Dipping A Toe Into Sobriety: The Sober Movement
The holidays are a season of joy for many. But they are also a season of stress, financial worries, family fights and over-indulgence on all fronts. Part of overindulging usually includes alcohol intake, and the reasons for that are pretty straightforward: there’s a lot of stress and there’s a lot of parties during this time of year and it’s very natural and even easy to lose track of how much drinking one does during all these extra celebrations. This is where the Sober Movement comes into play for many people.
The Sober Movement
In an effort to get back on track, many people like to recalibrate after the holidays with what is known as Dry January. According to Wikipedia, Dry January is officially a public health campaign urging people to abstain from alcohol during the month of January. Though this campaign began and is widely practiced in the United Kingdom, it has caught on in other parts of the world as well. While it’s true that this event re-emerged fairly recently, Dry January events trace back to Finland in the 1940’s. It was part of their war effort and was known as “Sober January.”
Celebrities Lead the Trend: Dipping Their Toe Into Sobriety
On a more recent note, some celebrities participate in their own version of the sober movement through social media in what is known as “Sober October.”
Led by comedian Joe Rogan, each year they expand the challenge. Not only do they abstain from alcohol, but they also make a concerted effort to step up their workout routines—sometimes working out 2 or 3 times a day.
This past October was the year to try a new activity that has always intrigued them but they were too scared to try.
For example, fellow comedian Bert Kreischer took hip-hop dance classes. It is a competition among the group to see who can lose the most weight after the month is over, but the participants often speak of all the added benefits they didn’t anticipate. These benefits often motivate them to lengthen their sober months.
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Identify Your Motivations for Sobriety
You don’t need to be a celebrity to experiment with the sober movement. One of the first steps upon entering a Dry January should be to identify your reasons and your motivations. Obviously, these will be different for each individual, but there are some motivations that are universal:
1. Cut down on hangovers
Suffering through a hangover is not fun and can be an especially grating experience to do day after day. To wake up in the morning and be fresh and symptom-free can be a big motivator for some on the Sober January kick.
2. Save money
Drinking, whether done at a bar or with purchased drinks in the home, is always an added expense. Once the holiday bills start rolling in, a cold financial reality usually slaps everyone in the face come January. The first and easiest expense to eliminate can be alcoholic purchases.
3. Overall health and wellness
Each January is a chance to start new and fresh and for some people, they make resolutions to increase their efforts to be healthy. Cutting back on drinking is a great way to do this. Eliminating alcohol from your diet decreases your caloric intake, leads to greater mental clarity and sounder decision-making abilities, among other things.
Benefits of Sobriety
One way to stay motivated during a sober January is to examine what the benefits of sobriety are–and there are many.
1. Improved Sleep
Breaking down alcohol interrupts many of the body’s normal nighttime functions and leads to less restful, less productive sleeping patterns. Sober sleeping improves the overall quality of sleep and leads to more energetic and productive days.
2. Stay Present
Eliminating alcohol clears fog out of the brain. This makes one less likely to worry about their actions from the night before or stress about any future alcohol consumption. It becomes easier to stay present and be appreciative of any present experiences and blessings.
3. Overall health improves
Processing alcohol is taxing on the liver so this organ is a major beneficiary in the sober movement. Once alcohol is removed, the liver can work on eliminating other types of waste and lead to a healthier body. Headaches will reduce, digestion improves and as mentioned above, sleep takes on a more restful quality.
Short Term and Long Term Sobriety
Whether you’re a celebrity or an everyday citizen, the point of trying to abstain from alcohol for just one month starts as a personal challenge: to set a manageable goal for all involved. But the long-term hope is to see if maybe one month may turn into two, or perhaps expand into something longer. A lot of times, once people see the results of being sober for one month and how their health and well being noticeably improves, they decide on their own to keep the ball rolling and stay sober for a bigger chunk of time. Thus, a dip into the sober movement is often a springboard into more sustained sobriety.
If you or someone you know would like to start out on the road to sobriety, don’t hesitate to reach out. At Desert Cove Recovery, we offer personalized help and special plans dependent upon each person’s different goals and needs. You can give us a call at any time for help.