Dryuary is now officially a thing that people do. But what is it and why should you consider skipping booze to kickoff the new year? We’re breaking down the history, possible benefits and sharing yummy mocktail recipes to get you through all 31 days!
Are You Going Dry for January? Here’s What You Need to Know
After the excess of the holidays, taking a month off from alcohol generally can be a great way to reset your health and mindset in the new year. Plus, those who have accepted the challenge claim that they also see financial benefits that last the whole year!
Dryuary can a concept created in 2013 and officially branded in 2014 by Moderation Management, a non-profit dedicated to supporting individuals in cutting back or cutting out alcohol entirely. The concept of Dryuary is to help people rethink their relationship with alcohol generally and create a pattern of more moderate/minimal drinking going forward.
Make the Commitment to Go Booze-Free
It all starts by setting your intention. The Dryuary website offers a place to make a virtual pledge to live alcohol-free in January. Once you’re registered (it’s free!), you’ll receive emails and virtual support regularly as you skip booze this month.
Before you start, it’s important to be honest about your current alcohol consumption. Think about the amount of alcohol you have regularly consumed over the last year and the last month. Dryuary advises that those who typically consume more than 5 beers, or the equivalent amount in other forms of alcohol, consult a doctor prior to starting. Going cold turkey at that level of regular imbibing can have serious health consequences.
After you’ve decided and made your pledge, tell your support system about what you’re doing. Ask them to support you on your journey, even if they’re not going dry.
Friends and family can help by:
- Not judging your decision
- Offering non-alcoholic options at get-togethers or parties
- Joining the challenge
It won’t be easy to stick to your challenge if you’ve got bottles of beer, wine and hard liquor staring you in the face daily! Time to clean out your fridge and liquor cabinet.
Bonus: you’re going to be decluttering your house at the same time.
If you don’t want to just dump all your booze, hide it. Find a hard-to-get-to place in your house, like the very back of a very high kitchen cabinet or the farthest corner of a storage closet. Out of sight, out of mind. Plus, if you do get a craving it’ll be hard to a) remember where you stored everything and b) hard to access.
Consider party and event invites in January.
Create a plan to skip the bar at events you can’t or don’t want to skip. Bring a bottle of seltzer or your favorite non-alcoholic beverage with you to the party, if possible. For potlucks, you can offer to stock the booze-free section with yummy drinks that everyone can enjoy.
For events that might present too much temptation or that you’re not super excited about, consider declining the invite entirely. Send your kind regrets to the host. If it’s a close friend, you might consider suggesting an alternative like coffee instead of cocktails.
Benefits & Possible Risks of Dryuary
As mentioned above, individuals who habitually drink more than 5 beers or the equivalent daily need to consult a physician prior to starting Dryuary. There could be possible negative health risks to going cold turkey without medical supervision.
While you should definitely talk to a medical professional before making any major lifestyle changes, there are definite benefits to giving up alcohol for January.
- Weight Loss: You’re consuming fewer calories since you’re cutting out the alcohol. Many drinks are calorie-laden, which isn’t always obvious. Plus, you’ll skip the extra snacks that often sneak up on you when you’re drinking, especially socially. Fewer calories equals weight loss!
- Reduction in Liver Fat: Your overall liver fat can drop by as much as 15% when you give up alcohol for just a month, according to Dr. James Ferguson, a liver specialist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham in England, in an article posted to NPR.
- Blood Glucose Levels: Dr. Ferguson also noted that blood glucose drops by about 16% by skipping alcohol for a month. This lowers your risk for diabetes.
- Better Sleep: US News reported that just one drink can disrupt the quality of your sleep. By not drinking for a month, your sleep patterns could be healthier, resulting in better mental awareness and general health.
There are anecdotal studies that show continued decreased alcohol consumption in February and March. However, there are also studies that show going dry for a month can also lead to binge drinking or increased general consumption in February and March.
Enjoy a Yummy Mocktail at Cocktail Hour
You’re skipping alcohol, but you can still treat yourself with a tasty beverage sans booze. Try these recipes!
- Sparkling Kiwi Mocktail from Physical Kitchness (a military spouse owned business!)
- Mocktail Mule – and 5 other mocktails – from Morsel by Plated
- Raspberry Sorbet Party Punch from Delish
- Sparkling Pom Collins from DrinkAware, a UK-based alcohol awareness non-profit