Hello lovely people!
Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here. It’s been a minute since I did a full blog post, and sitting here writing feels like returning home after some time away.
Thank you so much for your love and support as I underwent the process of crafting my very first workshop. Everything about it was so fun, from channeling the content to creating the graphics to sharing it live with so many of you. I felt truly in my element. Nothing makes me feel more authentic and lit up than speaking about the things I’m most passionate about (and I’m a generator in Human Design, so that feeling of full-body YES is of the utmost importance in everything that I take on! I’m sure there will be more on that in a blog post someday).
If you missed the workshop but still want to learn about Source energy, our infinite connection to all-encompassing Love, and how to harness it, you’re in luck! The workshop replay is available in the Someday My Soul store. Check it out here.
All that being said, writing will always be my first love! Blogging is the bedrock of Someday My Soul. I never get tired of it. When I get that spark of excitement about a topic idea, I know it’s time to put the pedal to the metal and start typing.
And that’s the deal with today’s topic! I have been so excited to share with you about my experience with Dry January and drinking a gallon of water daily for the past month and a half that I can barely move my fingers fast enough to get all the information that’s flowing through me onto the page.
Even though we’re dealing with a health & wellness topic today, keep in mind that nothing is ever disconnected from our spirituality. As I write about the physical benefits of not drinking alcohol for a month and hydrating myself to the point of near-combustion, just know that it all loops back to the unification of the mind, body, and spirit. When one thrives, the others respond accordingly.
How it started.
When the New Year came around, I had no intention of participating in Dry January. A nightly glass of wine was, quite honestly, so deeply ingrained in my daily routine that the thought of removing it felt overwhelming. But about a week into the year, when my holiday break ended and I began easing back into my daily work schedule, I felt like something was in need of a reboot.
I wanted to be going to sleep and waking up earlier. I wanted to feel healthier, lighter, and leaner in my body. I wanted to decrease inflammation and get my glow back. I wanted to feel like a more vibrant, awake, alive me.
I think I’d known for a long time that stepping away from alcohol would help me achieve many of those goals. But again, I was afraid. The thought of removing something that I was so used to and that truthfully brought me a lot of joy at the ends of long days seemed like waaaaay too much work. It took that “last straw” feeling of desperation to look and feel better to finally get me to commit.
On January 7, Beiyao and I had a long talk about making some lifestyle changes. We’d had talks like this before, but this time – whether because it was the beginning of a new year or we were both finally desperate enough for a shift in energy after months of our quarantine routine – it stuck.
Starting the next day, we committed to no drinks and waking up earlier. Simultaneously, I decided that to fully rehydrate myself after months of being dehydrated, I’d also incorporate a daily gallon of water. (Shoutout to my girl Laurah who brought me Haitian New Year's celebration soup in a quarter-gallon Mason jar, which quickly became my constant hydration companion. See below.)
The intention wasn’t necessarily to go for a month, but I stumbled upon a graphic on Instagram shared by someone participating in Dry January that made it clear to me that to reap the full benefits, I needed to abstain for 4 weeks. The link to the full article, which lays out these benefits in detail, can be found here.
The abridged version is that in 4 weeks without alcohol, the following happens: improved sleep, increased cell turnover which starts to reverse the impacts of aging, improved kidney function, liver fat decreased by up to 15%, stimulated natural detoxification processes, thousands of calories avoided, and hundreds of dollars saved.
Sounds pretty good, right?
How it went – no alcohol for 4 weeks
I could feel the positive impacts of my alcohol hiatus almost immediately.
· Sleep. Within the first few days, I was sleeping so much better. This might seem ironic since, when we drink, we assume we’re sleeping well because, well, it makes us sleepy. But in reality, it has the opposite effect! I was falling asleep more easily and sleeping through the nights with no trouble. Like, sleeping hard. I could just tell that the quality of rest was deeper and that my body was strengthening its ability to truly recharge rather than struggle to recover overnight.
· Better mornings. The mornings were also nicer. Before the dry month, I was almost never drinking to the point of being hungover in the morning, but I could still sense a difference. I was waking up feeling fresher, because my body had less to fend off overnight. This helped a lot with my slightly earlier wake-up call. I’m now waking up around 8:30 or 9 (this is the ideal time for my body, as I tend to lean more towards being a night owl) with ease. It feels so good to get up and spend time on my morning routine, hydrating, being productive, creating, and moving my body with no brain fog in the way.
· Less need for naps. I had less need for naps as well. I’ve been a pretty regular napper for many years, but with my improved sleep and energy levels, I found that they weren’t totally necessary. I still sometimes use them as a luxury (because I just really love them) or power nap if I have a super long day, but I no longer feel like I won’t be able to go on without one.
· Improved skin quality. I saw the difference in my skin pretty quickly (this also has to do with the daily gallon of water). In tandem, my abstinence from alcohol and super-hydration made my skin VERY happy. I could see a happy glow coming through – particularly my forehead – and broke out less throughout the month. I still got a few pimples and bumps here and there (thanks, maskne), but they were fewer and farther between, and less inflamed than usual.
· Less bloating. Speaking of inflammation, overall I felt less bloated and puffy. In the evenings, I tend to get pretty bloated. While, yes, that’s caused by a combination of all the different things I consume throughout the day, not drinking certainly made a difference. I felt lighter and less puffy in all areas of my body.
