Sick of drinking during the pandemic? Try Dry January

It’s no secret that Georgians and people across the U.S. — the world, for that matter — turned to alcohol amid the coronavirus pandemic. With lockdowns occurring in the early stages (and some still continuing) of the global crisis, a 2020 study showed that alcohol had been consumed in excess.

So whether or not you’ve ever participated in Dry January, 2021 may be the year you decide to join.

What is Dry January?

The first month of the year is a time when people annually decide to skip drinking booze.

What are the benefits?

According to registered dietitian Brigitte Zeitlin, there are several benefits to halting alcohol consumption.

“By ditching the alcohol and upping your water intake, it’s really a win-win for your hydration status and will leave your skin feeling healthier and looking more radiant,” she told Women’s Health.

Additionally, it could help you lose weight since Zeitlin said “cutting back on the alcohol will likely help you to also cut down on some of the mindless overeating that usually happens after the third (or fourth or fifth) round of cocktails.”

There’s also evidence that taking a month-long break from alcohol can decrease blood pressure, improve your insulin resistance and reduce blood levels of a cancer-linked signaling protein, according to a small 2019 study.

How do you participate?

Hilary Sheinbaum, author of “The Dry Challenge: How to Lose the Booze for Dry January, Sober October, and Any Other Alcohol-Free Month,” spoke to the Daily Mail Femail and offered some tips on how you can be successful at ditching liquor for 31 days.

Here are three of them.

1. Out of sight out of mind

Keeping alcohol out of reach and outside your line of sight can be helpful in lessening the urge to pour a glass.

“While working from home, every time you pass your bar cart or open up the fridge, you’re likely spotting bottles of wine, liquor, or beer,” Sheinbaum said.

You can hide your stash or give the bottles to a friend until the month ends, the author noted.

2. Replace the brew with another special beverage

If you have a go-to drink you look forward to sipping on at the end of a long day, simply replacing it can help you stay on track with keeping alcohol at bay.

“If you’re a beer drinker, there are brews without alcohol including IPAs, stouts, and more,” Sheinbaum said. She added that for cocktail drinkers, " you can mix your own with different varieties of nonalcoholic spirits and other ingredients with zero ABV.”

3. Round up the moral support

Tackling a liquor-free month can be easier when you have friends to join you.

“Having other people in on a shared goal is not only motivating, but it will keep all parties accountable,” Sheinbaum told the publication.

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