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Dry January: A Story of Drinking & Self Care, Part 2

Well, this has been fun, guys. As the month crawls to a close (has January been mad slow or is it just me?), I’m returning to debrief you on the journey known to many as “Dry January” but what will henceforth be known as “Try January” because I did my best. While there may have been a misstep here and there like when I went to Woodstock and I had pinot noir at The Bear Café (if you know, you know), it was an overall success. But you’re not here for BS and neither am I so let’s get into it.

What Went Well

I definitely slept better, making it easier to come to terms with weeknights and early mornings. No hangover, no problem. I was more clear-headed during the day and found my normal 3:35pm crash is not as soul-crushing as usual. I did drink a lot of flavored sparkling water, which was delicious. I wouldn’t say I spent less money, but money that I did allocate to drinking was spent on more meaningful things, like a flight to Palm Springs to get weird. On the weekends I went out to eat at some of my favorite restaurants (managed to go to Olmsted TWICE in one week), all of which are surprisingly much cheaper when half the bill isn't alcoholic beverages.

Debunking Myths

I honestly did not see a difference in my skin. This has me thinking that the whole your-skin-gets-better-when-you-cut-out-alcohol thing is just because people started washing their faces at night because they weren’t browned out. In my defense, I do my entire skincare routine no matter how drunk I get so there’s not a lot of before and after to go on here. Another lie: losing weight. Bitch, where??? If anything I am truly 5 pounds heavier than when I started this expedition into the unknown, but let’s just chalk that up to oral fixation–instead of putting a drink in my mouth, I would just snack on whatever was around, which was more often than not jalapeño chips.

Key Learnings

My advice for anyone looking to try a Dry January or detox of some sort would be to a) think about the reasons you’re doing this and b) try not to come with any expectations. I think if you’re expecting to see XYZ result in XYZ amount of days, you will be setting yourself up for disappointment when you should be celebrating the fact that you even decided to do a nice thing for yourself. If you’re really looking to do a cleanse, I would suggest doing it a bit longer if you want to see results. I felt that a month wasn’t enough time to really see the benefits.

While I may gripe about not ~glowing~, this adventure did give me a chance to re-evaluate my relationship with alcohol. While I love my wines, I’m very down to give up drinking on the weeknights from here on out. Waking up in the morning after a restorative sleep, without any trace of a hangover, is truly amazing and a practice I am more than willing to add to my life.

If you'd like to read the first installment of Dry January, I got you.

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