Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

February 12, 2021

I (Unintentionally) Did Dry January!

      Last month, I had the chance to complete something that wasn't nearly as hard to do as I thought: Dry January! Before it gets too far into the rest of the year, I wanted to do a quick recap post of my thoughts on going about five weeks without alcohol (my last drink was Christmas Day, so my Dry January had an extra bonus week). 

{Photo originally from this blog post - my review of Reynard-Florence Winery}

      I suppose I should start this post with a little bit about my relationship with and views on drinking as a Christian. I do not believe that drinking alcohol is inherently wrong or sinful, as long as it's done in moderation, and drunkenness is avoided (as the bible is clear that drunkenness is sinful). I think alcohol is something that Christians are supposed to be cautious and responsible with if they choose to partake in it. I am almost entirely just a social drinker. To me, these types of beverages are best enjoyed shared in the company of friends- whether that's an afternoon at a winery, or a night dancing on the town (pre-COVID haha). When I do drink around friends, I always pace and moderate how much I am consuming at once, and I try to break up drinks with water and snacks. I don't ever want to behave in ways that I'm not proud of because of too many drinks! (I wrote more about my thoughts on being a Christian and alcohol in this post from a few years ago that I co-wrote with my college roommate!)

      Anyways, as a social drinker I haven't been drinking much in recent months. While I was still going to wineries and enjoying socially distanced time with friends outdoors in the summer and fall, after early December it got too cold to do so. Without winery trips and pre-covid dinners and nights out with friends, there just hasn't been much reason for me to drink lately! I'm not a big fan of drinking alone at home. My roommate made both of us some fun cocktails on Christmas Day (we both stayed in Charlottesville instead of traveling during COVID), but since that I didn't really have much reason to drink. During either the first or second Friday in January, I was going to pick-up takeout for dinner and came close to getting a to-go cocktail... but I got a dessert instead. 😂 #OnBrand

    It was about halfway through January when I realized that I hadn't had a drink since Christmas, and I was about 50% of the way there to completing Dry January (completely unintentionally!). So I decided to stick with it. I mean, why not right? Half of the work was already done. If there ever was a year to do this, it seemed like this one.

    What are my thoughts on Dry January? Mainly just that it was a lot easier than I expected! There were maybe two or three times during the whole five weeks when I would've liked to have a drink. But the more I thought about it... it wasn't so much the alcohol itself that I missed, but social experiences with friends, since I am a social drinker. Pandemic life in the winter is rough- and I realized I'd much rather see groups of friends than drinks! These five weeks were a great reminder that life can still be plenty good without any adult beverages. During this time, I drank a lot more decaf tea at home, as well as hot chocolate, which is a perfect January beverage! And without any winery visits, happy hours, or anything else with alcohol, I definitely saved a little bit of cash in January, which is always a plus.

    Will I do Dry January again? Potentially! I am proud I can officially say I've done it once. But to be honest- I don't really like limiting myself from having things entirely. I think the key to a healthy relationship with things you eat or drink, whether that's alcohol, desserts, caffeine, etc... is to allow everything its place without overdoing it on anything. A couple years ago, I tried cutting out all sugar on weekdays. I started strong for a few weeks but then failed miserably. You know what? After a long day at work (especially with the hours I go to work at), I kind of like looking forward to a little something sweet when I get home in the afternoon! That doesn't mean I'm eating an entire package of cookies or carton of ice cream. But when I get home I might have one or two small cookies or a few bites of ice cream each day. And that's I think that's okay. And I feel the same about alcohol! I think I have a pretty healthy relationship with it (two or three drinks a week in normal times, and usually only drinking in social situations), and I'm happy with that going forward. But it was also nice to take a full break too! 

     Have you done Dry January before? Did you try it this year specifically? What are your thoughts about alcohol? Would love to hear! 

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese




  1. Loved hearing your perspective and completely agree with your views. When I was pregnant I learned that I don't need alcohol to have fun.

  2. I think there are some personalities who do well with moderation and some who do not. I'm like you when it comes to sweets but for my husband, if there is a packet of cookies in the house, he'll go through it in a day. Thankfully he doesn't eat either shortbread or gingerbread, so they are my safe treats to have with my tea. Very glad he doesn't like most alcoholic drinks either.

  3. Such a great post! I participated in a "damp" January. I probably had one drink a week, and that feels like a great routine for me to adopt in 2021.


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