January Wellness Challenge: Dry January

Happy first Monday of 2019! I’m super excited to officially be kicking off my monthly wellness challenges today with January’s challenge: Dry January. Before you scoff at the idea of no drinking for an entire month, keep reading because it might look a little different than what you think.

2019 Wellness Challenges

Here’s how this is going to work: Every month in 2019 I’ll be posting a wellness challenge that I’ll be completing along with you… Or trying to complete anyway. There’s no judgement in these challenges so if you (or I) aren’t able to complete them for any reason, that’s ok as long as we try our best.

I’ll share each challenge along with my tips to complete them in a blog post at the beginning of the month. In the next month’s challenge post, I’ll share my results from the previous month.

I hope that you will join me in all or some of the challenges! It will be fun, and I’m hoping we’ll all learn a lot about our bodies and minds along the way.

To make things more fun and collaborative, I’ve created a private Facebook group called Lemon Stripes Wellness Challenge so that we can all support each other in each month’s challenge throughout the year. Join that and get extra support and information from me and other people doing the challenges. OMG as I’m typing this I’m getting more and more excited about this whole situation. I have a feeling it’s going to be great!

Although the challenges are wellness-based, they might not always look that way at first glance. Some of them will be home organization projects, some will be food based, and some will be about self care.  I believe that wellness is about your whole body, your mind, and your soul, not just the food you’re eating. That said, the first one is food-related so go figure.

Striped Sweater / Similar Jeans / SMEG Water Kettle

January Wellness Challenge: Dry January

Obviously we’re already a week into the month, but it isn’t too late to start this challenge! Dry January, traditionally, means taking the month of January to cut alcohol out of your life. I do this every year because it makes me feel good, and helps to restart my intentions for the rest of the year.

But my challenge to you is to cut out one group of food (or beverage) that doesn’t make you feel your best. That might mean gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, or anything really!

When I cut out alcohol, I feel better in a lot of ways: Mainly it’s my sinuses. As you might remember, I’ve now had two sinus surgeries and am constantly inflamed in my sinuses. Whenever I drink, even if it’s only one glass of wine, I feel stuffed up that night and the next morning. I also wake up feeling groggy and don’t sleep as well.

I’m only seven days into my 2019 Dry January challenge and my nose is so much clearer already! I have more energy throughout the day, and I’m sleeping better at night. Based on past experiences, I know that by the end of the month, my skin will be more clear and glowing, my cheeks and under eye bags will de-puff, and my stomach will flatten out.

The one downside is that happens every times is that I find myself craving more sugar. But I allow myself to have some dark chocolate, extra fruit, and even a cookie or two if I’m really craving it. As long as it doesn’t start to make me feel yucky which goes against the whole point of this exercise.

Tips for Dry January

I’ve done this five or six times, and I’ve learned a thing or two with each go-round. Here are some of my tips for a successful month:

1. Be realistic. When I do dry January, I commit entirely because it’s what makes me feel the best, but if you have to go to a wedding or event where you would want to have a drink or two, give yourself and exception and don’t beat yourself up about it! Just write down these events ahead of time and only break the rules for them.

2. Share your intentions. Tell your friends and family what you’re up to so that they support you when you’re out to dinner or at a party. And share with them why you’re doing it. And if you think they’d be interested, invite them to join you.

3. Reward yourself: I’ll give this as a tip for most of these wellness challenges, but I love the idea of rewarding yourself for completing the challenge. It doesn’t have to be with something that costs a lot. One of my favorite ways to do this is with a 20 minute massage at the nail salon which usually costs about $20! When you start the challenge, think of your reward so that you have something to work towards.

Let me know if you’ll be joining me for our January challenge, and don’t forget to join the Facebook group for more info and to chat with other wellness challengers!

Striped Sweater / Similar Jeans / SMEG Water Kettle

Photos by Julia Dags.

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Comments

  1. Jill said:

    I read about how good this is for you so I’m trying it for the first time. 6 days in and I definitely noticed the sugars cravings. Thank you for the tips! I love the wellness challenges idea and look forward to the series! Happy New Year!

    1.7.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Awesome! So excited you’re on board. The sugar cravings are intense, right? It’s so weird because I rarely crave sugar except when I do this.

      1.7.19 · Reply
  2. Olivia said:

    Ahah i would have love doing it, but I hope to be pregnant soon, so I will have nine month alcohol free, and before that I will allow myself some wine cause I really like that^^

    1.7.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Oooh exciting! Can you cut something else instead? Something that makes you not feel great?

      1.7.19 · Reply
      • Olivia said:

        I think I should cut sugar! I am such an addict ahah

        1.27.19 · Reply
  3. Katherine said:

    I have always wanted to do this. I don’t usually drink during the week anyways but on the weekends I do while out socially. I am going to try and cut that this month (haven’t had anything so far due to a cold so mind as well keep going).

    1.7.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Awesome! It’s strange that only cutting two days makes such a difference, but I promise it does. So happy to have you on board, Katherine.

      1.7.19 · Reply
  4. Robin said:

    I am doing Dry January for the first time! It’s definitely tougher on the weekends, but I’m really proud of myself for doing it! Thank goodness for La Croix and kombucha 🙂

    1.7.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      La Croix is a Dry January life saver!!!

      1.7.19 · Reply
  5. Julia said:

    I am doing dry January for the second year in a row, but this year I’m doing it at home only. With two little kids, we don’t get out much, so if I get an opportunity to go out, I want to take advantage of it!

    1.7.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Girl, I hear that!! Good for you for doing it in a way that works for you!

      1.7.19 · Reply
  6. Becky Dempsey said:

    I’m in!

    1.7.19 · Reply
  7. Kristin F. said:

    Love it! I actually chilled a bottle of champagne the other night and put it back in the fridge because I knew it would make me feel bad. My husband was like “who are you” 🙂 I find that when I give myself a timeline goal, if I make it, it’s easier to go another few weeks beyond the original goal too.

    1.7.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I love it! The timeline makes it feel totally doable.

      1.8.19 · Reply
  8. Lindsay said:

    I am doing a dry January and I’m pretty sure everyone thinks I’m pregnant , but I do hope to be pregnant soon and would like to be in a better place physically before that happens. 7 days in and feeling pretty good!

    1.7.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Hahah yep happens every year. But the month that I got pregnant with Amalia was the month that I stopped drinking so you never know! 🙂

      1.8.19 · Reply
  9. Libby said:

    I thought I would attempt dry January, but had a glass of wine after anatomy lab last night, and was like oops….so I joined the Facebook group!!! Thanks for setting this up, Julia!!

    https://premedwearspearls.blogspot.com

    xoxo Libby

    1.11.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Good, so glad you joined! You can start fresh today 🙂 We’ve got your back!

      1.18.19 · Reply
  10. Jenn said:

    I’m not a new follower (Instagram) but new to your blog & I too, have had 2 sinus surgeries! After the second one I realized that I can’t tolerate wine or beer at all any more (boo!) but that I CAN tolerate & enjoy white liquor (Bacardi, Titos, etc). I’m curious to see if after dry January if you’re the same? Anyway, thanks for sharing so much I love your work! 🙂

    1.18.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Interesting! I find that vodka and tequila are ok for me too. But anything else makes my sinuses blow up like crazy. Such a bummer, right? Thanks so much for following along!

      1.18.19 · Reply