You may have heard the phrase ‘Dry January’ used a little more frequently around this time of year. It’s really no surprise that many people at the beginning of a new year decide to enforce positive life changes, making up for what could only be described as an excessive holiday season. As someone who enjoys a nice beer in the evening after work, and quite a few beers on the weekend, I decided to give up drinking for an entire month to see how it would impact my life. Here’s what I have concluded nearing the end.
1. I Slept A Lot Better Than I Normally Do
After the first week of being alcohol free I started to notice that it was a lot easier for me to fall asleep at night. I would never describe myself as an insomniac, but it still took me a good bit of time to settle down at night and actually fall asleep. On top of that, I was getting quality, deep sleep. The large amount of dreams I was experiencing every night was a sure sign that I was achieving the quality, ‘R.E.M Sleep’ that is ever so desired. Eight hours of sleep gave me enough energy to get through the day, and on the weekends I had a lot more free time for myself that was normally spent in bed, hungover.
2. I Felt More Motivated To Exercise
I had to do something with all of that extra free time, right? All jokes aside, it really became that much easier for me to make it up to the gym on a daily basis. When I was drinking, I was generally more lazy and unmotivated. As soon as I quit drinking I found a gust of energy within myself that wasn’t there before. I’ve been going to the gym 5-6 days a week, increasing my limits when I’m doing cardio, and slowly but surely building muscle on top of it. I even managed to drop a couple of pounds on the scale!
3. I Had Less Stress & Anxiety
This one took a little longer to achieve than the others, but stay with me here. Most people drink alcohol to relieve stress from their everyday lives, and I’ll be the first person to admit that I did as well. The way that all the frustration from work and at home can just slip away after a few cocktails seems almost magical. When I stopped drinking I found the other side of that coin. After a couple of weeks I had an overall sense of well-being that wasn’t there before. I wasn’t stuck in my head at night worrying about what happened earlier that day, or what could happen tomorrow. I didn’t feel like I was missing out on some big party every Friday night. I was happy to be at home, relaxing and enjoying my own company.
4. It Was Easier For Me To Give Up Other Bad Habits
Anybody who smokes cigarettes knows that drinking and smoking go hand-in-hand. So of course when I gave up the booze I was determined to hopefully quit smoking once and for all. It’s been very hard, but with the assistance of nicotine replacement options I have successfully avoided purchasing a pack of cigarettes for the entire month of January. Let’s hope that I can keep this up and eventually beat my bad habit once and for all.
5. I Had More Money To Spend On Things I Enjoy
During a month of partying and bar-hopping, it was more than common for me to spend upwards of $200-300 on drinks. Now that I had all of that extra money floating around in my pocket, I was able to spend it on other more meaningful and worthwhile items I enjoyed. I bought music from some of my favorite bands/artists, purchased video games to play when I had free time, and stocked up on my ever expanding book collection. It just felt better at the end of the day to have these tangible things I could enjoy over a buzz that would soon fade away into a groggy morning.
What do you think? Are you inspired to give up drinking for a month? Leave a comment below!