New Year, new you? That’s how it seems to go, isn’t it? The start of a new year is often when people feel they’re most motivated to do whatever it is they’ve been putting off…losing the weight, mending the relationship, saving the money, losing the alcohol…a new year means new opportunity. Just take a look around at all the advertisements offering to help you shed the old and bring in the new. There’s a new trend entering the first of the year: Sober January, Sober New Year that goes along with the mantra of creating a new you.
‘Twas The Season But Now What?
And there are lots of reasons that we feel that way. The holiday parties are over and much of the temptation to ‘let go,’ and ‘indulge,’ has turned into regret and inspiration for living healthier and happier. It makes sense, really, and more and more as retailers focus on our temptations, we start taking a look at how we’re living this life we’ve been given.
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Sobriety For A Month A Fad?
This new trend of spending the first year of the month sober seems to be picking up speed. More and more people are finding that ‘taking a break,’ from drinking during the month of January brings them so much more than they thought it could. Ultimately, many decide to live a life of sobriety from that decision to start with a month. The concept of DRY January is well-known in Great Britain and seems to be picking up speed as it crosses the pond to America. Believe it or not, it can even be traced back to the Finnish government in 1942 when they launched a campaign called “Sober January,” as part of their war efforts.
Show Us The Money
The beginning of a new year seems to be just the right time to attempt a Sober January too. According to a survey conducted by Alcohol.org, women associate New Year’s Eve as the holiday they drink the most, and while men find St. Patrick’s Day their booziest, they spend their fair share of dollars during the holidays. The average American spends anywhere between $550-$1000 a year on alcohol purchases. Making a decision to try a month dry is one that makes financial sense, particularly when many are coming off the financial expenditures the winter holidays lay heavily upon us.
Less Is More (For Your Health!)
Additionally, taking a break from drinking can make a big difference in your health too. A small, informal study was conducted by the staff of New Scientist in which employees participated in DRY January. Of 14 participants, all who considered themselves to be ‘normal’ drinkers, ten abstained from alcohol for the entire month. They were physically examined before and after the abstinence and what they found was shocking. Liver fat fell up to 20% in the abstainers, and this is significant as that’s a precursor to liver damage. Blood sugar levels dropped dramatically (good news for those predispositioned or otherwise to Diabetes) and total blood cholesterol (which plays a pivotal role in heart disease) dropped as well.
Not only did abstinence for a month result in dramatic and positive changes for physical health, the abstainers found their sleep quality was better, as was their energy level and their work performance. And that was just in one month for ‘normal drinkers.’
What Would A Sober You Look Like?
So what could happen if you felt that you drank more than an ‘average’ drinker? What if you’ve thought a DRY January might be something beneficial for you because you’re concerned you may be drinking more than you should. What if your motivation to consider a dry month was because you’re concerned that your relationships are suffering because of your alcohol intake? Or your budget? Or your health? Are you considering trying out what an alcohol-free month would look like on you? How it would make a difference in your life for a month? What about if you wonder what it would look like for longer? Forever?
If so, you’re not alone. Many people have found that the freedom and health they found in their DRY month gave them better relationships, better mental focus, more manageable weights, better immunity and reduced disease risks. Most importantly, they found that that fear of struggling with alcohol was no longer a fear, but an overcome obstacle that they considered triumph.
The Right Time is Right Now
There’s no shame in admitting you may be someone who struggles with alcohol dependence or addiction, but it is such a shame if you continue to feel alone. The reality is that you’re not, and contacting Ocean Hills Recovery could be the first step to you finding your motivation to stay sober and healthy for a lifetime, not just a month.
Help Is Proven And A Phone Call Away
The staff at Ocean Hills cares about you as an individual. Our mission is to help you so dependence and addiction don’t have to steal any more of your life. Our experienced staff will walk with you through a proven and individualized program that can be 30, 60 or 90-days, and our years of experience employ evidence-based psychotherapy and twelve-step programs that will bring you the freedom, health and happiness that a sober life has waiting for you.
Welcome To Freedom In Sobriety in 2019
Don’t make yourself wait for a new year to be a new you. The staff at Ocean Hills Recovery knows the right time for the new you is right now, and we’re anxiously waiting to compassionately lead you there.
If you’ve never sought treatment before or even if you have and you may be in a relapse, Ocean Hills Recovery can help you get back to the life you should be living. We’re ready to help make not just a new year, but a new you. Doesn’t that sound nice? A happy, healthy, sober you for 2019—and beyond!
About the author:
Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.
Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.
Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.