Dry January: How to Journal Your Way Through.

Dry January has soared in popularity since its launch in 2012 by Alcohol Change UK

What is it?

Essentially, it’s a chance for you to evaluate your relationship with alcohol and hit the reset button heading into the new year. Even if you aren’t questioning your relationship with alcohol, ditching it for the month has well-known health benefits like better sleep and improved mood. 

Feel confident knowing that millions of people partake every year. You won’t be alone!

For many, the no-pressure challenge of Dry January is just the push they need to go alcohol–free, and for others, it’s a well-deserved rest and recharge.

Why Journal for Dry January?

If you didn’t already know, journaling can enhance just about any experience. The cathartic practice can help you process feelings and clarify complex emotions. 

For those that fear losing momentum midway through, journaling can help you stay inspired and connected to the challenge. It can also help you unwind and reduce stress on days that feel overwhelming. When those “what if” thoughts pop up, writing helps you stay grounded.

A Michigan State University study found that “expressive writing cools the brain” and provides stress relief for worriers and over-thinkers. It’s a helpful technique to release negative thoughts from your mind and onto paper. 

We know journaling has the ability to help you power through Dry January and channel feelings/questions into insightful information. Below are a few prompts to help you explore what’s working and what needs rethinking.

Feel free to write at your own pace!

Prompts for Week 

  1. What is the main reason you’re doing Dry January this year?
  2. How can you set yourself up for success?
  3. What are you most excited about?

Prompts for Week 2

  1. In what ways is alcohol currently impacting your life?
  2. What feelings do you associate with drinking?
  3. What are you passionate about? Can you do this more?

Prompts for Week 3

  1. Does alcohol benefit you, and if so, how?
  2. How does your environment impact your drinking?
  3. What does sobriety mean to you?

Prompts for Week 4

  1. How has your view of alcohol transformed? 
  2. Will your relationship with alcohol be different moving forward?
  3. What has been the most valuable lesson learned this month?

Along with these prompts, try free writing, even if it’s just a few sentences each day. 

Jot down whatever comes to mind; when journaling, nothing is unimportant.

If you feel like mixing up an alcohol-free cocktail to sip while you write, view our most loved recipes here.

Hoping this helps you have a memorable Dry January!

Article Contributed by Nicole Nettell, alcohol-free writer, recovery advocate and founder at Soberish.