top of page

Secrets for Rocking Dry January with Casey Davidson

Updated: Jan 25, 2022

Are you considering Dry January this January? I have Casey Davidson on the show this week! Casey is a Certified Life Coach who helps women quit drinking and create lives they love without alcohol. She is the founder of Hello Someday Coaching and host of The Hello Someday Podcast.

Listen here!

If you enjoyed this episode please don’t forget to subscribe, rate and share the podcast so it can reach more people that it will serve and benefit.

You can find Casey at: Follow me on Instagram @alexmcrobs and check out my offerings in yoga, meditation and coaching at

Are you a fan of Sober Yoga Girl Podcast? The podcast remains completely free, and free from advertisements, however, it has monthly production costs. If you are able to, please subscribe to become a monthly podcast member to support our show. As a member you get invited to a once a month mocktails night and hangout with Alex on Zoom (rotating times to accommodate our many timezones!) Please subscribe here to support us!

Full episode


Intro: Welcome to the "Sober Yoga Girl" podcast with Alex McRobs, international yoga teacher and sober coach. I broke up with booze for good in 2019. And now I'm here to help others do the same. You're not alone and a sober life can be fun and fulfilling. Let me show you how. hello everyone welcome back to another episode of sober yoga girl this is the first episode that i've recorded in a while so i am super happy to be here i think it's actually the first one i've recorded since i moved to bali which is cool and i have my guest here with me today casey davidson and casey is in washington state in the states and she is the host of the hello someday podcast she is a sobriety and life coach so welcome casey how are you oh i'm good thanks so much for having me i'm excited to be here happy to have you here and casey how long have you been alcohol free yeah i quit drinking almost six years ago so it'll be six years in february congratulations that's amazing yeah it seems surreal now i remember when getting past day four was like impossible but yeah now it just it feels like the new normal mm-hmm it just becomes easier and easier at the beginning it's every day feels like a challenge and then you hit a point where it's just you know your normal life your new lifestyle or way of being so casey what was your life like before you quit drinking yeah i was always you know i used to actually call myself a red wine girl like that was how i self-identified and i you know love to drink always have you know i sort of think um when i went to college it helped me kind of i thought come out of my shell and meet people and have fun because i was always sort of hyper vigilant and thinking about what people might be thinking about me or if i was acting the right way and i sort of figured oh my god drinking this is amazing i shut my mind off and i thought you know quote unquote anything could happen i thought it was super adventurous and fun and i actually played on the women's rugby team in college which i don't know if you know anything about rugby but it's sort of a ritualized drinking culture and binge drinking at that so after every game you would get together with the other team and have a huge cake party and we used to go on keg runs where like they would put a keg in someone's truck and we would run around for five miles stopping and drinking in between like the exercise yeah so it was not um the best breeding ground for like a healthy relationship with alcohol but i was still sort of the straight a girl and i graduated college and lived on my own you know got a big job at a consulting firm and was just like oh this is what adults do they drink in their apartment alone and of course like i had no idea how to cook i went to like boarding school in college and ate in the dining hall so i was like making mac and cheese with a bottle of wine or like lucky charms for dinner but i was like see this is very sophisticated so you know life went on and i just sort of always was a 365 nights a year drinker i it was just what i did you know and it sort of segued from drinks out you know at bars with friends in my early 20s to happy hours after work to dinner parties with my husband and all of our friends with the wine flowing to after i had kids um it was just sort of the way i thought i was still claiming my adulthood so i would go to this big corporate job i would leave right before having to pick up my kids at daycare come home and open the bottle of wine pretty immediately and then proceed to cook and drink any dinner and drink and do dishes and drink and get my daughter and son to bed and then sit down on the couch and finish the bottle and so it wasn't that unusual that's what's crazy like it was just part of my husband my life everybody knew that i loved red wine but i was drinking a bottle or more a night seven nights a week wow and it just you know it was sort of the elephant in the room i had a lot of other things going for me that made it somewhat easy to dismiss how much i was drinking like i was working really really hard to keep all the balls in the air i had a big job i you know kept everything going i took my kids to all their things i just did it with a headache and a hangover and a super fuzzy memory from the night before like when i look back i was making my life so much harder than it needed to be just kind of navigating my day at quarter power and trying to make sure that no one could tell that i was hungover and you know had the usual like highlight moments of amazing trips to italy with my husband where we wine tasted all day and then like 90 of my life was low lights which was waking up at the couch because he couldn't wake me up at the end of the night waking up at 3 a.m with like my heart beating like crazy and huge anxiety trying to put on my eyeliner with bloodshot eyes and then at 5pm after beating myself up all day for drinking i just feel like oh my god today was hard my boss was hard you know i deserve this it's thursday it's friday and just wanting to pick up a