Chrissy Teigen

Over the past few years, the topic of sobriety has been trending hard in wellness circles. Then came 2020 and months of quarantine, unexpected homeschooling, and a slew of high-stress social issues in the news and on the streets. Alcohol sales skyrocketed as many of us turned to alcohol as a form of stress-relief and entertainment. Social media exploded with memes about drinking wine during the day as our country’s traditional schedules were turned on their head and Zoom happy hours became everyone’s favorite new past-time.

This January, we’re taking a soft approach to what is already a hard year. With all the unique challenges facing us coming into 2021, it has us wondering: are more people participating in Dry January this year or less? 

Recently, model, author and mama, Chrissy Teigen shared that she was going sober on her highly engaged Instagram account, reigniting the topic of sobriety and sparking plenty of discussion about Dry January that we suspect may otherwise be less popular than years past.

According to Chrissy, author Holly Whitaker’s memoir and self-help guide, Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed With Alcohol was the resource that inspired her lifestyle change.

“One month ago, on my birthday, I got this book from my doctor and friend,” Teigen shared through Instagram Stories. “I was done with making an a— of myself in front of people (I’m still embarrassed), tired of day drinking and feeling like s— by 6, not being able to sleep. I have been sober ever since and even if you can’t see yourself doing it or just plain don’t want to, it is still an incredible read.”

quite like a woman book cover

It turns out that Holly Whitaker is also the founder of a female-facing sobriety program called Tempest, an online membership that promises to provide a more holistic, personalized approach to women’s pursuit of a sober lifestyle that includes education, community and support services. According to her website, one of Holly’s missions is to help more women see the obsession with drinking in our culture more clearly. Taking a fresh look at cultural norms is in itself a powerful tool that can lead to transformation.

On the Tempest site, you can find a few of the brand’s leading arguments against drinking culture which include alcohol’s potential long-term effects on serotonin levels (“making you more susceptible to depression…”) and interruption of healthy sleep cycles.

The brand also focuses attention on the connection between anxiety and alcohol use, definitely a relevant topic in a season like the one we’re in where we’re hearing about the common thread of increased anxiety during this unusual year.

For many non-sober individuals, Dry January has become their lengthiest sober period of the year. While the detox and health reset is probably the top motivation for most, it’s also often fueled by the wish to break any dependency on alcohol that’s crept up over the proceeding year.

In a blog post by Tempest the team shares, “Many of us drank to deal with anxiety because we didn’t have any other method for dealing with intense feelings. When we become willing to learn new coping strategies we remove ourselves from the cycle of alcohol dependence. What works best is different for everyone, but studies (and our own experience) have shown that a combination of therapy, a positive support system, movement, and mindfulness go a long way to improving anxiety and strengthening recovery. “

Whether you’re sober, experiencing Dry January now, or drinking a glass of chardonnay as you read this, we love the reminder that both Chrissy and the author who inspired her are putting forth. From the author and her brand, the reminder to align ourselves with healthy coping strategies and not to use any substance as an emotional crutch is refreshing after a year of funny, but lazy drinking memes. And Chrissy’s bold lifestyle change is an inspiring reminder that our habits don’t define us and we’re free to make changes whenever we’d like.

What’s your stance on Dry January? Do you participate every year? Do you handle detox and breaks from drinking differently? Or are you embracing a sober lifestyle year round? Leave us your comment below!

For those who embrace the rythyms of Dry January or who have always wanted to, the cool kids at Kin Euphorics have created a Ritual Bundle with their adaptogenic (and non-alcholic) drinks that includes a set of 36 inspiring sensorial cards and a candle to burn once a day to encourage a bit of calm reflection. We love the life hack of having a functional beverage like a pitcher of herbal iced tea or bottle of Kin’s High Rhode (think ginger, spice and stress-busting rhodiola!) on hand when going dry for a day — or 30 — feels like a challenge. Replacing one habit with another has always been a useful way for us to coax ourselves into change.

Try Kin Euphorics Ritual Bundle or any of their bevs including Kin Spritz, High Rhode and Dream Light for 20% off with CHALKBOARD20 If you’re a devoted Chalkboard readers, then you’ve likely already seen this offer in our newsletters — let us know if you’ve started the rituals and what you think!

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