol (wine) each week to drinking nothing for a month.
As you can see not only did she lose weight and lose a lot of inflammation around her face and neck but her skin also cleared up and looks much clearer.
How dry January changed my life
Dry January doesn't just change you for a month it can change your entire life. By "snoozing the booze" for one month you will change the relationship you have with alcohol.
Here is the story of Grace who took a break from alcohol. Watch this short video that follows her on her journey of being sober for a month.
Is dry January worth it?
We believe the answer is yes. We asked 100 people that completed a 30 Day Dry Challenge if they think it was worth it and although the answers were varied in enthusiasm, they all answered yes.
"Dry January was the best thing I have ever done for my self, my relationship with alcohol totally changed. I went from drinking every evening to drinking once a week and a controlled amount."
"When I stopped drinking I noticed that my anxiety was almost non existent. I have always struggled with anxiety but I realised now that it was mostly down to the alcohol"
"Quitting alcohol has changed my life, I never really thought I had a problem but I always felt tired and just not really with it. Every day by lunch I would have had 2 monsters and still be feeling flat. Now I feel like I have energy from the moment I wake up and generally I am a much happier person. I even joined the gym."
"I initially thought I would do the challenge and then jump back on it in feb, but after completing the challenge I found myself in new territory. I do not want to binge like I did before."
How do you do dry January?
Dry January is a personal challenge. Some people decide to take on the challenge with friends whilst others decide to take it alone.
Some post about their journey and intentions on social media as a way to motivate them to complete the challenge whilst also getting attention from their friends. Others may keep quiet in the fear that they might get to day 5 and give up.
There are many tools you can use to track your progress and also help you along the way.
Alcohol Change UK offer a free app that helps you track your days as you go.
This hypnotherapy package will not only help you on your journey but will reprogram your subconscious mind into feeling relaxed and ultimately will leave you in full control of your alcohol consumption. It will leave you finally free and no longer a slave to your alcohol dependance.
Can I start dry January late?
Ok, so you're reading this and it's no longer January the 1st. Better wait until next year?
Can you start dry January late? Yes of course you can, you can snooze the booze on alcohol when ever you feel like.
The idea behind the challenge is not to punish people during the month of January. The whole point of dry January is to raise awareness of alcohol consumption and help people make positive changes in their life.
It doesn't matter if it is January the 1st or August the 24th you will still see and feel the same benefits from 30 days alcohol free. The overall winner from this challenge is you!
Will dry January affect me socially?
Before the dry January movement, if you told people you were going to give up drinking, they would almost certainly think you have an alcohol problem and probably brand you an "alcoholic".
Many companies have been campaigning against this, friends will often make fun of friends that are deciding not to drink, they will try push them into drinking with peer pressure.
The way we like to look at this is to imagine the same situation but about smoking? People are more likely to support you and respect the positive decision you have made for yourself.
Dry January is the perfect excuse (not that you should need one) to snooze the booze and see how it feels to be without alcohol for a month.
Will it affect your relationship with your friends, it might. But most friends will support you decision and maybe even join you.
Will it affect your children or loved ones?
The only way it will affect your loved ones is they will notice that you are more present and available for a true emotional connection.
Ever found yourself sat on your phone zoned out and just ignoring what your partner or kids are saying? This lack of connection is always heightened when under the influence of alcohol.
So socially the only real loser will be your late night "booty call" during dry January.
How can you make dry January easier?
We are offering readers 10% OFF the "Dry January Challenge Package" when you use the discount code - "dryjan10"
The package included a mix of Hypnotherapy and Guided meditation sessions that will help you easily complete your challenge.
The package can be used at any time of year so do not worry if you do not get to start on January the 1st.
This package has now been used by over 1,000,000 people in over 85 countries and it is predicted that over 5,000,000 new users will be using it this January.
The success rate on the package is 95% and 9 out of 10 people that use the package would recommend it to a friend.
If you have any questions about Dry January, Hypnotherapy or anything related to this article we would love to hear from you.
To everybody that takes part in Dry January 2022, everybody here at Clear Minds Hypnotherapy wishes you every success and are here for you should you need any support.
"First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you"
"I will isolate you from your friends and leave you with absolutely nothing. Yours sincerely, Alcohol"
"Alcohol: Temporary fun with permanent consequences"