bottle of wine on my way home and you know i was worried about it the whole time you know for a good we we've talked about this like i was kind of worried about my drinking for about eight years before i finally quit um i started to wonder if i had a problem when my son was six months old um i read drinking a love story that book when he was six months old and sort of wrote a letter to myself about oh no i think i might have a problem with alcohol and i didn't quit drinking i quit for a year when he was five and finally quit when he was eight so it took me a long time of thinking about it worrying about it justifying it saying screw it and drinking again you know all that kind of stuff and then one day six almost six years ago i woke up at 3 a.m i had huge anxiety i was you know i knew enough i had been a member of some of these secret non-drinking facebook groups i'd read the quitlet you know i knew it was an issue and um saw someone post in one of these groups about a sober coach and i was just like okay and i went into work at 10 a.m and i emailed her she lived in paris and i signed up for her to be my coach and that was literally my last day one wow my goodness i just got shivers you know there are so many elements of your story that i resonate with you know i wasn't a parent by the time that i quit drinking but so many parts of your journey including you know you were a straight a student yet also having this binge drinking you know playing rugby and you're just seems like you were juggling almost like two lives and doing it really well and someone commented on one of my facebook posts i posted in this you know girls travel group the other day and mentioned my drinking problem and someone commented saying oh i didn't realize that people who had drinking problems could also have jobs and i was like wow this just shows how stereo how messed up our stereotypes are because there are a lot of high functioning people with drinking problems who are highly successful and you know that was like my story and definitely resonated with that part of your story too you know you had a job you were a mom you were juggling all these things somehow with the hangover oh yeah and in fact you know the data shows that people with you know the biggest increase in binge drinking and you know the heaviest level of drinking are actually people in the really high socioeconomic status and women age 35 to 65 particularly white women have just over the last 20 years their drinking has skyrocketed so i think that the perception of people who have a drinking problem is very very different than the majority of society who struggles with alcohol right no absolutely and it's such it's a stereotype that prevents people from getting started i think because you know we talked about this um already it's just this fear of what will people think of me if they know that i have this problem and it's actually a lot more common than than we realize yeah absolutely and it's just it's in some ways just like any other health change you might decide to make in the same way that someone might decide to become a vegetarian because that aligns with what they want to do with their lives and what their priorities are or someone might decide to become a yoga teacher or someone might might decide to run a marathon right it is something that people should say oh my god good for you that's amazing we're not there yet so in some ways it's a habit and a behavior change and simply swapping out what's in your beverage on the other hand it is culturally pushed on us and put on this pedestal and highly highly addictive yeah so it's an incredibly hard habit to break but it's one that's incredibly healthy as well yeah and so tell me about so this was this pivotal moment for you when you signed up for a sober coach what was so what was the big change when you did this yeah well i mean it's not like i hadn't been trying to stop drinking before because i had and you know i wrote myself all the letters telling myself i needed to quit and i needed to get my life together and this was not going to be good i had the first time i stopped drinking for a year a friend of mine actually took me to some 12-step aaa meetings and that was not my path i just didn't really resonate with it and it actually at the time made me be it works for so many people i have so many friends in the program but for me i was like i don't want to live this way and it made me be like well i'm not that bad i might as well you know just go back to drinking at the time so the reason talking to a sober coach helped me was because i told her i was honest with her right no one hires a sober coach if work drinking is working out really really well for you in your life so i was like here's where i am i'm drinking a bottle or a bottle and half a wine at night seven nights a week i feel like garbage nobody knows nobody's told me to stop i desperately don't want to stop drinking drinking is my favorite thing in the whole world but i want to feel better i can't feel the way i feel anymore i can't have this anxiety i can't have this sort of i felt doomed i felt dread i didn't want anyone to look at me too closely so reaching out to someone making a commitment to her the commitment was let's get you to a hundred days without alcohol which was crazy at the time i could only go four and she knew what i was going to go through she knew how it felt on day 4 and day 7 and day 15 and why it would be really hard to go out to a restaurant and what i could say to my friends or my co-workers that might help and how i needed to lower the bar and be kind to myself and she sort of held my hand through all of those micro steps without making me say i'm never gonna drink again or i'm an alcoholic or this is forever you know we just kind of like built up to 30 days and then say okay this is awesome how good are you going to feel at 50 and then we went to 75 and then we went to a hundred and then i had a major panic and anxiety attack you know at work and it was just at that point i was like oh my god this is awful i can't feel this way anymore but i also cannot go back to