Today, I’m featuring a topic on “What I’m Wicked Into” that you may have never heard of before—Sober January.
Yup, you heard that right.
For the whole month of January—following what was a very indulgent, party-filled holiday season—Sam and I shook hands on participating in “Sober/Dry January.” It’s just how it sounds. We had zero alcoholic beverages for 31 days. Call us crazy.
If you love wine, beer, and cocktails as much as we do and are thinking, “That’s insane!!!” then you’re probably right ;), but beyond what seems like crazy self-torture for any social butterfly living in a city, we somehow managed to check the dates off the calendar all the way to February 1st.
Here’s how it went:
I love to socialize—many times over a glass of wine—just as much as the next person, but after countless happy hours, holiday potlucks, birthday celebrations, and boozy brunches in November and December, my body was screaming for a restart. I felt bloated, had definitely put on a few pounds, and didn’t feel like my normal peppy self. I was draggin’ ass, people.
I had already heard of Sober January and after seeing some people I knew planned on taking part, I thought it would be the perfect new year challenge. I had no idea Sam would be so on board, especially seeing as how he works with beer and loves relaxing with a few while watching a game! However, when we shook on it, I knew it was game. on.
Not going to lie, the first week or so was particulary hard, especially on the weekends where we tend to go out more and relax with a bottle of wine. But, as the month went on, it became a lot easier for me. Was I missing my red wine? Sure. But, I think the challenge was actually a lot more do-able and eye-opening than what we both would have expected.
What changes did we notice?
-We found we had way more time on our hands because instead of clinking glasses after work, we were searching for new things to fill our time with, like going to the movies more, seeking out restaurants known for their food, and honestly—just saying “no thanks” more to outings that we knew would be drink-focused.
– We saved a lot of money. The usual $20 here for wine, $15 on some new craft beer, and extra $20-30 on a dinner tab disappeared. That was super cool! Alcohol really adds up.
-Not drinking made us want to eat cleaner. Because our alcohol intake was non-existent, it also helped us become more conscious of what we were eating. We weren’t going for the cheese, night-time chips, or dessert as much, because we were just more aware of what foods we had been mindlessly eating before. This resulted in weight loss for both of us! There went those holiday pounds:)
– We found new ways to deal with stress. After a stressful work day, it’s not uncommon for one of us to suggest grabbing a drink somewhere, however, this month we sought out different ways to kick back and take the edge off. For me, that meant more yoga, new TV shows, more meditative breathing, and definitely more journaling. For Sam, it meant new workouts, cooking more, and organizing.
– We went to bed earlier. The weekends where we’d watch tons of movies or TV shows didn’t happen as much because we weren’t couchin’ it/indulging in food & drink as much. So, when we felt tired, we both kind of turned to each other and asked, “Bed?” There are far more terrible ideas than bed at 10 on a Friday night.
-We felt more clear-minded and energetic. Sometimes after a night of drinks, you can wake up feeling groggy, extra tired, and not as motivated—and, more times than not, the morning after I drink I tend to wake up on the later side. Not this month! This whole month, Sam and I have been waking up on Saturdays and Sundays around 7-8am with way more energy than normal. I find that I’m more ready for my my morning workouts and to tackle my weekend chores.
As you can tell, Sober January’s been quite the eye-opener. I’ve really walked away from this month noticing what positive changes we’ve made for ourselves simply by drinking less. Of course, I missed the occasional mid-week drink, work happy hour, or weekend mimosa, but we learned a great deal about what’s most important to us both—quality time, new experiences, solid sleep, and good health. Man, I sound old…
I will say, though, I’m more than ready for that sweet smack of wine on my lips. I earned it, okay?!
If you’re wondering if you could ever go completely sober for a month, the answer’s totally yes. Take it from two wine and beer connoisseurs. I really think there’s clarity to be had by taking one drink-free month. Just changing a single habit can really restart your mind and body in all the best ways.
Would you ever challenge yourself with one sober month? What drink would you miss the most?
Excuse me while I go pour myself a much-deserved glass on pinot,