The 'Damp Lifestyle' Trend May Be A Habit Adjustment You Can Stick With

Do you find yourself hungover too often, looking for signs that you drink too much, or wishing you could find a happy medium between going out and staying in? TikTok is here to help you figure it out and may just have the tips we need to turn our drinking habits on their heads.

Listening to our bodies may answer how much alcohol it takes to tip the scales on a fun night out. But it may be harder to break behavioral patterns around drinking than we think. A more thorough investigation into what really happens to our bodies when we drink may make it possible for us to make new rules around alcohol that work for us. 

Though we can ask friends and family to help us stay accountable to our sober selves, it's ultimately up to us to create new behaviors around drinking. But with the damp lifestyle trend leading the way, we may be able to step back from the all-or-nothing thinking that sends the scales tipping in an unhealthy direction.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

TikTokers are leading the way

Among the TikTok users shouting out the damp lifestyle trend is Hana Elson, who offers plenty of tips she's picked up from personal experience. Challenges like Dry January may work in the short term for a drinking reset or rebooting a high alcohol tolerance, but the TikToker's goal was making a sustainable change in how she approaches alcohol. 

Elson advises that users "keep a quantitative actionable plan to keep yourself accountable." That might mean counting your drinks and stopping when you hit the number you decided on before the night began. She also has tips for avoiding a hangover the morning after, like having a glass of water or two between drinks, especially when mixing alcohol types. Cocktails with a lower alcohol content or ABV, could also be a major help. 

She also advises drinking in consideration of tomorrow's self, since it might be better to make the compassionate choice tonight and take yourself home sooner rather than later. Psychotherapist Abby Wilson categorizes this as "keeping your why in mind." She told Bustle, "This could be that you want to feel more productive in the morning, focus on alternative coping skills that feel healthy, or strengthen your social skills without using alcohol as a crutch." 

Taking an alcohol self-assessment might clear up some of your questions surrounding drinking, but the people around you can also provide a helpful mirror of your current lifestyle.

Social drinking doesn't have to change your plan

Are you around people who see drinking as the main event of the night? Well, just being out at a bar doesn't have to be the reason you order your first drink — you can wait until a cocktail on the menu really excites you, or there's a local beer you've been wanting to try. 

Social anxiety is one reason that alcohol may feel like a security blanket, but Hana Elson suggests pinpointing exactly when you start drinking for the evening. Leading in with a mocktail or other non-alcoholic drink can show that you're able to overcome the initial nerves of a social situation. When you feel yourself becoming relaxed, you'll realize you didn't need to use alcohol to break the ice.

Psychotherapist and addiction specialist Abby Wilson sees damp living as a helpful reframe for your relationship with alcohol, and one that can feel more like an intellectual exercise rather than a new health kick. She told Bustle, "It's healthy to take a step back and be curious about which behaviors are supporting you versus hindering your growth as a person."

Avoiding peer pressure to take shots or stay out later than you planned can also be a reflection of your personal growth around alcohol. Maintaining your own boundaries for the night can empower others to do the same, and it's likely that not everyone in the group wants to do that next tequila shot either. You can also ask friends or a partner to help hold you accountable to your new damp lifestyle.