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Taking 'dry January' into February and beyond


Many have chosen to "go dry" in January, trading in wine for water.

Some have decided to take it a step further by trying to live a life without alcohol.

Julie Bloom used to look forward to a moment of peace after a long day, which was accompanied by one or more glasses of wine.

"I was a well-caffeinated and 'Chardonnay' working mom, and like many people, it got to be a daily ritual," said the executive and recovery coach in mental wealth and well-being.

The ritual, however, had to stop when Bloom began experiencing health issues.

"I was sick with PTSD, mental health issues, and I suffered from vertigo," she said. "I was gifted sobriety and abstinence because I couldn't drink."

Sober for almost six years, Bloom now uses her experience to help others as a recovery coach.

"We don't need to have a big alcohol problem to have a problem with our alcohol consumption," she said.

The World Health Organization has classified alcohol as a Group 1 carcinogen, adding that no amount of alcohol is safe.

"For people who have convinced themselves that 2-3 drinks a day is normal, that's actually quite a bit," said Dr. Christopher Labos.

The WHO's stance on alcohol has led some toe explore their relationship with alcohol.

"If you cut out alcohol, you will lower your blood pressure, you will lower your blood sugar, you will lose weight, you will overall improve your cardiovascular health, limit your risk at developing arythmia, you will lower your risk of cancer," said Labos.

Bloom said non-alcoholic alternatives are more accessible than ever and that they are great options at the beginning of one's dry journey.

"Making sure at the beginning you have fun drinks like non-alcoholic gins," she said. "I love the Hickson one that's made here in Verdun and bring them with you."

She also suggests developing healthy coping skills like journaling or exercise.

"Do different activities," said Bloom. "Sometimes, it means hanging out with people who will help you protect your sobriety."

Bloom said that instead of focusing on what you're cutting out, think of what you're gaining.

"It's been the most beautiful gift I've given myself," said Bloom. Top Stories

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