Dry January 2022 has come to a close and whether not you made it the full 31 days without a beer, glass of wine or a mixed drink, it might be useful to reflect on the experience. Here are some questions to get you started…
Was it difficult to go 31 days without alcohol?
When was it toughest? Were there times of the day, days of the week, social situations, foods or emotions that triggered a desire to drink?
Did it get easier as the month went on?
When you thought about drinking, how long did those thoughts last? Were you able to replace those thoughts using mindfulness, meditation, journaling, physical exercise or some other means?
Did you tell others that you were doing Dry January? Were they supportive or did they hassle you about it?
What were some of the physical, psychological and/or financial benefits to abstaining from alcohol? Did you save money? Sleep better? Spend less time wondering whether you have a drinking problem?
What were some of the downsides of not drinking for 31 days?
Considering some of these questions after 31 days of abstinence gives you the opportunity to think clearly about your relationship with alcohol. Given what we know about alcohol, a month-long reprieve comes with significant health benefits, especially if your consumption exceeds the one or two drink per day guideline set by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
How you continue with your journey is a personal choice. If, however, your drinking accelerates rapidly in February in a way that feels like you are making up for lost time, it might be time to take a second look and get a second opinion.