January 27, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) – A trend called “Dry January” is leading people to avoid alcohol for a month.

In recent years, the challenge of starting the new year with a clean slate of substance has gained in importance.

“We see a wide range of benefits from giving up alcohol, such as: For example, improving physical health,” said Stevie Madden, a PHP therapist at Sandstone Care. “It could look like better sleep, better digestion, a better immune system so we don’t get as sick, and mental health. Improved relationships, mood stability, and a significant decrease in anxiety and depression. Not to mention all the money that you will save and therefore have money that you can use for things and activities that are worthwhile.”

With all these benefits, Madden asks why not extend your sober period later in the year?

“If you’ve been able to get through daily life stressors like bills and relationships, and you’ve been able to lean on coping skills to help you overcome them, think about what you did to get through those challenging times and use them for the future,” he told Madden.

If you’re drinking again in February, do so responsibly.

“Getting clean for a month and then drinking the same amount the next month, there’s probably some concern,” Madden said.

Take it easy and watch how much you drink.

Set yourself boundaries and ask why you would want to drink in a social setting. do you really want the drink? Or is it right in front of you?

“A lot of people are afraid, ‘I’m not going to have fun, I’m not that confident, I can’t engage in social activities.’ I think because it’s so socially accepted and normalized, a lot of people don’t understand that there are negative consequences to their drinking and that they’re drinking a lot more than they were a few years ago,” Madden said.

Although not everyone will remain sober for the next 11 months, studies suggest people who participated in the challenge may be drinking fewer The rest of the year.

The 4 week absence from the substance gives time to reflect on relationships with alcohol, why you may be turning to it for coping support and realize there are other ways to have fun beyond the bottle.

“We’re seeing growth in other options like sober bars, soft drinks and something like leaning on mocktails to have a way to connect and have a sober community looking at how to still have sober fun can,” explained Madden.

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