Wine X Staff
Wine X Online Edition
A couple of years ago, one of our readers, embedded in a sappy drunk-dialing-style New Year’s message, mentioned that she wanted us to wish her well as she embarked on “Dry January.”
OK, before you judge…. I mean, we’re Wine X… emphasis on wine…. I’m not sure we really can do our job if we just sat on the sideline for 1/12th of the season. Not that we need a reason, but our moms read the magazine, so we had to say something logical in case they accidentally forwarded this article to their prayer group. We’ve all got a rep to protect. Right?
…… but, JSYK, when those shameful moments happen, we always blame one of the other staff writers anyway. I’m the angelic one…. Those other guys and gals, well, they’re all a mess. Not me.
So, (in the sharky voice of my Gordon Gekko-esque finance professor) What IS this thing called Dry January….. Discuss:
As much as I can figure out, the origins of Dry January can be traced back to 2013 when a charity group called Alcohol Concern (now known as Alcohol Change UK) launched a campaign as a way to raise awareness about the downside of super-excessive alcohol consumption. The campaign’s first year drew a lot of attention, helped by organic social media testimonials, especially those that connected it all back to weight loss.
Dry January quickly gained popularity, with thousands of people participating in the following years.
Over the next few years, the popularity of Dry January increased exponentially due to a number of factors. For many, the event serves as a way to reset their drinking habits after the hedonism of the holiday season, office parties, and a well-executed NYE soiree. Others use it as an opportunity to improve their overall health and well-being. Finally, the month-long abstinence from alcohol can also serve as a way to self-check on a person’s dependence on alcohol, like a little pop quiz to test one’s ability to do without it.
Despite its origins in the United Kingdom, Dry January has become a global phenomenon, with social media and traditional media evidence of participants from all over the world taking. Unfortunately, there isn’t any source willing to stake a credible claim on the number of 2023 participants, but it’s pretty easy to assume that the body count is well into the tens of millions.
In fact, the event is now recognized by organizations such as the World Health Organization and has even been endorsed by some medical professionals as a healthy habit.
When asked to weigh in on the positive health benefits of participation in Dry January, physicians and wellness experts almost universally support the challenge. When asked to comment publicly, it’s not unusual for experts to cite studies that have determined that abstaining from alcohol for a month can lead to improved sleep, weight loss, and reduced risk of certain cancers. Additionally, many participants anecdotally report increased energy, better skin, and enhanced mental clarity. Legit.
Just being honest, none of this is going to influence the Wine X staff writers to embark on Dry February as a make-good. Not our kink….. It’s not even going to guilt us into a Dry Last Weekend of January. Now why would we want to do something so meh as that?
OTOH…. No shame if any of you who are reading this are in the throws of your last days of the challenge and web browsing as a crutch to get through the last few days. Sprint to the finish, brave ones. We’ll be toasting you with something delightful in our glass at the finish line.
- If you like the two painting images, we want to offer a shout-out to Dallas artist and Deboeuf label creator Laura Runge. Check out our article on her amazing creations HERE.