Among the different New Year’s resolutions, a more popular one is participating in a “Dry January.” Although I don’t tend to do New Year’s resolutions, this is one that I have repeated the past 3-4 years. According to research, it reduces total alcohol consumption for the year, but there is a part of me that can’t help but attribute this to the fact that participants take an entire 31-day break from their stable alcohol consumption. Here are some ways that you can occupy this new head space:

  1. Discover tea. People seem to like tea a lot, based on the independent tea sellers I see at the mall, so it might make for a good alcohol substitute.
  2. Invest in seltzer. A friend had asked for an alternative to champagne for her Golden Globes party, and one of her perky friends stated, “Seltzer, it’s great!” I guess it is the champagne of water?
  3. Decaf coffee. Brown water that is not banned from most clean eating, right? If you learn to drink it black, you might even earn some street cred. Enough with the drinks, I promise.
  4. Vegetable prep. Those cleaning eating plans usually include insane amounts of veggies.
  5. If you tended to use alcohol as a stress reducer, maybe you can substitute mindfulness meditation. I am sure that you will enjoy being alone with your thoughts.
  6. Trying not to judge the alcohol consumption of others. Think of this as adding to your mindfulness practice.
  7. Learn to ride a hover board– you are much more balanced sober.
  8. 5 AM Jazzercise. Eliminating alcohol often creates an increase in sleep, which prepares you for Jazzercise. I do feel that Jazzercise would be more fun if it wasn’t performed stone cold sober, at least that was my thought on Monday AM at 5:30.
  9. Kitchen dance party (can be performed as a break from all of that vegetable prep). I recommend one of FloRida’s new hits- “My House.”
  10. Catch up on some new programs on Netflix. “Making of a Murderer” is a particularly aggravating and depressing option.
  11. Spend some time re-vamping your social media image. Try to avoid the photos in your news feed of friends who are fabulous and partying.
  12. Move girl’s night from the local bar to Whole Foods. Your friends can still have wine while you have a nice variety of seltzers from which to choose. First time I ever spent less than $2 on girl’s night.
  13. Use the money that you saved from girl’s night to get a new manicure. Avoid the shops that administer free wine with the manicure.
  14. Swing on playground swings. It might make you feel dizzy, but it is really a pretty fun activity.
  15. Host a marathon of your favorite documentaries from PBS Frontline. Do not be sad when no one shows up.shutterstock_187302341
  16. Learn astrology.
  17. Plan your retirement. Fantasize about the amazing place you will spend your golden years.
  18. Learn to cook new foods that meet the clean eating guidelines to which you agreed. Don’t be surprised when you are pitifully disappointed by how hard it is to actually make cauliflower taste like anything other than cauliflower.
  19. Create a new handshake.
  20. Play a board game. The best approach to this is engaging in Candy Land with a 4 year-old. Don’t let them win.
  21. Read an article or two. I recommend ShrinkTank.
  22. Try shopping for used clothes. Whether you go a a bricks and mortar thrift store or go the online route, this can be an interesting way to explore fashion.
  23. Write letters. My favorite therapy tool is writing a letter that you don’t send to someone who has been a source of hurt or frustration. Remember, don’t actually send the letter unless you chose to write a good one.
  24. Practice yoga. You are much more flexible when not sober, but much more balanced sober. Chances are that you will find someone in the yoga class who also likes tea or seltzer.
  25. Avoid sporting events at all costs. They will just make you sad. This is one of the reasons that many sports fans do not engage with sober January. I realize that this isn’t actually an activity.
  26. Remodel a bathroom. This is actually how we are spending sober January in the Daley house.
  27. Master the art of the “mocktail.” Your sober or pregnant friends will greatly appreciate this skill.
  28. Go to a library. They have free books and it can be a great place for some people watching. Try to position yourself near the computers if you go that route.
  29. Clean out your inbox. Your accounts will thank you!
  30. Swing kettle bells. Nothing clears the brain more than heavy weight that is swinging through the air. It is good to have a professional watch you do this, if you don’t like getting hurt.

Yes, there are 31 days in sober January, but a lot of folks will be able to make it through day 31 with the excitement that it is about to be over. My challenge goes through mid-February, so no such luck in our house.

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