For many of us, alcohol becomes woven into the fabric of our daily lives. After work Happy Hours become a three-times-a-week affair. Before you hit the office again on Monday morning, you prepare with a bath and a glass of wine on Sunday night. Of course, during the pandemic, the increase in alcohol use has jumped dramatically. One study notes that the frequency of drinking increased 14 percent overall in the early months of quarantine, with women drinking 17 percent more than they did pre-pandemic.
All of this adds up, and it may be taking a bigger toll than you realize (hence, “Dry January”). If you’re tired of the anxiety and sluggishness that alcohol breeds, it may be time for a sobriety challenge. If you challenged yourself to stay sober for 30 days, what kinds of positive changes would you see? While the challenge only lasts for 30 days, the results will last beyond that.
Alcohol Wastes Time
When we’re drinking, we tend to go on autopilot. If we decide to pick up a bottle of wine on the way home from work, we’re probably just going to plop down on the couch when we get home. Four hours, three glasses of wine, and 8 episodes of The Office later, it’s time for bed. Where did all the time go? Alcohol is a major time-waster.
Finding New Hobbies
Staying sober for 30 days is a great way to rediscover old hobbies (and find new ones). Instead of drinking, you could pick up that book you’ve been putting off, or start on that art project you’ve been thinking about. After 30 days, you’ll realize how much joy these hobbies bring you – and you won’t want to give them up by drinking as often as you once did.
Stress and Booze
If you’re used to unwinding with a glass of something every night, you may feel a little antsy when you first give up the habit. Alcohol is a great way to destress – or so it seems. Despite the perception that alcohol reduces stress, it may actually be making the problem the worse. If you feel reliant on alcohol to help you wind down at the end of a long day, it can be a hard habit to stop. If you don’t stop, however, you risk developing an alcohol dependency.
Destressing with Healthy Habits
Challenging yourself to remain sober for 30 days requires you to find new, healthy ways to cope with stress. Instead of drinking, you may find that simple breathing exercises, meditation, journaling, or brewing tea help you to calm down. There are a number of easy ways to engage in self-care, so find what works best for you. Of course, these new, healthy habits will take time to really kick in. So be patient, be kind to yourself, and give yourself time to really implement these positive changes. When your 30-day sober challenge ends, you’ll get to take these new habits with you.
Sober for 30 Days, Happier Forever!
When you stay sober for 30 days, you become more in tune with your body. When the challenge is over, you’ll be more aware of the effect alcohol has on you. How does it make you feel the day you drink? How do you feel the day after? Do you enjoy it as much as you once did? After a 30-day sober challenge, you can reevaluate your relationship with booze and face the rest of your life with more confidence, more happiness, and greater health. Cheers!