Drink Up, It’s Dry Jan!
The new year is a time that symbolizes renewal. It's a time to start fresh, to reset goals for the coming year, and to party it up during Dry January.
January is a great time to turn the focus inward and onto yourself.
But you don’t have to do it alone!
You don’t have to be a big New Year’s resolution fan: The start of a new year is a great time to evaluate your health and set goals for the coming year. And Dry January is a great place to start.
Whether you’re a yearly Dry Jan devotee or you’re entirely new to the concept, we’ll tell you what you need to know, provide some tips and tricks, and give you the tools you need to make it a party.
Drink up, it’s Dry Jan!
What is Dry January?
Dry January is a fun way to thrive and cut booze out of your diet by not drinking alcohol for the entire month.
After the excess of the holidays, it’s a great way to get back on track with your health goals.
Taking a break from alcohol for the entire month of January can help you reevaluate your relationship with alcohol, as well as provide some major health benefits. It’s also a great way to set yourself up for success throughout the rest of the year.
Athletic Brewing ambassador Brighten LeBeau participated in Dry January last year.
“Dry January for me was the perfect way to start the new year with a clear head and to feel proud of myself for prioritizing my holistic health,” she said of the experience. “It expanded the feeling of freshness and opportunity of the new year as I was soaking up life and getting more done without weekend hangovers.”
Check out our Dry Jan Party Pack to get you started, with 25% off and free party accessories!
Health Benefits of Dry January
Participating in Dry January isn’t just about not getting tipsy. It comes with all sorts of health benefits.
Drinking is known to disrupt sleep by causing imbalances within the stages of sleep. So even if you feel like you sleep through the night after a few drinks, you’re not getting quality sleep.
Good sleep can improve your mood, decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression, and help you cope with everyday stress more effectively. So cutting out booze can actually help you become more productive, present, and energetic simply because you’re sleeping better through the night.
Even if sleep isn’t a problem for you, skipping the booze can still improve your overall mood and satisfaction, making you more likely to stick to specific health goals.
If you’re the kind of person to set New Year’s resolutions, you might be one of the thousands who sign up for a gym membership at the start of the year. If so, we applaud you! It can be difficult to make the decision to take care of your health. Since drinking alcohol can reduce sleep quality and alter mood, it can derail your health goals. So participating in Dry January can actually help you create and maintain new, healthier habits.
According to a 2018 study, if you drink alcohol frequently, short-term elimination of alcohol from your diet can have a big impact on overall health. These findings demonstrate that abstinence from alcohol in moderate to heavy drinkers can decrease blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity, and decrease certain levels of cancer-promoting growth factors.
Better sleep, increased focus, improved mood, and the ability to create new healthy habits may boost your immune system, a boon for the cold and flu season, and as we see new COVID-19 variants emerge.
How to Dry January
Here’s some ideas for how to make Dry January tons of fun this year.
Pump Up the Fun Factor
Dry January is all about finding ways to have fun sans alcohol. This is a great time to explore new hobbies and try new things, or to pick up old hobbies that have been pushed aside.
Learn to ski, sign up for art classes, or take your family sledding on the weekend. Maybe you want to try something more adventurous, like rock climbing at your local climbing gym.
Throw Your Own Party
What better way to celebrate your new commitment than throwing a party!
If social gatherings or daily routines make it difficult to stick to your goals, you can always throw your own party and set a rule that there is no booze allowed. It’s a great way to introduce your friends and family to a sober-curious lifestyle and how fun and carefree it can actually be.
Keep the party fun by incorporating some classic drinking games like some non-alcoholic beer pong or a rowdy game of flip cup. We’ve got your replacement covered, so make sure to pick up some fun Athletic Brewing Company gear to go with your Dry Jan Party Pack essentials: including 5 6-packs of unique styles, a disposable camera, a holographic sticker and limited-edition koozie.
Rethink Happy Hour
Recruiting your friends makes it easy to avoid alcohol at parties, but even if you’re partaking in Dry January solo, you don’t have to miss out on social gatherings.
The pressure to drink in social situations is lessening, thanks to the new age of sobriety and the sober-curious movement. More and more people are choosing sobriety, and even if they’re not, there is less of a stigma surrounding it.
Bring along some options for non-alcoholic beer cocktails and wow everyone with how delicious it can be to be booze-free.
“Gone are the days where it’s expected to drink alcohol at gatherings,” says Athletic Brewing ambassador Joshua James. “Now we have tasty alcohol alternatives that will be better for everyone. Campaigns like [Dry Jan] have changed drinking culture and helped people live healthier lives.”
Break Up the Routine
If it's a habit for you to have a glass of wine to unwind after work, it may help you to skip the alcohol if you change your routine.
Instead of a glass of wine, place your running shoes next to the door so it’s easy to slip them on and go for a jog or a walk. Other ideas to distract yourself and delay the habit of pouring a cocktail can be to pick up a good book, make a phone call, meditate and breathe, or do some yoga. Even writing in a journal or starting a new daily sketching habit can help distract you from the habit.
If these simple tactics don’t work, you may want to try leaving the house during the timeframe when you normally partake.
Practicing self-control can positively impact the rest of your life.
“Start[ing] the new year with a small goal to keep a clearer head and define your next year is a huge self-esteem builder,” says LeBeau. “Any act of delaying gratification builds our self-control muscles which we can then apply to any other goals [and] areas of life to continue our self-growth and evolution.”
Practicing mindfulness and taking time to breathe will not only help you feel more in control but will also make you more present and more tolerant.
Activities like nature walks, yoga and meditation have tons of health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, increasing overall fitness, and increasing mood. Studies performed at Harvard University found that having a regular mindfulness practice can increase gray matter in the areas of the brain that help regulate mood, emotional regulation, learning, and memory.
All this is to say that mindfulness meditation and yoga can help you be more present and stay calmer when faced with stressful situations.
Maintain the Momentum
Keep the party going all month long!
As you settle into a new booze-free lifestyle, you might find yourself feeling better, sleeping better, and feeling more productive. If you experience a setback, don’t give up. Remember that there is a huge group of people here at Athletic Brewing Company who want to see you succeed in living your healthiest, best life.
“The Dry January Campaigns inspired me to try my first craft non-alcoholic beer, and it was the Run Wild IPA. It was the pivotal moment that changed the trajectory of my entire path,” says James.
As we progress through Dry January, you may find yourself re-evaluating your relationship with alcohol, and we hope to see you maintain the momentum!