How it Works – the Benefits of Dryness

5520526753_af3a1610e7_oOf course there are Benefits from going alcohol free, or simply cutting back.

Check out this article on HuffPost – where they affirm the multitudes choosing January as the month to Go Dry, Go Easy, or dry out after an alcohol soaked X-mas season.

Some of you may be choosing to do this because you are following along on Ready to be Thirsty – our annual challenge to go booze free for a month.  Or you might do it on your own, or as inspired by one of the Dry January campaigns out there.  Whether you are trying to get healthy or trying to raise money for a good cause, there a big bunch of awesome benefits for making the attempt:

  • Recoup your liver – it takes time for tissues to heal, enzymes to rebuild
  • Better hydration – give your cells a non-alcoholic beverage!
  • Mental clarity – gee whiz, I can think my way through the fog…
  • Reduced calories – you’ll get slimmer if you cut alcohol intake and replace with veggies instead of sugar
  • Extra cash – less money on booze means more cash in your pocket
  • Better sleep – your rhythms improve without alcohol to mess them up
  • No hangovers!

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Photo by Reuben Ingber via Flickr. Creative Commons.  No changes. 

Resistance & Futility, Temptations & Miracles

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Yes, as we make our way through the month of January, and the Ready to be Thirsty challenge we might be dealing with a little thing called… temptation.

As you deal with that primal urge for your favorite beverage, you’ll be able to notice your triggers.  Why do I want this now?  What is it that I really want out of this experience? What is alcohol going to give me right now that I cannot seem to get on my own?

  • a buzz?
  • an escape…or relief?
  • a jolt of pleasure?
  • a heightened (or lessened) experience?
  • a burst of confidence or courage?
  • the freeing of my mind,thoughts, wit, humour, or inhibitions?
  • alleviation of boredom?
  • fulfillment of my habit?

Whatever it is, that moment is the time to gain insight.  And perhaps we can ponder how might still achieve that desire in an alcohol-free, or even healthy way.  Exercise.  A book.  A phone call to a friend.

After all, many persons who do the challenge report that they fill that temptation with unhealthy replacements:  like chips or carb-filled snacks. Greasy food.  Sugar.  An indulgent binge-watch of Desperate Housewives.

Our need for that hit of pleasure in our minds is strong indeed.

Can we learn from this temptation?  Can be stay on the path and honour our commitment?  And if we can’t, can we pick up the torch and try to once again stay on the course?   You knew you’d be Thirsty!

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Top photo by erika dot net via Flickr.  Creative Commons. No changes

Lower photo by sharyn morrow via Flickr.  Creative Commons. No changes

The Dog is High on Life!

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Have you ever noticed that dogs are generally high on life?

There’s that joke where the dog keeps track of his daily activities, like a diary…and everything he does… is his favorite thing:

DOG DIARY

8:00 AM – Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 AM – A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 AM – A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 AM – Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 PM – Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 PM – Played in the yard! My favorite thing!

Meanwhile, the cat’s diary reads like the journal of a prisoner of war:

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets…

We could take a lesson from the average dog.  Yet as humans we do so much to escape from life, to cope with life, to deal with life.  And we spend a ridiculous amount of energy seeking out our favorite things…only to sometimes have contempt for those things when we finally get them.

Yet, if we lived and thought a little more like a dog, and found life to be more of a thrill than something to be endured, I bet you we would need a lot less alcohol. After all, many of us drink ritually… to de-stress, decompress or distract.

Maybe, just maybe, we could try to see why this is so, with a break this January, and go Dry, with Ready to be Thirsty.  Attempt to go alcohol-free, or merely cut back.  And!… find your favorite things.  Snowshoeing, hiking, skiing, hot chocolate, cooking, the company of others, whatever.

The dog days of winter are yours to discover.

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Photo by Ernst Grafenberg via Flickr.  Creative Commons.  No changes.

Dog/Cat joke as published by Funny 2

The Spirits of the Season!

4168355718_b5c8cfccf4_oHo ho hold my beer.   Holiday season is here.

Time to eat turkey and fall into a couch coma.

Time to tolerate our extended family by sousing ourselves with gin and Wink soda.

Time to set up the Elf-on-the-Shelf surveillance to ensure a few weeks of good behavior.

Consume many products.  Venerate the notion of Santa, and the goodness he represents. Generously give a few bucks to the folks jingling the bells at the LCBO.

Feel the spirit.   No, no, really.  Pause and feel it.

Buy a tag from someone in front of the grocery store.  Wrap gifts.  Go to large distribution outlets and buy more things.  Breathe.  Listen to carols.  Hang stuff on the tree.  Hang lights on the trees outside.  Make stuff out of chocolate.  Eat chocolate.  Breathe again.

This is Christmas, X-mas, Yuletide. Feliz Navidad and Happy Holidays.

