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What is Sober October? – Everything You Need To Know

Alexa Iocco Recovery , Sober Living , Sobriety October 7, 2022

What is Sober October? - Everything You Need To Know

Taking a break from anything that could potentially be harmful to your health is never a bad thing.  Even cutting back on things like smoking, drinking coffee with milk and sugar, eating sweets of any kind, or consuming alcohol can be a good decision for multiple reasons. For years now it has become popular to stop drinking, or take a month off, as a way to reset, see how alcohol consumption affects your everyday life, and also on the flip side realize that enjoying drinking socially and responsibly can be a part of a balanced life, too.  Thus Sober October, as well as Sober September and Dry January, was born.  

In many cases, a person does not realize that alcohol, or any other habitual activity, is having a negative effect on their life. This is especially true if the activity is enjoyable, and on the surface fits in with a societal norm, like going out with friends or coworkers for happy hour.  There are signs that you, or one of your loved ones, is one of the millions of people who struggle with some sort of alcohol abuse.  If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, some of which are more severe than others, then you or someone close to you, maybe developing one of several alcohol use disorders:

  • Experiencing temporary blackouts or short-term memory loss after a night of drinking
  • Exhibiting signs of irritability and extreme mood swings when you haven’t had a drink
  • Often making excuses for drinking such as to relax, deal with stress or feel normal 
  • Choosing to drink over other responsibilities and obligations
  • Becoming isolated and distant from friends and family members
  • Drinking alone or in secrecy
  • Feeling hungover when not drinking
  • Changing appearance and group of acquaintances you hang out with

If you think you are beginning to develop an issue with alcohol, be it cycles of abuse like binge drinking, or a dependency where you feel like you need at least one drink every day just to get by, give us a call at Resurgence.  We have many inpatient treatments and outpatient treatment options for alcohol rehab care.  It is never too soon to assess whether drugs or alcohol are having a negative impact on your life.

Is Sober October The New Dry January?

No matter what your goal is, to be healthier in general, to step back and assess your drinking habits, or even to raise money and awareness for a cause, any month of the year will really do just fine.  Dry January was often a go-to for people as the prior six weeks of holidays that many people around the world celebrate often cause us to overindulge in both food and drink. Similarly, summertime in the northern hemisphere is another part of the year when counting calories, and drinks, often goes out the window.  Thus Sober October can be a good way to shake off some of that warm weather intake,  while also living a little healthier before the holidays sweep us up again. 

What Are The Rules of Sober October?

There are no set rules for Sober October outside of the ones you make yourself or with your friends and family. There are three general approaches:

  • Cold Turkey quitting: This would involve having zero alcohol for all 31 days of the month.  This may have the most health benefits, but if you are going to look at it as a punishment, this might not be the way to go.
  • Limit drinking to certain days: This is a very popular option, especially for people who have noticed their happy hour drinks have crept into having a beer or glass of wine almost every day. This can be modified to just weekends, only Fridays and Saturdays, or really any limit you want to set.
  • Limiting the number of drinks: If you know your pattern, you can reduce your normal consumption by a set amount, or only allow a specific number of drinks on any given occasion. 

7 Things that Happen After You Stop Drinking For a Month

As much as some studies have shown that certain amounts of particular alcohols, red wine for example as well as dark beers, have beneficial qualities, consumption is mainly for enjoyment, not medicinal purposes.  Even if you are a light, but regular drinker, taking a month off may have one or more positive effects.  You will never know unless you give it a try, and here are some of the things you can look forward to possibly experiencing during your drinking sabbatical: 

  • Improve your mood: This may seem counterintuitive as drinks have often been referred to as, “pick me ups,” but in the end are more likely to contribute to anxiety and depression over the long run.
  • Improve your hormonal balance: Drinking, and any resulting hangover symptoms, can result in your hormones getting out of whack. Taking drinking alcohol out of the picture for a while can help them reset.  
  • Better digestion: More than a drink or two can have some annoying minor, and sometimes major, effects on your gastrointestinal system. Drinking more water during the month off will double down on improvements in this area.
  • Help avoid certain cancers: Alcohol can add to the chance of liver, colon, and rectal cancer, so any time off will remove the negative effects drinking on a regular basis may be having on your cells. 
  • Sleep: This may be one of the biggest benefits people experience during their month of sobriety.  This is due to the fact that proper sleep has a positive impact on many areas of your life.  These include weight loss, productivity, mood, and other areas of general health and well-being.  For decades people have been tricked into believing the myth that alcohol helps you sleep. While a few drinks may help you fall asleep, alcohol is actually disruptive and can lead to insomnia. 
  • Better memory and mental clarity: This seems like a no-brainer, pun intended, as most people realize that alcohol can make the details of any given event a little fuzzy.  However, it goes further during a month without drinking, as your concentration and memory can improve as you get further away from your last drink.  
  • Healthier Immune System: Over the long run, alcohol runs down our immune systems as it can deplete vital elements that keep us healthy.  Plus, you are more likely to eat better when you quit drinking for a while if you are doing it for the overall improvement of your health. 

Other Benefits of Quitting Alcohol

Everyone is affected by alcohol consumption slightly differently. You may notice many things that are unique to you during your month of reduced or zero drinking. You may also notice just a slight adjustment in all of the areas mentioned, giving you a better outlook overall. Organ function, not being dehydrated, fewer skin irritations, and other physical positive effects are often experienced. 

How Resurgence Can Help Your Alcohol Recovery

Alcohol use disorders can affect people from any walk of life and at almost any age.  At Resurgence, we have comprehensive programs that help people with both alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction.  If you think you have a problem, give us a call today.  Our goal is to help the most people possible live happier, healthier life.

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