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Doing Dry January in Style: Helpful Tips for Navigating Social and Professional Spaces

We’re heading into the first weekend of 2024, I thought I should do a quick status check on my Dry January friends. How’s it going guys:)? 

While this article isn't exactly interiors related, it is health/wellness focused and home design adjacent. As an interior designer, my focus is often on crafting inviting kitchens and entertaining spaces that traditionally include wine storage and cocktail bar nooks. In my professional landscape; networking events frequently involve cocktails, and even furniture and decor trade shows lure clients with free libations. So it was no small challenge last year when my husband and I embarked on a dry January. Crazy thing, once February 1st rolled around, we felt so good we decided to keep the sober train rolling. Now that it’s been a full year, I feel I can share what worked for us.

Here are some tricks we discovered to navigate social and professional events without compromising your style:

1. Redefine Your Routine:

  • From Wine to Tea: Instead of the traditional 5 pm glass of wine, we've embraced the ritual of making cups of hot tea. This alternative routine not only fills the void but adds a touch of warmth and comfort to our evenings. Also, break out the pretty tea and mugs. Cocktails and glasses of wine are objectively beautiful, that’s part of the draw. This might not seem important, but please believe me, it is. As the saying goes… presentation is everything.

2. Revamp Your Eating Habits:

  • Stress-Reducing Foods: I caution against getting overly ambitious here because if you decide to cut out all your vices, you’re bound to break under pressure. If you are dying for a chimichanga; have a chimichanga! Eat a bowl of ice cream, you earned it! That said, there are foods that will help reduce stress, so I humbly suggest adding them to our diet. Our dietary overhaul included eating more stress-reducing foods such as fish, leafy greens, and antioxidant-rich fruits. Treating ourselves to dark chocolate satisfies the sweet tooth AND promotes better health.

3. Activity-Based Socializing:

  • More Than Cocktails: It can feel like you don’t know what to do with your self if you don’t have weekend plans for drinks and dinner. To overcome this, we’ve shifted some social engagements to more activity-based gatherings. Whether it's a morning hike, an evening game night, or a spirited game of pickleball; we've found joy in the variety of non-alcohol-centric activities.

4. Master the Mocktail:

  • Soda Water with a Twist: Honestly, after the first few times to a bar without boozing, I found I kinda like being the sober one. We still dance to the music, order awesome food, and tip big, but a bottle of wine is replaced with Pellegrino. It also makes for great people-watching! When surrounded by others indulging in cocktails, I ensure my hands are occupied with a soda water adorned with a slice of lime or another non-alcoholic drink that mirrors the elegance of a cocktail. This not only prevents awkward conversations (“yeah, I don't drink anymore.” can be a really loaded statement!) but adds a touch of sophistication to our presence.

All said, navigating Dry January doesn't mean sacrificing style or missing out on the social fabric that defines you or your professional circle. It's really just about rebooting your year with a little self care, which it great, right? By incorporating these new habits into our daily lives, Bri and I have not only embraced a healthier lifestyle, but also found we’ve improved our social and professional relationships. Gotta say, it feels like we’re crushing it!

As a residential interior designer, the shift in perspective has inspired me to explore alternative design elements that cater to the homeowners' diverse lifestyles. I’ll always love designing a gorgeous wet bar, but creating spaces that accommodate various preferences, including those who choose not to partake in alcohol, has become a new and exciting aspect of my work AND it’s true to my design philosophy of creating environments that are unique and tailor made for my clients.

If you’ve made it to day five, congrats! YOU ARE A ROCK STAR! If you haven’t started yet, that’s ok too. There’s still room to jump on the wagon and join this journey of Doing Dry January in Style, and discover how embracing a "dry" or even "damp" lifestyle can lead to a more vibrant, healthier, and stylish you in 2024.

Cheers to a dry and delightful January!



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