· Weight loss. There was a fairly significant weight-loss component to all of this. I lost between 3 and 5 pounds, which for a shorter human like me, feels like a lot. My weight is constantly fluctuating (truly all day, every day), but I certainly shed a few of the pounds I was retaining due to my drinking, which really are not part of my body’s optimal state.
· Getting creative with beverages. Not drinking really freed me up to try other fun beverages, and I ended up discovering a few that are SO fun. I got that same feeling I get when I pour myself a glass of wine when I started incorporating these into the routine. The first discovery was Get Gruvi, a non-alcoholic beverage company that makes beers and wines. I tried the dry Prosecco and LOVED it. Another go-to was a simple lime-flavored sparkling water. I also drank more tea in the evenings than I ever have, which helped me to relax before bedtime and also felt like a decadent treat with some honey and cream.
· Empowerment. From a mental and emotional standpoint, I felt very empowered by this whole journey. I was taking my health into my own hands and breaking a habit that I knew was not entirely serving me. While it was not an easy decision to make, it was ultimately so worth it, because there’s no better feeling than holding yourself accountable for your health.
· More time for other priorities. My focus on other health-related ventures in my life became razor-sharp during my dry month. I had the time and energy to make them my top priority. I completed Yoga With Adriene’s 30-day yoga journey. My rides at SoulCycle have become stronger than ever. I chose mainly plant-based foods that supported my overall health even further, but still left room for treats and fun meals. I had no guilt about these because I knew I was treating my body so well in so many other ways.
The first time I drank again
I had a glass of wine exactly 4 weeks after I went dry. The experience of drinking didn’t feel much different – I had fun, I enjoyed myself, and didn’t feel guilty about indulging (actually I felt less guilty than ever because I had proved to myself that I could go an extended period of time without alcohol).
However, I ended up staying up much later than I had been. I fell asleep right away, but woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep. This led to me sleeping in super late, feeling groggy, and honestly pretty gross in the morning. I was sleepy throughout the day and didn’t have the sustained energy levels I had gotten used to.
I told Beiyao that I don’t think I feel the desire to drink daily anymore. I’m not going to restrict myself from drinking when I want to or on special occasions, but the habit has officially been broken. I know I’m fine – better, even – without it, and that even though it’s a fun social activity to indulge in, I just feel good when I’m not doing it.
How it went – gallon of water every day for 6 weeks and counting
· Improved skin quality (x2 because of the no alcohol!). In drinking my daily gallon of water, I noticed that my skin looked super hydrated and glowy. My body’s inflammation went down and I felt lighter and leaner.
· Other physical benefits. Some of the physical benefits of super-hydrating yourself are that it flushes toxins (particularly when you chug some water first thing when you wake up) and reduces cravings. The majority of the time when you have a craving, it’s actually because you’re dehydrated! See what happens if you grab a glass of water rather before a snack next time you start to feel hungry. (If you try it and you still feel hungry, please do eat. This isn’t about restriction at all, it’s about listening to your body and responding!)
· Constant peeing, lol. The one downside is that I pee CONSTANTLY. Like, every 30 minutes at the very least. But that’s a small price to pay for knowing that my body is flushing everything out with ease, assisting my liver function and my body’s natural anti-aging processes!
So, will I continue?
The answer is definitely YES when it comes to the daily gallon of water! That has me feeling amazing and like I’ve accomplished something no matter WHAT else happens during the day.
When it comes to alcohol, the answer is that I think I’ll be drinking a lot less. I’m not going to set rules for myself, but there’s definitely an increased mindfulness around my drinking and a decreased need for it.
I think the full reset was absolutely necessary for me to change my habits and relearn what my body feels like without alcohol, but I don’t think everybody has to do it to become more mindful of their drinking. Even if you feel no desire to discontinue your participation in alcohol, simply bringing an awareness to it, asking yourself why you do it, how it’s benefitting or taxing you, and listening to your intuition will make a difference.
Our bodies simply want to be heard. We have the ability to get in complete and total synchronistic flow with them if we simply listen.
If you’re sober-curious, but the thought of cutting out alcohol altogether for even a few days is overwhelming, please know you’re not alone. I felt that way for months. Years, even. But finally, the perfect time presented itself as I know will happen for you. The key is to LISTEN for when your body gives you that cue. Don’t let all the excuses your mind is going to make hold you back. Trust that your body has the wisdom to make the right call, and train your mind to follow. This is the beginning of mind/body synchronicity and Divine connection.
The last thing I’ll say is this: Whether or not you drink alcohol has nothing to do with your ability to be spiritually awake, to deepen your spirituality, or to be connected to Source. For many years, I’ve felt some level of shaming coming from the spiritual community when it comes to alcohol. I thought that by drinking, I was hindering the process of opening myself up to more connection, channeling, and alignment.
The truth is, when we live in balance and in a state of trust and synchronicity with our bodies, all things can flow with ease. The details are far less important than the mindset we approach our food, beverages, and appearance with. Some of the wisest spiritual teachers I know partake in alcohol, but they bring a mindfulness to it. They know their limits and boundaries, and enforce them from a place of self-love.
We can be anything and anyone we want in this life. It’s all in our hands. There are no rules. You deserve to feel and look like your best self, to embody your highest expression of healthy and balance in all ways, and to feel empowered by your wellness.
What does that look like for you?
I love you. Xo