This January, I’ve decided I’m going to try to abstain from alcohol and participate in “Dry January.” In case you are not familiar, Dry January started in the United Kingdom in 2013. It was inspired by a marathon runner, Emily Robinson, who had given up drinking in January of 2011 to prepare for her upcoming run. What surprised her the most was the overall interest in her month-long sobriety from her friends and colleagues. According to Alcoholchange.org.uk by 2017, a “YouGov survey showed that over four million Britons.”
What are the Benefits of Dry January?
There are proven health benefits to drinking in moderation. In fact, according to A 2016 British study, found that “research suggests that temporary abstinence from alcohol may convey physiological benefits and enhance well-being.” They showed that a short break from alcohol could significantly improve everything from liver function to sleep quality.
Wait, it gets better!
Does short term drinking in moderation or abstention result in a rebound effect? Perhaps down the road, the participant would drink more. The opposite happened.
A recent study proved that this month-long break correlated with better relationships with alcohol after a dry January. Furthermore, participants were not likely to experience a rebound effect nor drink as much as they previously did.
But wait I’m a mom and mom’s LOVE wine
I agree that we need to relax about mommy wine culture. It’s time to acknowledging that mothering is hard, and wine is one thing that forces us to take time for ourselves and relax. So although I still enjoy a glass of wine, lately, I’ve been examining my relationship with wine and what I’m looking to achieve by drinking it. Could I replace that glass of wine and give myself something else.
SOBER CURIOUS YET?
Ruby Warrington coined the term, “Sober Curious” in the 2018 book Sober Curious: The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence, and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol. In this, she explores a different view on sobriety that has dramatically appealed to readers. A myriad of causes has added the appeal of this trend to Millennials and Generation Z and has encouraged them to rethink their relationship with alcohol.
There has been an influx of booze-free bars and fancy mocktails blended with relaxing herbs and adaptogens replacing alcoholic cocktails. This sobriety movement looks much different than those of past generations. “For these New Abstainers, sobriety is a thing to be, yes, toasted over $15 artisanal mocktails at alcohol-free nights at chic bars around the country, or at “sober-curious” yoga retreats.” This New Sobriety is becoming a marketing niche just as the mommy wine culture has. Marketing niches provide consumers with choices to give themselves something while they are simultaneously taking something away.
What can you give yourself this January
I recommend browsing this list from Refiner29.com’s best non-alcoholic drinks to buy. It’s full of fun non-alcoholic drinks to try, some with adaptogens and CBD to help you relax without alcohol. I like to brew a pot of Hibiscus tea, let it cool overnight and then make cocktails with it. Mix one part tea and one part adaptogens rich drink of choice. Then I add a splash of sparkling orange juice. Pour over ice, and I’m ready to zen out. The hibiscus tea has tannins in them that gives your palette the same tingle as wine. But instead of liver-damaging wine, you get all the health benefits of hibiscus, including increased liver function and lower blood pressure.
You could reach for the tried and true cup of hot tea as well. It’s all about taking that time for self-care and realizing it’s not really about the wine, it is about the ritual, and this is an essential reason moms like wine. It is a forced moment to fill our cup; this January, I’m just going to fill it with something else.