drinking i was like i am not going back to what broke me so then you add more support then i added a therapist and i added some anti-anxiety medication and kept going to exercise and kept talking to my sober coach and kept being a member of my groups and it just you know it became my new normal that i used to drink a lot and i quit because i feel better without it yeah yeah that's amazing how did you get from then being at this point that you wanted to become a sober coach or a life coach yourself yeah i think it's a process so you know in my first year it was really just navigating the life physically without drinking and and picking up new habits and new activities i ran a 10k for the first time in years i went to there's this mindful triathlon that was amazing where you do yoga and meditation and do a 5k so i was doing that i was putting up a million vision boards i was really changing how i navigated life in the first year and in the second year i was just experiencing joy i was just enjoying all the little moments i was going on amazing trips i was hanging out with my kids i was just like i'm proud of myself i feel good and then in year three i was like okay what now because i'd spent 20 years in the corporate world climbing the ladder i was in digital marketing director level at big fortune 500 companies and yet i had never loved it i had always you know all the things women feel right i felt the ton of pressure i felt impostor syndrome i felt like i didn't care you know but i was still a straight a girl and so one morning i was actually in ecommerce so the holiday season black friday cyber monday you know you make all your sales right around thanksgiving and christmas and i woke up on thanksgiving morning and said to my husband i don't want to be doing this in five years i actually don't want to be doing this tomorrow and you know i had a job that looked really good on paper i was at l'oreal beauty industry so fun and yet i was just like felt like i was dying inside and so i just i was talking to my therapist actually and she was like you should be a coach you should be a sober coach and i was like oh i had all these beliefs about like people won't pay for it nobody is sober coaching real is life coaching real and she's she's a therapist and she says casey i have 10 women i would refer to you tomorrow we have you know we're in seattle she's like there are a million women at microsoft and amazon and all these companies who are drinking like you did who aren't going to go to a 12-step program but need way more than i can give them in a 50-minute session once a week and so i just was like all right this is where my heart is that's where i was spending all my free time i was completely into self-awareness and self-improvement and connection so i went back to coaching school and that was three years ago wow that's so amazing it's it's amazing to see stories of i think there's so many people that feel when they get sober or when you become sober you kind of wake up and look around and you're like actually this part of my life i'm not happy about and for me it was the same it was my career but so many of us just remain stuck because we just think this is my career and there's no way out you know my parents generation they just did the same job for their whole life and so i think it's so inspiring and amazing to watch people walk away from this career they've spent you know 20 years building and just pivot and be like that's not for me anymore it's it's amazing and now you have this coaching like it's kind of like sobriety too right because you have seasons in your life and i had the college season in the early 20s going out to bar season and the young mom my wine cultures season and i'm like i'm allowed to evolve what i quit right before i was 40 years old and i was just like what do i want the next decade of my life to look like do i want it to be me on a couch kind of slurry passing out or do i want to do amazing things and move my body and travel and remember things and build things and hang out with my kids you know yeah and so tell me about so this episode is going to be coming out right before dry january which is amazing and it's great timing because so many people in january feel like it's the right time for them to be giving up alcohol so what advice do you have for someone just starting out or navigating dry january yeah absolutely well i love dry january for a lot of reasons the first of which is it's become this thing like where we think about their stigma around people who decide not to drink dry january is now a global movement i mean you hear it everywhere it is really normal for people to say i'm giving up drinking in january i mean there are articles in the new york times and self magazine and everywhere so it gives people a really low stakes way to try out a period of time without drinking and you know it's 31 days it is very easy to tell people what you're doing and actually telling people that you're not drinking for an extended period of time not just not tonight or i have an early meeting or anything it's really powerful the other thing that i like about it is that it gives you enough time to get through the really hard part of stopping drinking which is sort of your first two weeks where you will probably feel less happy than you were when you were drinking you've kind of screwed up the dopamine levels in your brain so you're gonna go through a physical withdrawal you're gonna feel irritated and sensitive you're gonna have cravings they don't last that long but getting through the first two weeks is really important and then for the second two weeks of dry january you can get curious and get excited about what you want to do with your life and your time now that you're not you know letting the night slip through your fingers and waking up trying to cope with the day so if people do dry january i really encourage them to not just take alcohol out of their life but to add more self-care into their lives so you're going to have time in the evening that you need to fill up and you know you just don't want to sit around not drinking