Full disclosure: I wrote this post while dealing with a low-grade fever and the flu. Please excuse any rambling thoughts and typos along the way. Cheers!
On New Years Day, I made a sudden decision to participate in “Dry January” – a trend that has taken off in recent years as a challenge to abstain from drinking alcohol the entire month. If you know me, you know I like my usual glass of wine. I knew I drank a few glasses a week, obviously, but one thing that has been eye-opening to me this month is just how much a part of my routine drinking was becoming.
I would mindlessly pour a glass of wine while I cooked dinner most nights, or sip a drink while Luke and I watched our favorite sitcoms on Netflix, and would even pour myself a mixed drink (hello Moscow Mule) every once in a while on the weekends.
Since committing to Dry January, I’ve had to retrain my brain not to rely on wine and alcohol as a wind-down method. I’ve switched to brewing a hot cup of cinnamon spice tea most evenings instead, or a glass of ice cold unsweetened iced tea (in a wine glass for trickery) while cooking. I even reached out on Instagram and you guys came through with so many great suggestions for “mocktails” and sipping options, a few of which I’ve added to my nightly rotation! (This week’s drink of choice: Spicy Ginger Beer)
I’m not going to lie – I’ve definitely been tempted on many occasions to just give in and treat myself to a heavy pour of pinot. The start of this new year has brought me some health mishaps and frustrations, a nerve-wracking Bills playoff game (there’s always next year), and most recently, having to deal with head lice in the family for the second time in a year (WTF – homeschooling is looking better every day!) – all things that would have been nicely dulled by alcohol. But that statement is problematic to even think, and participating in Dry January has made me realize it more and more.
I don’t know what exactly made me decide on committing to this challenge, but I’m glad that I did. (Okay, it might have been slightly caused by the headache I woke up with on New Years Day after dusting off a large bottle of wine by myself the night prior…) And it’s not that I had a “Drinking problem”, but I certainly had some unhealthy tendencies that are now clearly exposed thanks to my alcohol-free month.
The end of Dry January is in sight, and I’m proud of myself for making it this far – even if it has felt like I’ve been limping to the finish line at times. I’m thankful for the challenge that Dry January has been, and as a result of my bad habits being exposed, I think I’m going to try to save my alcohol consumption to more sacred and celebratory events from now on!