January is that exciting time of year where new year’s resolutions are made and we all strive to live healthier, happier lifestyles. Some resolutions are focused on eating better, others are about exercising more. But one lesser-known resolution that may be just what you’re searching for is Dry January. This phenomenon has picked up speed in recent years, giving people like yourself an opportunity to limit their alcohol consumption or stop drinking altogether.
Whether you’ve woken up with a hangover one too many times or have realized you struggle to stop drinking once you start, the idea of giving up alcohol may be a tempting one. There’s nothing wrong with questioning your drinking habits. In fact, these feelings are part of what it means to be sober curious.
What Does it Mean to Be Sober Curious?
The essence of being sober curious is questioning your relationship with alcohol. The recent surge in sober challenges like Sober October and Dry January have only added to this movement, motivating people to limit their alcohol use and educating them on healthier ways to cope with feelings of stress, frustration and depression.
Whether you only drink socially or think you might have an alcohol dependence, sober curiosity is the first step towards improving your drinking behaviors. For example, you may not even enjoy drinking and wonder why you started in the first place. This line of thinking and asking yourself questions about your drinking habits is what being sober curious is all about.
The Basics of Sober Curiosity
It’s Doesn’t Always Lead to Permanent Change
It’s important to note that sober curiosity doesn’t always lead to lifelong change. For many who are sober curious, their alcohol avoidance may only last for a few weeks or months. But even this “break” can help you take an honest look at your alcohol use and adopt healthier habits moving forward.
As you start to think about your relationship with alcohol, you’ll want to try to identify any alcohol dependence you have. While sober curiosity can be the spark for change, professional alcohol treatment is needed to take you the rest of the way.
There are Health Benefits from Sobriety
Even though alcohol is legal across the United States, it can cause plenty of negative side effects, such as:
- Feelings of anxiety and depression
- Increased risk of cancer, liver disease and alcohol use disorder
- Decreased mood regulation
- Trouble sleeping and concentrating
The good news is even a short break from drinking alcohol can improve your health. A recent study showed that just a one month break from alcohol can help lower your blood pressure and decrease your risk for alcohol-related diseases.
What to Do if You’re Feeling Sober Curious
If you’re curious about alcohol sobriety, there are a couple next steps you can take to get you there:
- First, begin by creating a plan for how you’re going to get away from your regular drinking habits. This might include participating in only sober activities with friends and family and asking loved ones to help you avoid alcohol.
- Then, practice turning down an alcohol beverage to prepare you for the real moment. Have an alternate drink top of mind for the times when you’re asked if you want a drink at a restaurant or bar.
However, if you think that you might have an alcohol use disorder, the best solution is professional addiction treatment. Being sober curious is not enough on its own to overcome an alcohol addiction. That’s why alcohol addiction treatment centers like The Raleigh House offer personalized support to help you overcome your substance abuse.
Find Hope for Lasting Sobriety at The Raleigh House
If you’re struggling with an alcohol addiction, there is hope for lasting recovery. At The Raleigh House, we have over 10 years of experience helping people just like you overcome their dependence on alcohol.
With our gold standard continuum of care, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your unique needs will be taken care of. If you’re considering getting sober, you aren’t alone at The Raleigh House. Contact our admissions team today to begin your journey toward long-term sobriety.