and not doing anything else differently that does not mean that you need to go do a million things but having sort of anchor activities for the evening you know whether it is reading a really good book or taking a bubble bath or doing a yoga class or going for a walk with a friend or going hiking on the weekends like doing an online painting class like adding stuff in to make your life more full is super important and also like i'm a huge fan of sober treats so if you're drew doing dry january um i love getting a day counter app which uh the one i love is called i'm done drinking the reason i love it is it calculates not only the days that you're not drinking but also the money you're saving yeah uh the bottle's not consumed and calories not consumed in alcohol and i have to tell you that in my first 30 days not drinking i saved 550 which is crazy and you know that's just what it was but not only that i did not consume 40 bottles of wine and i'm 5 foot 3. so looking at that number is just insane that i was ingesting that much and so yes you're on day 17 you're on day 21 you've got five days left in dry january look at all the alcohol you haven't consumed look at how you're sleeping well look at the money you've saved and i highly recommend taking that money and investing it in things that are going to give you actual joy and connection and companionship like get a massage get sushi dinner with your best friend and have the hot tea you know go on a vacation get an airbnb like use that money to actually enjoy life without alcohol i love that suggestion and i love i've never heard this before anchor activities i love that so is the concept to find something that will help you like stay grounded and anchored through the evening yeah and anchor activities are really sort of a um just something to anchor your the time when you would normally drink right right so you you know willpower runs down at the end of the day most people have set up their lives in a way that they want to or need feel like they need to check out at the end of the day right they're running too fast they don't say no enough they have too many responsibilities and so an anchor activity is just okay during this week i'm gonna have super easy dinners monday tuesday wednesday thursday friday after dinner on monday i'm going to take a bath after dinner on tuesday i'm going to call my best friend after dinner on wednesday i'm going to watch shit's creek just to know what it is and on the weekends you need something to so you're not just either going to your old drinking places and just not drinking or you know sitting around saying i don't have anything for myself in my life and you're also going to be kind of tired and fragile so in my early days it was winter i quit drinking in february on saturdays i would go to my gym and they had child care for my kids which was awesome i needed a break and i would do slow laps in the pool and then go into the steam room and the hot tub and then they had a smoothie place right in the gym so i would get this like chocolate peanut butter smoothie and that was like my anchor activity right i'd go in from like one to three or two to four and then my kids and i would go home i had some protein some sugar in my body i'd done something i'd had quiet time alone and then then i was like okay let's put the day to bed i'm good i did something or i would go to the garden store and wander around and look at plants i wanted to plan or think about journals i could buy and you know you just need something to anchor your days and you actually need to plan it out and you know what i love the example that you just gave in particular because i feel that so many women that i speak to that are mothers would feel like something that you described is selfish you know i'm taking time for myself i'm i'm swimming i'm going into the steam room i'm having a smoothie and my kids are separated from me but i actually feel that these things make us better parents you know it makes us better at taking care of the people in our lives um and and i feel like we have this thing like i remember one morning um it was the day of uh a family member's wedding and someone said that me exercising that day was selfish and that was early in my sobriety right it was like i was at something around 150 days and i was like someone said you know it's not all about you and your exercise and i'm like this is really important for me to stay sober tonight is for me to do this workout before this wedding and so we have this weird perception in society that like prioritizing our self-care is selfish but it's not because i'm sure your kids like probably the difference of how you were as a mom from when you were drinking to when you were doing these self-care weekends is probably like night and day you know oh my gosh there is so much in there and one thing i want to say is a lot of women drink because they can do that multitasking while being with their kids so you can drink and play candy land right you can drink and help with homework you can drink when your kids in the bath i know that sounds bad but lots of women sit on the floor in their bathroom drinking you know a glass of red wine while their kids baby right so you feel like you're there with your kids but you're really not yeah i mean anyone who's listening to this and who drinks a lot knows how focused you are on the alcohol and knows how your moods you relax but then you can become erratic and you can get you know snippy with your kids and the other thing that i think mothers really feel bad about saying and and i have no shame in it so i quit drinking when my son was eight and my daughter was two kids are a big trigger when you don't have kids you're able to sleep in and go to brunch and work out and all these things and you love kids but if you are working and you have children and you have a partner that works you have very very little time for self-care and there is a reason that you come home and you're spend and you want to you know basically knock yourself unconscious with a bottle of wine and it's because you are not doing enough to take