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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Carleton chapter.

Post-New Year’s Eve hangover, a lot of people make resolutions on how they’ll improve in the next year. Whether it’s hitting the gym, spending less, or switching up your diet, the new year is a great inspiration for self-improvement.

For 2022, I decided to try going sober for a month. I’m not a huge drinker, but the holiday season is a minefield. Between holiday cocktails with my family and hitting the bars with my friends, I was drinking a lot more than usual. This inspired me to do a dry January — and now that it’s over, here’s why I recommend a Whiteclaw-free winter!

It’s Way Easier to Drink Less in Lockdown

Ontario was in another partial lockdown in January, which made this challenge way easier. Without the social temptation of restaurants and bars, I had much less trouble staying sober. It’s also a good reminder that lockdowns can push us into bad habits. If stay-at-home orders usually lead you to have an extra beer or two, a sober month might help! 

You’ll Feel Better

No hangovers are the ultimate hangover cure. Before my dry month, I didn’t realize how truly terrible I feel when I drink. I get wicked hangovers, and I usually need to take the day after off to bounce back. It felt great to not waste half of my weekend in recovery. I slept better, felt more clear-headed each day, and never woke up with a splitting headache. My bank account got a chance to heal as well — nights out add up!

It’ll Help Your Fitness Goals, Too

Alcohol has an insane amount of calories. Even one night of heavy drinking tends to throw off my regular diet. Sugary mixers, late-night snacks, and early morning hangover foods tend to be the least balanced part of my diet. Taking these out of the equation for a month meant I was fuelling my body with a better range of foods. 

You Can Re-evaluate Your Drinking Habits 

A dry month allowed me the chance to look at how much I had been drinking and what habits I wanted to change. I’ve noticed that I don’t take every opportunity to drink anymore– after my time off, it doesn’t always feel necessary to grab a cocktail. If I’m going out, I try to order less drinks in total: Not only is it more affordable, but it does less damage the next day. Focusing on how you’ve been drinking forces you to discover habits you may have created without noticing and a sober month is a great way to jumpstart some new ones!

Overall, I’m very grateful I tried a dry month. Even if you’re not a frequent drinker, it’s pretty eye-opening to see how you feel without any alcohol. I’m not ready to give up all of my gin and tonics just yet but I’ll definitely think about it more carefully before I order!

Cassandra is a fourth year Communications and Media Studies student at Carleton University. She's a fan of rollerskating, personality tests (she's an ENFJ!), and visiting new coffee shops around Ottawa!