Tips for a Dry January

December 28, 2022
Healthy new year
3 min read
Thomas Tuyen, DO


Thomas Tuyen, DO


Did you promise yourself to have a Dry January? Making January a dry month is easy for some but a challenge for more than a few. Here are some Dry January tips and benefits from Thomas Tuyen, DO, Mount Nittany Health Primary Care.  

After the winter holidays, you may feel like you’ve had enough good food and spirits for a while and need a break. That’s not just you thinking that, that’s your body telling you as well. Alcohol consumption can dehydrate your skin, cause restless sleep, and make you tired. Giving up alcohol, even for a short period, can reverse these conditions. Continued abstinence can result in more energy, weight loss, and several other benefits.

Like New Year’s Resolutions, fulfilling the promise of a Dry January can be a heavy weight to carry, but there are a few hacks you can use to get you across the finish line.

Identify an activity you can do instead of drinking. When the urge to drink comes, you can turn to that activity to take your mind off the booze. Listening to a podcast, reading a book, or doing yoga can be a fallback to going belly-up to the bar. Exercise can have the added effect of helping you lose weight. When you burn off calories exercising, you might be less inclined to add them back on by having a beer.

Identifying and avoiding triggers you associate with drinking is another way to get off the bottle. A trigger makes you feel like you need a drink in your hand. It could be a person you meet with regularly to have a beer or the smell of your local pizzeria that reminds you to get a six-pack to go along with your takeout. If you can avoid these triggers, you can raise your odds of success.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. It can be a mistake to count the days until the end of the month because that could increase the temptations you are having now and might result in a binge when you end your fast. If you have a drink in the middle of the month, don’t consider it a failure. Think about it as an opportunity to learn more about your triggers and revitalize your motivation. We are all fragile humans that make mistakes sometimes. Recognizing this can make you feel better.

Finally, let someone who cares about you know that you set a goal of not drinking in January. Sharing your plan can serve several purposes. That person can become your support when you crave a wee dram and be your cheerleader when you succeed in avoiding it. When someone knows you will not be drinking for the month, they are more likely to plan things with you that do not involve alcohol, and they are less likely to offer you a drink when you are socializing to help you avoid the temptation. Your ally can also let others know about your good intentions, which expands your support network and can help ensure your success.

A successful Dry January is a team effort. It takes you, your family, your friends, and your care provider to help you reach your goals.

About The Author

Thomas Tuyen, DO

Dr. Thomas Tuyen, DO, has joined Mount Nittany Health Primary Care at the Mount Nittany Health – Blue Course Drive location.

“I believe the best type of care comes with clear communication and compromise,” said Dr. Tuyen. “No one can be expected to be perfectly healthy, and I think that’s okay. I find that working together with patients to come up with treatment options and plans that will be realistic overall improves health.”

Dr. Tuyen received his Bachelor’s in Science (cum laude) from Juniata College and his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his family and community medicine residency at Penn State Health at Mount Nittany Medical Center.

“I spent the last three years working side-by-side with the providers, nurses, and staff here at Mount Nittany and always felt welcomed,” said Dr. Tuyen. “I know that the care patients receive here is top notch and I want to continue adding my skills to this community.”

Inspired by diversity, Dr. Tuyen enjoys being able to help people of different backgrounds and perspectives. “Patients teach me about their lives and cultures as much as I can teach them about medicine,” Dr. Tuyen said.

As a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Tuyen believes that osteopathic manipulation is a viable and efficient treatment style. He is a member of the American Osteopathic Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Dr. Tuyen is an avid cook and likes to support local restaurants – a hobby also enjoyed by his wife. One of his pleasures is ordering food in Chinese restaurants using his minimal Cantonese skills.

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