care of yourself that's so true it's so true honestly i don't know how parents do it it's hard and really prioritizing that having the courage just to put down the drink and find another self-care practice that's going to fuel you and help you as opposed to hinder you um is probably really hard but really if someone's listening to this in january and gonna do dry january but also working with kids i um suggest a couple things number one you can plan really early easy dinners and please give up the guilt about how much your kids are watching tv or on the ipad like if you are in early sobriety and breaking this incredibly addictive habit like they can eat cereal mac and cheese and watch the ipad all night while you bubble up and read a quick lit book or watch a show or take a nap and that's okay i would also say like proactively use some of that money that you're not spending drinking again i saved over 500 in 30 days amazing hire a babysitter hire a babysitter every [ __ ] saturday in the month of january you know for four hours and take that time for yourself go for a run take a nap just go sit in a coffee shop with a magazine you know you need to do this for yourself and you can also if you have a partner tell them like hey i'm doing this dry january thing it's a health kick but i've heard i'm going to be really tired and really irritable and sensitive the first week i know it's good for my body but can you take more of the load this week like can i go to bed at 8 pm and have you put the kids down it's going to serve you so well because you won't need to do that forever yeah and that's great advice and i think that that is probably one of the things that people might struggle with the most is just not having a plan right and so being well aware of like okay how can i make a plan for success so that i can be practicing self-care when i'm struggling instead of returning back to having a drink yeah absolutely is there any other advice um or uh suggestions you have around that whole dry january i do i do well there there are a couple things that i would love someone to avoid as they're doing dry january because it kind of trips them up so things i love telling people joining sober groups you know there are a million people doing dry january joining alex's community um talking to people about the fact you're doing dry january as a health initiative is awesome highly recommend you lower the bar and invest in self-care so give yourself a break and plan it out like we talked about i love non-alcoholic drinks i love non-alcoholic beer i know that could be triggering for people it's not for a lot of other people so if that is something that that you're open to as a substitute it can be really helpful you know to have a 0.0 or 0.05 or whatever non-alcoholic beer on a friday night like in my mind it's the alcohol that's the issue not the taste right things to avoid a lot of people think of dry january as a reset you know you're drinking problematically and you're like i'm gonna take this break kind of to prove i can do it to prove i don't quote-unquote have a real problem right and the reward at the end of the month is to drink again so the first two weeks suck they just kind of do you just feel like garbage and then your entire last time you're counting down to the reward of drinking again which is sort of just white knuckling it till you can take a deep breath and what i would love someone doing this to do is don't think about forever don't think about never again because it'll just trip you up but use dry january as a springboard to seeing how amazing you can feel without alcohol not as a pause or a reset until you can drink again so treat it like an experiment that's not counting down to drinking say i'm gonna do dry january to see if i like how i feel better not drinking that drinking to see if i want to keep going into february to see if i feel amazing on saturday mornings or i actually go running because i always tell myself i will and i don't or if i start playing guitar at night again you know what i mean yeah absolutely like leave it open-ended yeah i love it and then it just doesn't put pressure on you because that's that's a very scary thing to say i'm not gonna drink forever whereas a little short period of time or an experiment is a lot more digestible you know what i love um i think it was ruby warrington in sober curious in that book she said if you were going on a date with someone you wouldn't sit there and decide that on date number three that you're gonna marry them and be in it forever or whatever that would be crazy you would just be like oh this is going well i'm gonna keep going i'm gonna see if it gets better like maybe we'll go out for two months oh gosh i still like him maybe let's go for three you wouldn't sit there on date number two and be like oh my god i have to say at this moment forever or not i'm gonna make a call but nope i'm gonna go back to drinking this sucks i'm not ready yeah this is that's a great comparison and it's so true because it's that's the way a lot of people end up where they are now like i know my uncle had said i'm just not gonna drink today i'm just not gonna drink tomorrow and now he's like five years sober or something right and um same for me i'm just not gonna drink for 28 days 90 days a year and now i'm two and a half and you know you're six and so it's just having that open mind about it and i think it's different like so many of us have said i'm not gonna drink tonight or i'm not gonna drink this week or i'm only gonna drink on the weekend there is some middle ground that's a sweet spot that is not saying forever or never again but it's also not saying quote unquote i'm trying to drink less or i'm trying like saying i'm going for 100 days or i'm doing dry january it what it does is it takes the decision off the table you've already made the decision now you're just executing it and you don't get that decision fatigue of debating back and forth well what about this weekend well there's this party no i really shouldn't like that's exhausting mm-hmm yeah the decision-making fatigue around it yeah yeah

