Fresh starts are in the air. It’s obvious in the way that so many people are interested in exploring a “sober-curious” lifestyle. In fact, 2021 has ushered in the trend known as Dry January among people who are looking to experience the year ahead in a slightly different state. Ultimately, it’s a great time to explore a pivot toward substance-free living for anyone who wants to walk into a clean lifestyle with plenty of good company. Take a look at the basics of the sober-curious lifestyle that so many people are kicking off with Dry January this year.
What Is Sober Curiosity?
At the core, a sober-curious person is simply someone who is interested in investigating what life would be like without alcohol using a very pressure-free approach. Dry January is a “trend” with immense value. People who participate are often looking to start the year off on a fresh, healthy note without feeling clouded in any way. It is very much a physical, emotional and spiritual detoxification process. Curiosity about sober living beyond January is poised to be a big theme for 2021 that will last all year. For some, the curiosity sparked this year will last a lifetime.
What Are Some Motivations for Living a Dry/Sober-Curious Lifestyle?
People have many different motivations for trying sober-curious living at the start of a new year. For some, bad experiences while drinking in 2020 have caused them to want to begin the year on a clarified, substance-free note. Others are more interested in the health benefits of walking away from alcohol. Here’s a look at common reasons why people pursue sober curiosity:
- Concerns about the long-term health effects of consuming alcohol, including elevated risks for cancer and cardiovascular disease.
- Worries that drinking has gotten out of control.
- A bad experience caused by drinking that created a reality check. This often includes things like DUIs, fights with loved ones or embarrassing behavior.
- A desire to enjoy socializing and going out without the need to drink to have a good time.
- A desire to connect with people without the use of alcohol.
Dry January is often an attractive option for people because it sets a start and end date for living without alcohol. People who feel too overwhelmed by the idea of making a permanent commitment to a alcohol-free lifestyle often feel confident that they can get through a full month relatively easily.
Can You Still Socialize During a Dry January?
Yes, people who are participating in Dry January can still go out with friends. Many bars are beginning to serve special alcohol-free “mocktails” in response to the increase in people taking sober breaks. People participating in Dry January often like to have special go-to coffees, sodas or nonalcoholic cocktails that they can order when going to places where others will be drinking. Also, some people prefer to spend the time they would have been drinking doing new activities like running, practicing yoga or learning a hobby.
While socializing is permitted during Dry January, those stepping into a sober-curious period may decide to abstain from people and places that could trigger or influence drinking. There can often be too much pressure to resist taking a sip when going out with a group of friends. Personal discretion is vital for making the best decision.
Walking Toward a Sober-Curious Mindset
You don’t have to see January on the calendar to begin a dry month. Any day is the perfect day to pursue a sober-curious lifestyle if you have concerns that alcohol may be playing a negative role in your life. In many cases, seeking professional help with sobriety can help sober-curious individuals acquire the tools and resources necessary to enjoy life without alcohol! Being curious about sobriety is really just being curious about finding a better way to live your full, authentic life!