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How To Keep Management When Dry January Ends

How To Keep Management When Dry January Ends


Congratulations on completing Dry January! Whether you went completely alcohol-free for 31 days or just reduced your intake, we celebrate your efforts. What happens now that Dry January is over? Do you return to your old drinking habits, or should you stay alcohol-free? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to these questions, but we can offer some tips, advice, and questions to consider as you navigate your relationship with alcohol after a break.

Questions to Ask Yourself After Dry January:

What benefits did you experience during your break from alcohol?

It’s important to reflect on the benefits you received from your break or reduction of alcohol consumption. Did you experience less anxiety or better sleep? How would these benefits change if you resumed drinking? Is that something you want for yourself? Trade-offs are a part of life, so when considering what you get in exchange for what you give up, make sure it’s worth it. Alcohol provides a twenty-minute high, so consider whether exchanging this for the benefits you found while being alcohol-free is worth it.

How do you define success?

Taking a break from alcohol is an accomplishment in itself, but what was your goal in doing so? Are you in a place where you feel in control of your alcohol intake, or do you still have reservations or fears about returning to your old habits? Digging deep into these thoughts can help you determine what success looks like for you and your relationship with alcohol.

What benefit will you get from going back to drinking?

This question can be the hardest to answer, as it forces you to examine why you were using alcohol in the first place. If drinking was your go-to for socializing or coping with emotions, you may think that returning to it will benefit you. But is that really the life you want for yourself? Would you rather work on yourself and handle anything that comes your way without needing a drink to get through it?

What to Tell Others After Dry January:

It’s not uncommon to feel pressure from others to justify your decision to not drink after Dry January. Here are some tips for responding to these questions:

I’m trying it out a bit longer.

You don’t need to put a timeline on your decision to stay alcohol-free. Be honest with those who ask, and let them know that you’re feeling good and enjoying the benefits of not drinking. Don’t define a timeline for anyone else, as this can lead to pressure to start drinking again.

I like how I feel.

Feeling good is a great reason to continue your alcohol-free lifestyle. Tell others that you’re feeling good and curious to see what other benefits await you. The longer you go without alcohol, the more benefits you’ll experience.

It’s health-related.

This is a truthful answer that most people won’t question. Your decision to continue your break from alcohol is related to your health and how alcohol negatively affects it.

I’m driving/have an early commitment.

This is an easy explanation for not drinking, and most people will understand. Those who pressure you to drink after hearing this likely just want to feel better about their own drinking habits.

I’m good.
You don’t owe anyone an explanation about your personal relationship with alcohol. The best answer may be no answer at all.

How To Maintain Control When Dry January Ends detail.

If you’re worried that you might find it difficult to maintain control over alcohol when Dry January ends, you’re not alone. It can be easy to forget why you changed your relationship with alcohol in the first place, and start to feel complacent or even crave a drink. However, there are several tricks you can use to stay in control, such as:

Keep a record

Keeping a record of your journey can be helpful in maintaining control when Dry January ends. This could be a journal, vlog, or notes on your phone, or whatever works best for you. Write down the benefits you’re experiencing from changing your relationship with alcohol, and contrast them with how you felt while drinking as you used to. Keep track of your experiences, note your emotions, and record how you feel mentally and physically. Having this material to reference later can be a useful resource when you need a reminder of why you quit drinking in the first place.

Reshape your beliefs

Your triggers and reasons for drinking may still exist when Dry January ends. When these triggers pop up, try to consciously choose to respond instead of react. For example, instead of automatically thinking “I need a drink,” you can ask yourself questions like “Do I really need a drink? What benefit do I think a drink will bring me? Where is this belief coming from? Is it true?” Once you’ve brought that belief to light, you can reshape it. That means the next time that belief pops up and you think “I need a drink,” you can respond with “Actually, I don’t. Drinking won’t help me right now at all.” You’ve empowered yourself to control your beliefs around alcohol and to respond instead of reacting to them.

Start something new

Boredom can be a major reason why we return to drinking when Dry January ends. We eliminate drinking and often the activities that went along with it, but we don’t introduce anything to take its place. This is your chance to engage with and enjoy life. Life doesn’t have to be boring now. You have the freedom to do all those things that drinking held you back from. Go back to school, take on new hobbies, join a club, explore a new sport, read new books, start a podcast. This is a new version of you. The version you get to create into whomever you always wanted to be!

Remember your driver

Staying motivated when Dry January ends can be a challenge. You can’t hold onto that pink cloud forever. To stay motivated, you need to be aware of what your driver is. What are your reasons for doing this? What aspects of this new life support those reasons? Bringing these benefits to the forefront of your mind can help you stay motivated. Some people even carry their reasons with them so they can remind themselves in moments when motivation fades. Make it your background on your phone, attach it to your keychain, stick it to your desk – make sure your reason is always close by so it can keep being your driver!

Find support

When Dry January ends, we often feel alone. People didn’t mind joining us for a month-long challenge, but they cringe at the thought of keeping that experiment going. This just means you need new people in your life! If you need coaching and guidance on what to do next, there’s The PATH by This Naked Mind. You can also sign up for another 30 days of being alcohol-free and more information in The Alcohol Experiment. We have a supportive community available to you at any time in the This Naked Mind Companion App, along with so many other great groups. Expand your community and let them help you stay alcohol-free.

Dry January has come to an end, but it doesn’t mean you have to go back to drinking the way you used to. It’s an opportunity to assess how much of a role you want alcohol to play in your life. This decision doesn’t have to be permanent, and you can always adjust it in the future.

Reflect on your progress during Dry January

Take a moment to reflect on your Dry January experience. What did you learn about yourself and your relationship with alcohol? Did you notice any changes in your physical and mental health? Did you find new hobbies or activities to fill the time you would have spent drinking?

By reflecting on these questions, you can gauge whether you want to continue with a more mindful approach to alcohol or return to old habits.

Set realistic goals for the future

After reflecting on your experience, set realistic goals for the future. This could mean cutting back on your drinking or setting limits on when and how much you drink. Maybe you want to have alcohol-free days during the week or only drink on special occasions.

It’s important to remember that these goals are personal, and what works for someone else might not work for you. Set goals that align with your values and are achievable for you.

How To Keep Management When Dry January Ends



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