Alright so in case you didn’t know (and I’m being sarcastic because I literally spoke about this every single day during the month of January) but I was a proud participant of Dry January and… WE DID IT JOE! (We being me, Joe being my liver)

Now, the reason behind me choosing to participate in Dry January is honestly very simple and a reason I am pretty sure most people can relate to.

Alcohol became my way to relax, escape from stress, and release tension. However, stress is all around us almost all the time so at some point using alcohol as a way to escape reality slowly became a habit without me even knowing it!

I didn’t have any life changing event that made me decide to put alcohol on pause, I just realized that using alcohol as a coping mechanism was not a good choice for my health and also for me mentally so I decided to put a pause on that habit for a whole month to see if I could in fact deal with the stress of life without having to resort to alcohol.

Was it tough? I want to say yes but also… not really. I did find myself getting home after a long day and wanting to serve myself a glass of wine to relax but I realized it was all just a game in my head.

Instead of serving wine in my fancy wine glasses, I served myself water! Yup, water in a wine glass and hey, it did the trick. I sat down at home, reached for my wine glass and drank my water and the craving for real wine went away.

Now, the tough part was probably going out with other people who aren’t participating in dry January because you can be tempted to take “just one sip” to join in on the fun. However, surrounding yourself with people who respect your decision is KEY! 

When I would tell people “I’m not drinking for January” I expected a shocking “WHAT? WHY NOT?” and instead responses ranged from, “Wow, good for you” to “I’m proud of you!”  

The best reactions, however, came from bartenders who were excited to create “mock-tails” for me after they heard me mention that I wasn’t drinking.

Yes, I would get the occasional “Oh my gosh that sucks… are you sure? Just one sip?” but that’s when the mom stare would come out and they quickly knew to stop!

Overall, Dry January is honestly not that tough if you remind yourself why you’re doing it, for you!

My overall health became noticeably better, I looked forward to my gym days, I had energy, and most importantly, so much money was saved!!!

Now, with February right around the corner some may be tempted to make up for loss time and drink away the whole month of February. Personally, I want to continue challenging myself by participating in a “Damp February.”

Iris Lopez
Iris Lopez

What the heck is Damp February?

Damp February (or any month you choose) is cutting down on alcohol consumption instead of completely removing all alcohol from your diet. People can still enjoy some alcohol here and there while reducing their alcohol consumption overall throughout the month.

During February, I want to enjoy alcohol, but I want to do it in a mindful manner and challenge myself to know when enough is enough.

Weekends don’t always have to be a celebration with alcohol, but if they are I can remind myself to only have a few drinks. When I get home from a stressful day I don’t have to reach for the wine bottle first.

I survived 31 days with no alcohol and I found other ways to relax, to celebrate, and to deal with the stress of life.

So, this February, why not continue challenging ourselves with a “Damp” February! Our bodies will thank us later.

And a very special shoutout to those who continue to pursue a sober life, not to follow a trend, but to be a better version of themselves. Ya’ll are the real MVP’s, and if nobody has told you yet, I’m proud of you!

If you’d like to make a donation to Aliviane, a local organization that helps locals recover from addictions, Click Here.

Iris Lopez
Iris Lopez



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