As far as years go, 2020 was a real doozy. Looking at 2021 stretching out before us, many are wondering how they can make it better than last year. Hear us out: making this year a sober year may be the best way to help make it your best year ever. There are plenty of good reasons to avoid alcohol, no matter what year it is, and 2021 is a great place to start. Let's be honest, many of us spent too much time drinking in 2020. Maybe it's time to set things right? Let's look at why it might be a good thing to make this year a sober one.
Eliminating alcohol often makes the skin look better. That’s because alcohol causes dehydration and contributes to inflammation in the body. Without alcohol, inflammation may lower and this alone is a huge boon to our organs — the skin being the largest of those. As a result, lower inflammation and being properly hydrated may give people back the “healthy glow” that they appear to have lost with regular alcohol consumption. There are actually cancer risks to drinking, too.
It’s just plain easier to see things differently when alcohol isn’t clouding our judgment and lowering our inhibitions. By making 2021 a sober year, you may get a renewed perspective that brings the desire to make needed changes. Many find that once they have a clearer head more often, they feel inspired to make adjustments in diet, exercise, organization, and other areas of life.
Alcohol may impair memory. Most of us know that forgetting things when drinking is relatively common. By choosing a sober year, it may be possible to see improvements in memory function and that can have ripple effects in multiple areas of life. Improved memory function has the potential to improve work life of course but even our creative life or fun times benefit from greater use of our minds. Everything from remembering a birthday or important event to the argument we intended to make in favor of a change at work rests on our ability to remember, and a sober year may help with that.
Looking good often comes along with feeling good. For people who don’t consume alcohol, it may be easier to feel and look their best. That’s because alcohol may make it difficult to sleep, or to get enough restful deep sleep. And we cannot stress enough the importance of good sleep and the way that a lack of same makes everything in life more difficult.
Choosing to make 2021 a sober year might reduce the chances of an unstable mood. Of course, we all can see how it affects mood in the moment of drinking, but what about when we then suffer from a lack of sleep? Or when we have to face the consequences of erratic behavior from the night before? The truth is that alcohol impacts our lives even when we're sober, at least in some cases. At a minimum, people who drink may not be as predictable in their behavior as those who abstain.
Alcohol might make someone seem like “the life of the party,” but that’s generally a surface-level style of interaction. How many others are judging that person for being outrageous? For deep, meaningful connections, sobriety may be the better choice. When people remain sober, they have the opportunity to really listen to one another and hear what’s being said — and to remember it later. That can foster a connection that may be harder to find when alcohol is part of the equation. Consider too that alcohol can lower our inhibition and invite us to say and do things we otherwise might not. And these are the exact moments that can often harm our relationships deeply.
Drinking costs money. With frequent alcohol use, it’s possible to spend hundreds of dollars per month. Alcohol consumption might also lead to overeating and overspending in other ways, which could put an even larger dent in a person’s finances. Ever been a little buzzed and done some Amazon shopping you probably didn't need to do? Yeah, us too. By examining how much is typically spent, it may be easier to make a financial case for sobriety.
If someone’s being held back by alcohol, sobriety is the way to change that. There are a number of opportunities for growth and development that might not be available to someone who relies on alcohol to feel good. A sober year may help with focus, job prospects, finding a partner, maintaining happier relationships, and other facets of life that are important for a healthy future. The truth is, it's just easier to plan and execute that plan when it comes from a place of clear thinking.
Choosing sober living is a path many are taking this year. What have you got to lose? Are you really going to regret not drinking this year? If you want to make 2021 a sober year but need some extra guidance, the national hotline for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is 1-800-662-HELP (4357). And if you think that you might have a drinking problem and want to get help, you should know that there are many options outside the ones you may be familiar with. Here's to a better year than last year, no matter what.
Copyright 2021, Wellness.com