Learn / What Is Dry January & Why You Might Want To Try It

What Is Dry January & Why You Might Want To Try It

Aplós, August 22nd, 2023

In the depths of winter, nature draws a tranquil breath, stilling its heart for a brief respite. Such is the time when we, too, are drawn inward, contemplating the delicate intricacies of our existence. Frost paints window panes as the world outside stands muted, wrapped in a blanket of white serenity.

And as winter’s first dawn breaks, casting a gentle golden hue over the unspoiled snow, the air is thick with anticipation, dreams, and the murmur of resolutions, with a new year whispering promises of metamorphosis and the birth of aspirations. Among the myriad of resolutions that echo through frosty mornings, there rises a distinct call — Dry January.

It's the choice of many to cleanse their palate and spirit, pausing their alcohol consumption and diving into the cool embrace of clarity. A choice to start the year not with the fervor of parties and the clinking of glasses but with introspection, wellness, and a refreshed sense of purpose.

What Is Dry January?

As the winter days settle beneath a sky of longer nights, the desire for a fresh start falls upon us like a blanket of soft snow. In this desire, a modern tradition was born — a tradition that stands as a testament to human resilience and the yearning for well-being: Dry January.

Dry January participants commit to remaining alcohol-free throughout the month of January. This month-long challenge has grown over the years, reflecting the shift that is unfolding around us like the gentle spools of light breaking through a winter morning. The collective consciousness leans towards elevated wellness and presence.

And so, under the watchful gaze of a billion stars, Dry January became not just a personal choice but a communal journey. A journey of individuals coming together, drawing strength from shared experiences, cozying up with loved ones, savoring the magic of slow mornings, and cherishing the warmth of a functional drink by a crackling fireplace.

The Dry January challenge isn't about deprivation but about discovery — a rediscovery of oneself without the haze of alcohol. It's about the gentle caress of a new dawn, the promise of better days, and the infinite possibilities that lie ahead. It’s a testament to the strength of the human spirit, proving that even in the midst of life's harshest winters, there is always the hope of a radiant spring.

What Is the History of Dry January?

Dry January, while a beacon of hope for many, has its humble origins across the pond. It began as the brainchild of Emily Robinson, who, in the year 2011, refrained from the allure of alcoholic drinks, not for the movement, but for her personal commitment to a running race.

Feeling the transformations within, she brought this revelation to Alcohol Change UK. By 2013, this British charity transformed her personal epiphany into a public quest for well-being.

While this movement was born over a decade ago, its flame was truly fanned in the wake of the global pandemic, as many Americans — isolated and contending with uncertainties — found themselves turning to alcohol as a balm for the soul. This surge in drinking habits underscored the need for a pause, a respite, and the ethos of Dry January offered just that.

Like the first golden rays piercing the morning mist, the impact of this movement spread far and wide, inspiring millions globally. It is now a wide-scale collective endeavor but a global tapestry woven from threads of resilience, reflection, and rebirth.

Understanding Alcohol and Its Effects

Each sip of alcohol, like melting snowflakes, leaves traces. Over time, these seemingly innocuous droplets form rivulets, rushing toward health adversities. For many, the impacts of drinking alcohol can be treacherous, uplifting the benefits of Dry January.

Cardiovascular Effects

Alcohol, seemingly benign in moderation, still has the potential to harbor a tumult within, especially for the circulatory system. Every spirited glass, while appearing as innocent as a solitary snowflake, holds the potential to disturb our cardiovascular peace.

Blood pressure, rising stealthily, becomes a hidden tempest beneath the calm, reminiscent of snow silently piling upon a rooftop, as alcohol possesses the ability to undue strain on the very chambers and rhythms of our hearts. As the chill of winter can deepen, so can the consequences of binge drinking or prolonged alcohol use, casting long, stormy shadows on our heart's horizons.

Effect on the Liver

Our liver, much like the diligent guardian of our fortress, operates without rest. Every drop of alcohol demands its attention, pulling it into a dance of detoxification. Persistent exposure to alcohol is like the encroaching frost, which, over time, burdens the liver, elevating risks of liver issues.

It's not merely a struggle against a toxin; it's a battle against potential substance abuse and the cascading shadows of liver disease that can build with heavy drinking.

Mental Turbulence

As winter can bring both the enchantment of snow-draped mornings and the gloom of extended nights, so too does alcohol possess a dual nature. While alcoholic beverages might appear to elevate transient euphoria at the moment, it shadows deeper psychological ripples.

The morning after, as the alcohol's mirage fades, it often leaves behind feelings of anxiety, bouts of depression, and a lingering mental fog reminiscent of the haze after a snowstorm.

Over extended periods, this repeated cycle can lead to increased tolerance and the potential for dependency, altering the brain's delicate equilibrium and leaving footprints deep within our cognitive snowscape.

Cravings and Dependency

Alcohol can entwine its users in chains of cravings and dependency. Over time, casual sips by the fireside might metamorphose into an unyielding need. These cravings, though silent as the falling snow, become a clarion call, highlighting not just the body's desire but also the dangers of evolving substance abuse and alcohol use disorders.

In understanding the effects of alcohol, we unearth the hidden riddles of our choices. And as winter unfolds, with its lessons of resilience, so does the opportunity to ponder and redefine our relationship with what we consume.

What Are the Benefits of Taking a Break From Drinking?