It is a crazy, whirlwind season.  Nowadays, it’s near impossible book anything non-Christmas into December, because everyone is so busy, well, doing Christmas.  Office parties, family parties, dance squads… curling clubs, hockey teams, gymnastics organizations…church societies, parades and downtown business associations.  They are all doing Christmas. It’s fun, it’s nuts and it’s beautiful.

But part of much of that, and part of the holidays on the whole…is drinkin’.  Lotsa drinkin’.

And eatin’.  Like it’s our last meal before the last dawn, generally.

You know that feeling, when you feel like a beached and inebriated whale, washed up on Aunt Margaret’s couch?

Is it any wonder, then, that many people choose to ‘go dry’ in January as a way to slowly allow for the reintroduction of water and vegetables…?

This Christmas season – try to go easy.  And if you don’t – get Ready to be Thirsty!

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Photo by Katrina Cole, via Flickr.  Creative Commons license, no changes.

Chah-lahnge!

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Do you think this game is easy?  It’s not easy.

For certain, as soon as you attempt to deprive yourself of anything – more accurately, anything pleasurable…then you begin to CRAVE that thing.

This January, we challenge you to challenge others!

After all, if you are going to do the Ready to be Thirsty challenge – and ‘go dry’ this January, then you are going to crave alcohol.  It’s true. You’re going to suffer (a little, a lot) as you miss its buzz, its social lubrication, its relaxation, its means as an escape…whatever it does for you…

So you may as well challenge your friends to endure all that craving with you. Don’t suffer alone!  At the same time, your friends and family and you will rediscover other things while you engage in the drying-out effort. It will be like climbing a small mountain as a team, and not letting each other quit…and regardless of how it goes, you’ll ponder and feel proud of the effort.

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And! You will find something in that dry desert, and it will look at lot like you and them.  Taking the challenge will bind you together in solidarity and commiseration, in laughter and activity, in the bonds of shared human experience.  I am no oracle, but I am not kidding, either.  It works.

So challenge others.  Challenge yourself.  Do it together.

Share, survive, endure, enjoy.  

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The Daunting Power of New

If you’ve been following along here at Ready to be Thirsty, you know there’s a challenge coming up after Christmas and the New Year to go booze free – a ‘dry month’, in January 2017.  Well, instead of going completely cold, you could instead cut back, or give yourself a handful of select drinking days.  Whatever works for you.

What’s the point of it, Doug?’

Well, thank you…I am so happy you asked.

The point, good fellow, kind madam, is to make the attempt to go without the alcohol for a month to….well, to get healthy.  Or…to become conscious of your drinking patterns.  Or…to gain insight into something new, a healthy habit, find joy, renew a long-lost activity, or otherwise discover something besides drinking (which we often do for entertainment, or to facilitate/lubricate the same).  Heck, you could discover a new YOU.

According to studies and news from the Brits – whose Dry January campaign has followers in the millions:

  • the value is in the attempt, succeed or otherwise.  The attempt makes all the difference…
  • many persons who did the challenge, perfectly or otherwise, carried healthier habits forward for six months, a year, longer
  • they tried new things, while escaping their routines.  They learned about themselves, their friends, their habits, and dare I say it, their spirit….!

So, if that sounds interesting to you, come to our Facebook page, ‘like’ it, follow along in January.  Maybe challenge a friend to do the same and dare to get Thirsty

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How to Dry it Out and Up

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There’s got to be some anxiety out there about this going dry in January thing.  In our case, it’s called the Ready to be Thirsty Challenge.  All over the world, interested parties are prompting drinkers to forgo the parties – at least for this January.  Or, at least keep those parties dry and you can watch your friends get all tipsy and daft without you…

Maybe your office’s seasonal cheer is a gonzo freak-show like Office Christmas Party, I don’t know.  But maybe any and all of us deserve a break from the madness, following all the Yuletide gaiety.  And if so, here’s a few suggestions on how to do it right (according to Marie Claire – always take sobering advice from a fashion magazine):

A. Do the challenge with a friend – why go it alone?  Strength in numbers!

B. Focus on your hobbies and other interestsyou’ll have time to learn silk weaving, or learn about cosmic string theory.  Read a book, go snow-shoeing, try something new.

C. Get busy – keep involved in your passions, unless your passion is vodka

D. Treat yourselfsave your booze bucks and get your nails done.  Or buy a real screwdriver instead of a Screwdriver.

E. Stay away from your triggerslike, say, the bar/restaurant, or meals that typically would inspire beer or wine

F. Let people know you’re doing it – if you’re friends know you’re off the suds, they are less likely to tempt you!

G. Eat healthy, live healthy – If you’ve stopped sipping for January, you might fill the gap with all the chocolate you got for Christmas.  Instead, make the challenge part of a larger scheme to lose some weight, get active.  It could change your whole approach to winter…

Read the whole article here

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