Over the years, we have been very excited to see the Dry January movement gain traction. Once a small social media trend, it is now covered in some of the largest publications in the world and attracts millions to participate. The concept is simple; avoid all alcohol for the first 31 days of the year. Now, though, several sites are correctly pointing out that it will have some extra challenges.
The BBC covered the state of Dry January in a lengthy article on their site. With quarantines and the stressors of COVID-19, it will certainly be harder than usual to avoid negative temptations. Several locals were interviewed for the piece, sharing the hardships of the previous year and their struggle to maintain sobriety during challenging times.
“This time last year I did Dry January, and it was easy, I enjoyed it,” UK influencer Sarah Wassell told the site. “But I fell off the wagon on day two [of 2021] – it was just too hard with this lockdown.”
And sadly, even the first few days of the year were filled with emotional turmoil. Over here in the states, the drama that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol led to a flurry of social media posts where people confessed falling off the wagon.
Do we still have to do dry January during a white supremacist coup attempt? Its ok to have wine 🍷 now, right? And maybe cookies…
— Melissa Harris-Perry (@MHarrisPerry) January 6, 2021
Not surprisingly, that tweet alone earned thousands of shares and endorsements. But the article rightly points out that even if you do slip at some point in the month, there is no shame in starting right over again. You can even press a reset button and give yourself 31 new days of sobriety starting after your most recent drink.
The BBC piece concluded with some helpful tips to keep people focused on their “Dry” momentum this month. One big one was to stay focused on your overall goal. For some, it may be to lose weight, for others it’s to save money. All of these rationales are absolutely acceptable and we encourage people to maintain their clarity on the purpose behind the challenge.
Another tip mentioned is working out your trigger points. As mentioned above, tragic headlines can easily send somebody towards the bottle. If that’s the case, try to avoid falling down the rabbit hole of the internet news cycle. Similarly, people may be prone to relapse if they attend virtual happy hours or put themselves in particular situations. We recommend avoiding those as well and taking some time to reflect on what may create a negative spiral.
The final call out is for everyone to remember that they are not alone. Yes, it certainly feels that way because of quarantines and COVID-19. But always remember that there are recovery facilities and support networks in place to squash the feelings of isolation. We, for one, are happy to make ourselves available. Not just for Dry January, but for a healthy, sober 2021.