all right i have um question for you about dry january so do you have any programs or specific things coming up in january for um that people could get in on if they were curious about a sober life yeah yeah well first of all on my website which is hello someday coaching i have 30 tips for your first 30 days that literally will walk you through resources how you'll feel on day two how you'll feel on day four what to do your second weekend all that kind of stuff so if you're doing dry january do yourself a favor and like grab the blueprint this is like 30 pages of free resources that'll really set your mind right to getting going so i encourage you to pick that up it's totally free it's 30 tips for your first 30 days at my website and i also have a podcast the hello someday podcast i've got some amazing guests coming up in january alex is also you can listen to her episode because she's on in december talking about how to break up with booze so you can listen to that episode but we're going to be talking about how to do dry january on the podcast and being sober curious ruby warrington the author is my guest and all that kind of stuff so those are two great resources amazing cool that's awesome i'm actually as you described that 30 uh 30 tips for your first 30 days i think i'm going to go download it because that sounds great you should yeah no it's really good all right i have one more question for you um i know you've given us lots of kind of advice and ideas for the dry january first 30 days but if you had one sort of nugget of wisdom um around going alcohol free what would it be

i would say that if you are listening to this podcast and you are tuned in to the work alex is doing and you are evaluating your relationship with alcohol you need to be really really really proud of yourself i can't tell you how many thousands of women out there and men struggle with alcohol who never take this step it is it's brave and it's hard and it's good and it doesn't have to define your life it can just simply be a health choice that you are making because you feel better without alcohol than you do with it so don't spend a lot of time debating what it means just start seeing if you feel better i love it oh my goodness that just gave me shivers and you're so right and i say that to a lot of my clients especially people that are you know trying to be alcohol free and then having a drink and then trying and having a drink i'm like well you're already you know laughing people that aren't even questioning their relationship with alcohol right you've taken that first step and it's so true anyone that's listening to this podcast even if they're still drinking is still taking that first step and that is something to be so proud of so that's a great thing to end on casey thank you so much for being on the show it was so amazing to hear your story and get to know you and i really appreciate you being vulnerable and open with our community and i will post all the links and everything in the show notes so if people are interested in connecting with casey you can find her and hopefully we will connect again soon yeah thank you so much and i am loving following you and living vicariously through your adventures in bali it um seems so exotic and interesting and exciting so i've loved getting to know you you too and hopefully you visit me one day for a sober yoga i love a treat amazing cool all right take care casey bye

Outro: Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of "Sober Yoga Girl" with Alex McRobs. I am so, so grateful for every one of you. Don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss the next one and leave a review before you go. See you soon. Bye.

7 views0 comments