Book review,  Change and challenge,  Health & wellbeing

Dry January

“Like a garden, you can choose to either let yourself wither and struggle to find your own light, or you can learn how to give yourself the light you need so that all your colors shine brightly, beautifully, and more boldly.” ~Jennifer Ashton, M.D., M.S., The Self-Care Solution: A Year of Becoming Happier, Healthier & Fitter — One Month at a Time

As Chief Medical Correspondent for ABC News, Dr. Jennifer Ashton knows a thing or two about health and wellbeing. So, when I saw her Self-Care Solution at the bookstore late last year, I didn’t hesitate to purchase it. I’d already promised to make some serious changes in 2023 — but only after I ate and drank my way through the annual bacchanal known as The Holiday Season.

So far, I’ve kept my promise. Inspired by the first chapter in Dr. Ashton’s book, I started the “Dry January” challenge on New Year’s Day. I haven’t had a cocktail or glass of wine since then. Zero, nada. I’ve also cleaned up our daily meal plans — which had become less healthy, thanks to those long months of pandemic boredom and isolation.

It’s barely been three weeks, but already I’m feeling so much clearer and more energetic. I just might stick with the program for another month or two. I realized last year that I’d been treating my body like the old friend you take for granted — the friend you assume will always be there … until she’s not.

Dr. Ashton reminds us that better health starts with the realization that we all deserve it. Deep down, we know we do. ~CL

Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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