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Author: Those Coping With Coronavirus Pandemic By Drinking More Alcohol Should Consider A 'Dry January'

MONTCLAIR, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- It was a year like no other, so a January reset could be just the trick to forget 2020.

One new trend that has gotten very popular in the last few years is giving up alcohol for the first month of the new year, CBS2's Nick Caloway reported Tuesday.

Remember when 2020 rang in with such promise? Well, it turned into a year we'll never forget, for all the wrong reasons.

The coronavirus pandemic had many people turning to alcohol. So some are starting 2021 off with a "Dry January."

"So that means no wine, no beer, and no spirits for 29 to 31 days," said Hilary Sheinbaum, author of "The Dry Challenge."

Sheinbaum of Queens is about to start her fifth dry January. Her new book is aimed at helping people successfully tackle a month without alcohol.


It's a trend that has gained popularity. Still, many say they are wary of the idea.

"I've heard of it, but I don't think I could do it, especially in this pandemic," said Liz Keeter of Verona, New Jersey.

"I know people are drinking more because of the pandemic, so I think it's a good idea to maybe start the new year off with some better habits, I suppose," Verona's Bill Bromley added.

For Sheinbaum, a month without alcohol came with some big perks. Among them, better sleep.

"As you know, after a full night's rest you feel refreshed, you feel energetic, and beyond that, my skin was clearer after dry January. And certainly it just changed my mood. I was more upbeat and happier," Sheinbaum said.

FLASHBACK: Coronavirus Update: Health Officials Worried About Hoarding Of Alcohol As Means Of Self-Medication

There are also health benefits from taking a break from booze.

Tory Stroker is a registered dietitian in Bergen County.

"And, unfortunately, it can kind of numb us out. So having that chance to step back from alcohol can help us to re-evaluate and consider some other coping mechanisms that might actually be more helpful than alcohol," Stroker said.

If you're considering your first dry January, experts recommend removing alcohol from your home, giving it to a friend, or pouring it down the drain.

Next, recruit a friend or family member to take the challenge with you.

It might make those 31 days go a little faster.

CBS2's Nick Caloway contributed to this report


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