It’s Not Too Late to Get In On Dry July
Summer’s in full swing. That means pool parties, barbecues, beach days, and vacations. These all give you chances to unwind and spend time with people you care about. Yay! But all too often, that goes hand in hand with having a drink in your hand.
Enter: Dry July. It’s just like Sober October or Dry January, but it falls smack-dab in the middle of the summer. That makes it a more intentional opportunity to take a step back from drinking and see just how great life can be without that pricey bar bill or that dreaded hangover. And you can support people affected by cancer as you do it. Big win!
Why Dry July
The Dry July Foundation gives people across Australia a way to raise money for cancer support by giving up their drink of choice for July. To date, this organization has raised almost $1.5 million.
If you’re not in Australia, you can take a page from their book. Save up the money you would have spent on alcohol and donate it to a cancer foundation or an organization that connects, supports, and empowers those in or seeking recovery from substance use, like SHE RECOVERS Foundation.
On average, millennials spend about $300 a month on alcohol, while Gen X spend about $150, and boomers spend about $100. (Gen Z, we see you but your recent induction into drinking age limits available data).
That’s a pretty solid chunk of money.
So this July, keep a note in your phone, an updatable savings tally. Instead of grabbing a drink when you’re out with friends, opt for a non-alcoholic beverage. Add the difference in price to your note. When you’re grocery shopping and you skip the six-pack of beer or the bottle of wine, put the amount you would have paid in your note.
At the end of the month, total it all up. If you’re in a position to do so, donating all of that money to a group like the American Cancer Society could make you feel pretty awesome. If you could use the cash, maybe you split the amount and give half. Do what works for your budget. Either way, you’ll have a pretty clear idea of how much you’re spending each month on alcohol. And it might be a motivator to cut back through the rest of the summer and beyond.
Personal benefits of Dry July
Dry July isn’t just about saving money or giving to a good cause, although we do love both of those things. It’s also about checking in with yourself.
It’s easy to switch to autopilot with drinking, especially during the summer months. But drinking takes a toll on our mental and physical health. It can worsen depression and anxiety. It can cause heart problems and cancer.
Doing Dry July gives you a chance to check in. If you start now and go through the end of the month, you’ll have four solid weeks of sobriety under your belt. Evaluate how you feel afterward. Do you have more energy? More focus? Fewer mental illness symptoms?
From there, you might make a choice. You could reintroduce alcohol but do it more intentionally. If you start feeling its negative effects, scale back how much you’re drinking.
Or you could choose to stay sober.
In either case, if you identify as a woman and are curious about recovery, the SHE RECOVERS® Foundation is an amazing place to start. SHE RECOVERS is a non-profit public charity dedicated to redefining recovery, inspiring hope, ending stigma, and connecting, supporting, and empowering women and nonbinary individuals. (We love them so much that we donate a portion of all of our sales to them!). If you identify as male, Men’s Group is a great option to check out.
Let’s raise a mocktail to Dry July!