If you’re unfamiliar, Dry January means that I chose to give up alcohol for the entire month (with one exception). Prior to beginning my dry month, I already had a ski trip on the books so I allowed myself an Aprè-ski beer.
Besides that one exception, I stayed strong and didn’t have a sip of alcohol from January 1 through February 3. This might not sound like a big feat to some of you, but I challenge you to keep track of the number of alcoholic beverages you have in just one week – Monday night Bachelor viewing (or in my case Bravo binging) – wine, networking event on Wednesday – beer, happy hour with a friend on Thursday – marg … and we haven’t even made it to the weekend yet!
Here’s What I Learned from Dry January
- Abstaining during the week was much easier than I thought it would be. I still attended networking events and happy hours/dinners with friends, and saying no to alcohol wasn’t actually that difficult. You’d be amazed at how many people will join in on abstaining once you bring it up.
- I saved a TON of money. It’s not that I actually drink a ton when I do go out, but what usually ends up happening on the weekends is that Michael and I will meet up with friends to watch a sports game around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. That leads to pre-dinner drinks at a second spot, which inevitably leads to a long sit down dinner. In D.C. especially, drinking at all of those spots (and just being out and about for that long!) really starts to take a toll on your wallet!
- On that same note, I learned that waking up the next morning without the “hangover” of realizing how much money I spent (or that Michael and I spent between the two of us) is really nice. And completely worth not drinking.
- I was infinitely more productive. When you’re not meeting up with friends in the middle of the day on Saturday or Sunday, you can get A LOT done! This was one of the main motivating factors in my decision to do Dry January in the first place. At times, sure I wanted to head to the bar to meet friends for a beer by mid-afternoon, but the feeling I had around 5pm of accomplishing SO much during the day was pretty incredible.
- The hardest part of this entire process for me was heading out to dinner on Friday/Saturday nights and not drinking. I learned that some of the feelings I had of wanting a glass of wine or beer with dinner stemmed from straight-up feeling guilty about NOT ordering something (is that weird?!). I felt bad, and felt like I had to explain myself to the waiter when I just ordered water to drink. By the end of the month, I didn’t feel as guilty about this (maybe it’s the fact that I used to wait tables that I have that lingering guilt …).
All in all, I really enjoyed the challenge, and I’m definitely considering picking up another “dry” month this year! Did you happen to participate in Dry January?! If so, what was your experience like??
If you’re just here for the outfit details, no worries, I got you covered! 😉 Scroll down to the bottom of the post and everything is linked!
Photos by Victoria | Viciloves