TAMPA, Fla. — The stress from this pandemic has many drinking more than ever before with alcohol sales continuing to spike. So the Dry January challenge, giving up alcohol for 31 days, has been a popular resolution to start the new year.
But since we're halfway through January, if you're already failing at staying on track, a life coach gave some advice about why you need to power through and not use alcohol as a crutch.
"What it really is, is a time-out for you to look at your relationship with these substances," explained life coach Adam Jablin.
He said New Year's resolutions can be tough to keep, despite wanting to eat healthier, exercise more, and cut back on alcohol or quit drinking for the entire month, also known as "Dry January."
So if you're already failing, Jablin said don't give up.
"When it comes to us, we're all or nothing. So we need to be a little bit more patient with ourselves. Realize to get to that destination; it takes practice. It takes failing over and over and over again. And eventually, you're going to feel really good," he said.
Jablin is also an addiction recovery coach and knows all too well about abusing alcohol and other substances. He said it's important to look at your relationship with alcohol and make sure you're not using it to medicate through the stress of life, especially during the pandemic.
"What you think is helping you is actually hurting you. So you actually wake up with more tension, more stress. You may have been able to push it down a little bit. But it's going to come back tenfold," Jablin warned.
Research proves more than five drinks a week can take years off your life, so there are other health reasons to cut down on cocktails.
"The benefits are tremendous because it's the mind, body, spirit connection. You're going to see the results really within 48 hours. You know, your skin pigmentation, that white in the eyes, you'll be less bloated in the face. You're going to feel better. Your mind will be crystal clear," he added.
Others agree with Jablin.
According to a University of Sussex study, 71% of people who took part in Dry January said they slept better, 67% had more energy, 58% lost weight and 54% reported better skin. Jablin also recommended creating new healthy rituals to help you feel even better.
"Prayer, meditation, journaling, one random act of kindness, a compliment, making a phone call to an old friend or a relative or a loved one. These things one day at a time over and over and over will build such momentum. You're going to feel great," he said.
But he also has one last warning.
"There is a poisonous aspect to alcohol. There's no doubt about it. It destroys you from within. So if you're going to use it, use it responsibly. Enjoy it. Don't be me. Don't destroy yourself," he warned.
For women specifically, alcohol can be even more toxic than for men. Doctors say women's bodies absorb more alcohol than men’s and take longer to break it down. The CDC says alcohol also increases the risk for many cancers including mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, colon, and breast cancer.
If you want more information and tips from Life Coach Adam Jablin, visit his website adamjablin.com.