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.
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.
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.
Photos by Julia Dags.