Did you take part in Dry January this year?
No matter what happened this month – whether you nailed it or struggled through it – I have some thoughts on what to do next.
In fact, there are two things I recommend you do before February arrives.
These two things will help you learn and grow, no matter how you’re feeling (or what you plan on doing next!)
I explain all in this video:
Perhaps you had a rocky Dry January and ended up ditching your commitment to being alcohol free. Maybe you stuck to your goal but you’re not sure what to do now. No matter what went on, here are the two things to do next:
Get curious about the tough times this month
If you drank (or nearly did) be sure to explore what happened with curiosity. Don’t make the mistake of blaming your circumstances – e.g. lockdown, covid etc. It’s never really about that stuff. The trick is to work out how you were feeling just before you drank.
Were you overwhelmed? Bored? Scared? Anxious? Craving comfort? Once you start getting clearer on the feelings you find difficult to manage – and which trigger you to drink – you can start asking much more useful questions.
Lockdowns do end. Covid will (eventually) pass. But there will always be things in your life that trigger difficult feelings. This is the real work of sobriety: learning how to manage your feelings, sit with them, and let them pass.
Write a short review of your Dry January
Write it down factually – you’re being a scientist here, not a judge. How many days were you alcohol free? Note down how you’re feeling physically and mentally. Also write down 3 things that went well this month. Get it recorded in black and white before you forget.
Next, decide what you want to do in February and write down why. This helps you move forward with intention. If you’ve had a Dry January, but you promised yourself that you’d go back to drinking on 1st February, and you still want to do that, record that.
Set a reminder on your phone, for a month from today, so you can come back, repeat this exercise and revisit your notes. This bit is crucial. Comparing how you feel month by month helps you make informed choices and learn from the past.