As drinking culture becomes more pervasive, many people are using dry January as a chance to pack the drinking in and experience a more mindful new year. If you’re considering sticking with dry January this year, this guide will talk you through what you can gain from sticking with dry January this year (goodbye hangxiety), along with some tips to help keep you accountable for the month. Ready to start your journey towards a more mindful relationship with alcohol? Keep reading.
Benefits of Reducing Your Alcohol Consumption
You’ll Get A Better Night’s Rest
When you cut out drinking, you’ll notice that you feel less sluggish throughout the week and have more energy. This is because you’re not sleeping as well as you could when you drink. Alcohol can make you want to stay up later, so you may not get as much sleep. But, more importantly, alcohol can decrease your sleep quality by around 9%. So, even if you get enough sleep, it won’t be as nourishing for your body as it would be if you were sober. During dry January, you might notice that you wake up feeling refreshed, alert, and ready to go – and you won’t have that dreaded hangover (and hangxiety)!
You Won’t Feel As Anxious
“Hangxiety” is a portmanteau for hangover anxiety. Since it’s so common, there’s a slang term for it now! If you experience the following things, you’re experiencing hangover anxiety:
- Embarrassment from the night before – we lose our inhibitions when we drink. This loss of control can cause us to say or do things we usually wouldn’t. When we wake up the day after, in our right minds, you can fill us with anxiety and embarrassment about our actions.
- Feelings of hopelessness and dread – even if you didn’t do anything embarrassing the night before, you still weren’t in control. So, you may be filled with fear and worry for no reason, wondering if you did something to regret.
- Depression – when we drink, we typically stay up late, laugh, dance, and spend energy. In doing this, we deplete our ‘happy hormone’ supply. Unfortunately, this can leave us incredibly blue the day after drinking.
Alcohol can have terrible consequences for our self-esteem and cause insurmountable anxiety for days or weeks following a night of drinking. If you stick with dry January, you may feel less anxious overall, which may indicate that a more mindful relationship with alcohol will be for the rest of the year/
You Will Lose Weight
People often neglect to think about the calories in alcoholic beverages. In addition to the calories we consume, while drinking, we tend to indulge in takeouts and fatty foods while hungover. So, alcohol can contribute to weight gain. By cutting out the drinking – and the food that comes after – you might notice some weight loss this January. So keep up the excellent work!
You Will Discover Your Power Of Self-Discipline
Self-discipline isn’t something you’re born with. Everyone has it. It’s like a muscle that you grow and train over time. Fail to use it, and it will become weak. Harness and practice it, and you’ll find more self-discipline in every facet of your life. When you successfully quit drinking for a month, you’ll discover your power of self-discipline. By committing and sticking to it, you’ll notice that you’re more able to stick to other duties as your self-discipline muscle becomes stronger and stronger!
You Won’t Waste Your Time
Just think of all the mornings and days you’ve spent lying in bed, unable to get up without a banging headache coming over you. Drinking can cause you to waste days of your life just slobbing on the sofa. If you kick your drinking habit, you’ll notice that you have much more free time and can get more done over the weekend. If you’re hungover, you can’t handle all the house chores and life admin you need to do over the weekend. Throughout January, pay attention to your stress levels, and see if the extra time allows you to tick things off your to-do list more effectively.
You Will Be More Hydrated
And, last but not least, you won’t have to deal with an upset tummy from alcohol anymore. For many people, alcohol causes diarrhea and digestive upset. By kicking the drinking habit, you won’t lose as much water from your body, helping you to stay hydrated. Plus, alcohol isn’t too hydrating for the body and can cause dehydration. Switching to flavored water drinks and healthy alternatives will ensure your body is fully hydrated.
Many benefits await if you’re considering quitting drinking, whether for a dry January or forever. If you suffer from anxiety after drinking, commonly known as hangxiety, it can affect your self-esteem over time. By quitting drinking, you can provide relief for your mental health, use your time better, and improve your physical health. Use the points listed above as motivation to keep you going on your journey – well done!
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