Are you jumping on the dry January bandwagon? Or are you asking yourself what is dry January? Or Dryuary, as it’s sometimes called.

In order to get us all on the same page, dry January has become popular with people after all the indulgences over the holidays. The dry part means no alcohol… for the entire month. While I do believe alcohol should be consumed in moderation, dry January isn’t— nor should it be— for everyone.

And, like most New Year’s resolutions, I’ve seen my friends “fail” to get through an entire dry January over and over again through the years.

Why would you ever set yourself up for an ego-bruising so soon into the new year?!

I get that by not drinking, you’re doing your liver a favor. I can also presume that if you’re not drinking, you’re probably eating better and exercising more— which are all good things!

However there are repercussions with your dry January decision such as:

  • Bars, restaurants, taprooms, breweries, wineries and even liquor stores suffer financially. Think about it, if dry January continues to surge in popularity, businesses that make their margins selling alcohol lose out on your dollars.
  • Your social calendar could become a little too free. We live in a culture of getting together and that usually involves imbibing as well. If you’re not drinking and your friends are, they’re not inviting you to come out with them.
  • You might lose a little weight during your month of sobriety, but guess what, it comes right back after you begin consuming those calories again.

Instead of dry January, I suggest an alternative— the Pin Project. Started by a group of alcohol beverage professionals, the Pin Project is a way to hold yourself accountable while signaling to others that you’re taking the night off from imbibing in alcohol. By wearing a pin shaped like a small circle with a line through it, you’re committing to an evening, day, week, month or lifetime of sobriety. You get to choose when and where you will abstain from alcohol.

As the Pin Project states; “By being aware of our goals for our own personalized ideal of a relationship with alcohol, as well as being focused on where we stand in relation to that goal, we can take back the power to choose and operate with intention.” 

The pin is both empowering, yet subtle. It’s a conversation-starter with other people and one within yourself.

I encourage you to examine your relationship with alcohol. Alcohol can be the devil on your shoulder, goading you to “join the fun by drinking.” Sobriety can be invigorating and healthy, even if just it’s now and again and not for exactly 31 days.

Proceeds from all pin sales are contributed to a non-profit called the Pin Foundation. The charity’s main focus is to connect mental health and substance abuse counselors with those in need, as well as financially sponsoring treatment.

Click here to order your $15 pin from the Pin Project and take the first step in mindful imbibing or abstinence. With the pin, you get to choose!

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About the Author: Michele Francisco

Michele Francisco, a founder and regular contributor to Winerabble, a blog primarily about Pacific Northwest wines, is living the dream in Portland, Oregon. Her passion leads some to believe she's got wine running through her veins. Contact Michele at michele@winerabble.com & be sure to visit her online portfolio at www.michelefrancisco.com.

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