We all know summer is often spoken in the same breath as "wild abandon." And that can be a great thing. But sometimes, the fun goes a little too far. It certainly did for me.
For a long time in my life, summer was the time I experienced the most alcohol-induced blackouts. The fact that I took summer as a permission slip to overindulge meant I spent most of my summer days feeling lethargic, bloated, and ill-at-ease.
The next day's cure, hair-of-the-dog mimosas or bloody Marys only masked that feeling — it never quite erased a hangover completely.
Unfortunately, sobering up in September was a rude awakening. All those icky feelings, when I stopped self-medicating with more alcohol, started to rise to the surface, making reality even more difficult to stomach.
Summer was over, I was a few pounds heavier, and I didn't even want to think about the number of brain cells I'd killed. The depletion of serotonin made everything worse and, before I knew it, I was facing self-inflicted depression.
A recent Glow poll of 3,000 women found that July is the month with the highest alcohol consumption, followed by August.
Does any of this ring true for you, or are you like, "SHUT UP! Summer's not over yet! Let me have my fun!"
What if you could have your fun in a way that didn't create such a jarring — and even traumatizing — transition into the next season?
The secret is to start making tiny changes now. Then, they won't feel so dramatic at the end of the month.
Here are my suggestions:
1. Try waking up 15 minutes earlier and adding a meditation to your morning.
2. Reduce your alcohol intake by one to two drinks per day/night, and try adding in delicious alcohol-free spritzers or elixirs.
3. Take advantage of the delicious seasonal ingredients available, and replace one of your alcoholic beverages with a smoothie, juice, or mocktail.
4. Enjoy one early morning nature activity a week — like a hike, refreshing swim, or walk around a park.
5. Find a new outlet for nourishing self-care, like massages, bubble baths, or a weekly yoga class.
6. Eventually, try to shift the balance so that you're not drinking more days of the week than you are drinking.
7. If you want to get really crazy and go against the grain, why not try an alcohol-free August to jump-start your autumn refresh?
Let me make this very clear: The point of this isn't restriction. Summer is the perfect time to try a month sans alcohol because the fruity, delicious alternatives are so bountiful.
Just think creatively, and you're bound to find some delicious alternatives. Your waistline, your skin, and your brain cells will thank you for it. Just imagine what powerful intentions you can create for yourself for the rest of 2016. Why not start bringing them to fruition now?