Let me first preface this by saying: this isn’t some kind of declaration suggesting that excessive drinking, drinking more than you’re comfortable with, or for that matter, that drinking at all is cool. There is absolutely nothing wrong with periods of sobriety, or total sobriety.
But I do drink and I don’t believe in dry months, here’s why.
We’ve all been there, hearing about a great new cleanse or some trendy new diet – most of us have tried at least one of them. If you’re anything like me, you’ve tried to entirely restrict something from your diet for an extended period of time anticipating some ah-mazing results. But any time I did that, I found myself miserable and craving the things I “wasn’t allowed” even more than normal. I’d either cave and just quit four days in, or miserably slog through the time and then as soon as I was “allowed” to enjoy something again, I’d totally overdo it. Restriction followed by indulgence just entirely defeats the purpose! So if you’re just going to down a bottle of wine on the first night of February, was it really worth it?
So what do I do instead?
Some of you know I’m a competitive powerlifter (if not, you can read all about that here, if you’re interested). What powerlifting and a career in wine has taught me is that everything is better in balance and moderation. I’ve worked hard to have a good relationship with food, and as a hazard of the job, I have to have a good balance with alcohol too. I absolutely believe there is the utmost importance in taking time away from alcohol.
Rather than setting an unrealistic goal of not drinking for a month, I instead take shorter stints away from alcohol, because it is important to do. When I feel like I should take a bit of a hiatus I’ll often just drink wine on the weekends, for me it’s infinitely more realistic. By doing that I can still get to indulge in a ritual that I enjoy immensely, but my budget and my body get a break too.
So, rather than completely restricting yourself from something you really enjoy, like wine –practice more moderation! We practice better eating habits, especially in the New Year, so why not practice more mindful drinking habits too? A little less wine here, a few more vegetables there!
As a side note, I’d like to mention that society really glorifies drinking wine, especially on social media. Somehow if you’re getting drunk on wine all the time it’s just classy and therefore acceptable and can’t become problematic. It’s all fun and games until it’s not. If you feel like your drinking habits are getting out of control there is no shame in getting sober or getting help.