Why you must stop booze for 30 days
Until January, many people are saturated with parties, gatherings, and drinking that go with the holidays. At some point during the 2019 holiday season, the chances are high that you had a little hangover from too much champagne, eggnog, or cocktails. Then comes the dry January trend, which helps kick off the new year by slowing alcohol down for the entire month. We turned to the neuropsychologist Dr. Sanam Hafeez to gain insight into the benefits of a month-long, alcohol-free challenge for a fresh start to the new year.
Studies have shown that a one-month break from alcohol can significantly improve mental and physical health. Here are some advantages that Dr. Hafeez outlined.
Why you must stop booze for 30 days
You save money on alcohol.
According to Fortune magazine in 2018, average prices for alcoholic beverages rose due to craft cocktail trends. The same is expected for 2019. The OnePoll poll last year found that Americans’ social spending more than doubled during the holiday season and that alcohol is part of that spending. So if your wallet felt the alcohol as much this season, the math could be reason enough to stop the drinks and close the tab for a month.
“Think of the stress you could relieve if you spent less money on alcohol in January,” says Dr. Hafeez. “An average person could go to the bar twice a week and spend around $ 30 to $ 75, depending on the drinks you buy. Add a tip, and your spending on a night of drinking could easily reach or exceed $ 100. This could cost you a lot of money in a single month. “Save even more money if you are a weekend social drinker. Add a lot more money if you tend to buy bottles in the VIP area for hundreds of dollars.
In the absence of alcohol, your skin rejuvenates.
Alcohol consumption does not directly cause acne but destabilizes hormone levels and immune functions, which leads to dull skin, breakouts, reddened complexion, and swelling. If you want to make rosé all day, or if you want to consume mixed drinks with more sugar, syrup, and other additives, you may find that these habits affect the texture and tone of your skin. “Part of the success in reducing alcohol consumption is the compliments, the energy you feel, and the changes you see in the mirror. All of this can be fuel to help you live a healthier life in the new year, ”says Dr. Hafeez.
Get a head start in weight loss.
Research in the Journal of Obesity states that people who do not drink eat less because alcohol strengthens the senses and numbs the mind. It makes the sauce and cheese tastier on a pizza or late-night tacos. Removing alcohol will reduce the calories you consume. Think of three beers or glasses of wine, each with about 150 calories. These calories add up.
Dr. Hafeez explains that “anyone looking for weight management help has heard the advice,” Don’t drink your calories. Alcoholic beverages are among the beverages that most easily overwhelm your calorie consumption. If you drink less or not at all for a month, you have an improved blood sugar and cholesterol level and can optimize your organ function, which makes you more active and in a better mental state. “
More energy, more creativity, more endurance
The last thing you want is to be tired into the new year. “A big advantage of being alcohol-free is the renewal of energy. You won’t give up your day to recover from last night’s drinking. Waking up earlier helps you develop better morning habits that focus your brain on productivity and creativity, ”says Dr. Hafeez. “You’ll also notice improved focus and stamina over the course of the day because your energy level isn’t deficient even before the start of the day,” she says.
Less alcohol can improve depression.
Depression is a mood disorder that can lead to sadness, anger, sadness, and emptiness. Over 16 million Americans suffer from Major Depression Disorder, while anxiety disorders affect approximately 40 million adults, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of American. “The problem arises when depression and anxiety, even at a mild level, are temporarily relieved with alcohol. This can be dangerous because it works in a negative cycle. Alcohol consumption will worsen and depression will increase, causing the person to drink more, ”explains Dr. Hafeez.
The NYC psychologist explains that alcohol is actually a depressant and affects the neurotransmitters in the brain. “Seratonin is a neurotransmitter that helps us feel joy and stabilize our mood. Alcohol consumption can temporarily increase serotonin levels, making you feel positive. In the long term, however, excessive alcohol consumption can lower serotonin levels, causing or exacerbating depression. ”
Alcohol affects your sleep pattern by inhibiting your REM sleep and affecting your daily rhythm. “REM sleep is incredibly important for the quality of your recovery. If you are blocked by alcohol, you can lose the most relaxing part of your sleep, which can affect the way you think, concentrate, and process information the next day, ”explains Dr. Hafeez.
Another problem with alcohol is that you wake up at night to go to the bathroom. “Alcohol is a diuretic, ie an active ingredient that stimulates the flow of urine. This means that you may have to get up several times at night to relieve yourself instead of sleeping all night. This will make it even more difficult to get the rest you need. Without alcohol, your sleep is more pleasant and invigorating, ”says Dr. Hafeez.
More time for yourself and new friends
“It is important to note that a non-brandy month can affect the way these interactions take place when our friendships and relationships are based on social drinking. While we have more time and energy, we may need to invest it in ourselves or with new friends. This does not mean that you have to break up with your friends when you stop drinking alcohol, but that you can try out new activities and efforts with new people and also make new friends, ”explains Dr. Hafeez.
The NYC psychologist also talks about being able to focus on you and explains that “Self-care is important, but is often neglected when you spend a good night drinking. Suddenly, happy hour is no longer an option, but an after-workout fitness class or a workshop on a topic that interests you. Time will add up and you can use it to boost your self-confidence and personal development.
A warning from the expert.
“It should be borne in mind that people who call themselves“ social drinkers ”can feel these improvements within a few days. In the meantime, people struggling with alcoholism can often harm themselves if they choose to stop drinking cold turkey. If you drink alcohol frequently, talk to your doctor before stopping alcohol abruptly.
If you commit yourself to abstain from alcohol, it could turn out that there is indeed a bigger problem going on. “If someone cannot survive the week without alcohol and experiences physical consequences such as nausea, headache, night sweats, tremors or insomnia, consulting a doctor would be an important next step,” warns Dr. Hafeez.
About the Dr. Hafeez:
Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is a New York-based licensed clinical psychologist. She is a lecturer at the renowned Columbia University Teachers College and founder and clinical director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. a neuropsychological, development, and education center in Manhattan and Queens. Dr. Hafeez masterfully applies her years of experience, which has psychological implications, to address some of today’s common issues such as body image, social media dependency, relationships, stress at work, parenting, and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc.).
In addition, Dr. Hafeez with people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning difficulties, attention and memory problems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez often shares her credible expertise with various news agencies in New York City and appears frequently on CNN and Dr.Oz. Connect with her via Instagram @drsanamhafeez or