Abandoning alcohol, even momentarily, is akin to standing at winter's precipice, witnessing the world painted in hues of peace. The promise of a month of sobriety is a silent, steadfast protector against the looming health effects of alcohol.

Whether you drink a regular glass of wine with dinner or enjoy a cocktail or two at celebrations, taking a break can help you become more aware of your alcohol intake and reconnect with the body's natural rhythms, revealing the nuanced flavors of life untouched by intoxication.

The Gift of Better Sleep

In the quiet hours of the night, the world seeks solace in the embrace of night. Abstaining from alcohol brings with it nights where sleep is as deep and uninterrupted as a snow-laden forest.

Without the dehydrating effect of alcohol interrupting our sleep cycle, the dreamer can embrace serene slumbers, where the soul finds restoration.

Renewed Vitality

As dawn breaks, scattering the night's tranquility with hues of hope, the energy levels of one devoid of hangovers rise like the sun itself. Each morning unveils clarity, pushing away the fog that once lingered. In this newfound vibrancy, every task feels lighter, every moment more present.

Mental Clarity and Presence

Without alcohol clouding judgment and perception, the mind is gifted with rare clarity. Like a still winter pond reflecting the world in perfect symmetry, the abstainer's presence in each moment becomes sharp, attuned, and deeply felt. This heightened sense of being cultivates a fertile ground for mental health to flourish.

Understanding Drinking Habits

The calm of winter provides the canvas upon which one can sketch their reflections. A pause from alcohol isn't merely about abstention but an invitation to introspect.

It becomes a time to understand one's drinking habits, to question their origins, and to reshape or redefine them in the light of newfound understanding — one that can linger long after the season has shifted on in their natural cycle.

Holistic Health Benefits

The act of abstaining sings a quiet lullaby of promises. Beyond the obvious respite it offers the liver and heart, the entire being bathes in its benefits. From the subtle elevation in mood to the profound shifts in physiological well-being, the health benefits of a break from alcohol are as vast and varied as winter's landscapes.

By choosing a break, one isn't merely pausing; they are stepping into a world of renewed promise, where each benefit is a beacon guiding towards holistic well-being. As the winter days progress, so does the journey of rejuvenation for those who dare to tread this path.

It’s worth noting here that heavy drinkers or those who are already dependent on alcohol shouldn’t try Dry January without the help of a healthcare provider. Working with a professional can help you navigate the dangerous effects of alcohol withdrawal symptoms so that you can go cold turkey while protecting your health.

Navigating Dry January With Wellness-Enhancing Alternatives

Winter, with its hushed landscapes, often carries whispers of temptation. The allure of a ruby-red wine, reflecting the twilight hues of a setting sun, beckons with familiarity. But this January, there’s a shift in the air. As the fireside cradles you with its warmth and tales, there emerges a luxurious alternative to alcohol, breaking the mold of what Dry January can feel like.

Enter the world of functional spirits, where the sensory nuances mirror the entrancing effects of alcohol but sidestep its pitfalls. Aplós, with its two radiant offerings, Calme and Arise, wraps you in an experience that's both rejuvenating and mesmerizing.

Calme, with its bright citrus notes and soothing hemp extract, is the gentle embrace at the day’s end, a soothing companion as dusk paints the horizon. Meanwhile, Arise is blended with bold botanical adaptogens to energize and uplift, an elixir of dawn that awakens the senses.

These functional spirits can fit into any celebration or gathering, elevating the sensory experience while teeming with natural wellness that won’t leave you feeling hazy or clouded come tomorrow.

How To Shift Away From Alcoholic Beverages With Functional Cocktails

Integrating these sophisticated alternatives into your winter repertoire promises moments of unforgettable richness. Participating in Dry January does not leave you lacking or unincluded in the social landscape. Instead, functional cocktails can open you to the possibilities ahead, offering a wealth of benefits and flavors that dance like snowflakes, each uniquely mesmerizing.

Picture a New Year's Eve toast with an Aplós Fizzy Affair, marking fresh beginnings. Or find solace in the Aplós Ski after a thrilling descent down snowy slopes as conversations deepen and bonds strengthen.

For those holiday parties, the spicy undertones of the Slow Glow not only warm the soul but also foster intimacy and shared laughter. And when the early sunset of Monday tugs at your heart, the espresso allure of Monday 5:15, with a hint of Calme, promises serenity.

Dry January, in its essence, isn't about the absence of cherished rituals but a deeper dive into wellness. With Aplós by your side, this journey is punctuated by presence, elevation, and the unmatched luxury of well-being. As the blanket of snow covers the past and hints at future possibilities, let each sip be a testament to togetherness and the magic of shared moments.

The Bottom Line

As January’s snow melts, giving way to the burgeoning whispers of spring, those who embrace its call emerge transformed. The choice to abstain, even temporarily, isn’t just a fleeting New Year's resolution. It’s a love letter to oneself, penned in the quiet moments by the fireplace, sealed with the promise of well-being.

As the new year unfolds, embrace each wondrous moment with Aplós, and may we all find the strength to embrace the challenges and savor the profound joy of shared moments.


The Dry January story | Alcohol Change UK

No level of alcohol consumption is safe for our health | WHO

Ways Alcohol Affects Your Heart | Cleveland Clinic

How Alcohol Impacts the Brain | Northwestern Medicine

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