If you are thinking about taking a break from booze, do it! Dry January is a New Year's trend that marks January 1st at the first day of a month-long break from consuming alcohol. You may get turned onto a whole new mindset about how you choose to consume alcohol. With advice from a Rehab Expert, numerous benefits of taking a “Booze Break” are now available for social drinkers. Studies have shown that a month-long respite from alcohol can significantly benefit one’s mental and physical health.
Drinking Less Saves Money
According to Fortune magazine in 2018, thanks to the “craft cocktail trend” the overall price for alcoholic beverages and thus the general cost of alcohol has increased. Let’s say you hit a happy hour twice a week and bought a round of drinks for 3 people at $15-$20 each, with tip that could be between $80 and $100. This may be even more if you are in major metropolitan cities. Multiply that by 2x per week for 4 weeks in a month and you are saving close to $400 per month just on after work happy hours. Add more money saved if you are also a weekend social drinker. Add way more money if you are buying bottles in the VIP area for hundreds of dollars.
People are often amazed at how much free cash they have to put towards other things they want to do such as paying down debt, vacations, car repairs, gym memberships, upgrades to their homes, etc. when they eliminate their alcohol purchases.
Your Complexion Can Improve
While alcohol does not directly cause acne, it certainly can affect hormone levels and immune function which then leads to sallow skin, breakouts and a puffy, flushed complexion. If you are the type who can easily “Rose all day” and loves mixed drinks featuring more sugar, syrups and other additives; you will quickly see a major change to the texture and tone of your skin. It is always great to snap selfies in the same room with the same light so you can really see the difference.
You May Lose Weight
A study in the Journal of Obesity said that people who do not drink eat less simply because alcohol heightens the senses. It makes the sauce and cheese on that pizza or those late-night bites all the more delicious. When you remove alcohol from your life it diminishes your calorie intake. Think about 3 beers or glasses of wine at about 150 calories each and those calories add up. Your blood sugar and cholesterol levels start to really improve without alcohol, and since alcohol dehydrates the body’s organs, taking a break from booze will help the body function better overall.
Your are More Productive
One of the other benefits of opting to go booze-free for a month is that you will notice that you are not sluggish. You will have more energy, creative focus, and get a lot more done. You are no longer fading in the afternoon or hitting the snooze button 3 times in the morning. You are clear and focused on what you want to accomplish during the day and you have the ability to follow through with a better mood. You will be able to concentrate on tasks which also helps you stimulate the part of your brain where memory takes place. This keeps us sharp as we age. You can still enjoy some fun and delicious mocktails during this time.
You Have More Time
Often when we make a major change in our lives like choosing to lay off alcohol for a month, our crew of cohorts changes. This frees up time for you to focus on you. Self care is important and often neglected when going out to socialize over drinks is the norm. When you are no longer invited out to drink away the work day, you are now free to get an after work fitness class in, take a workshop, listen to some audio books and check out a cool lecture. You start to realize there is plenty to do that does not involve liquor and you start to meet new friends to do these things with.
What is interesting to note is that people who consider themselves “social drinkers” experience these improvements within a few days. People who struggle with alcoholism may actually cause more harm to themselves if they just decide to stop drinking cold turkey. Because there are many social drinkers teetering on the line of having a “drinking problem” given they tend to binge on the weekends with casual drinks with dinner mid-week; committing to going without alcohol may reveal there actually is a bigger issue going on. If someone cannot last a week without alcohol and feels nauseous, gets terrible headaches, sweats, and is physically shaky and ill, consulting a doctor would be an important next step.
What It Does For Your Liver
As much as people might want to believe that taking a vacation from drinking makes up for the excess, it is simply not true. Excessive boozing and “drying out” for a month will not even out the score with your liver. A month-long hiatus won’t heal your liver — which processes the sugar in alcohol and can be damaged by excessive drinking. Are you really “healing your liver”? No, though you are taking a month off from causing it any more damage.
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About the Author: Carrie Carlton, Clinical Director (LCSW) and Clinical Supervisor at Beachway Therapy Center holds a BSW and MSW in social work from Florida Atlantic University, an MA from Barry University (Miami), and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She also has a background in medical social work. Her understanding of cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused therapy, and family systems guide her treatment of addicts and families. Her clients thrive under her guidance because of her honesty, empathy, and compassion. Recognizing the severe impact of addictions on both the addict and the families, Carrie is dedicated to consistently serve her clients.
Beachway Therapy Center provides a continuum of care, from PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program) to Outpatient services. The facility offers a fully individualized treatment plan that meets the clinical and medical needs of each client usually lasting between 30 and 90 days. Beachway provides an extremely low client to therapist ratio and under high level professional supervision, clients can begin to recover in a safe, residential-like environment. CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) motivational interviewing, addiction counseling, 12-Step orientation, DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy,) trauma-informed practices and a wide variety of supportive group therapies are offered.
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