Sober October

Q&A with Karolina from Euphoric Alcohol Free (Day 24: Sober October!)

Day 26 Q&A with Karolina at Euphoric AF.jpg

Today I'm really excited to share a Q&A with Karolina Rzadkowlolska!

Karolina is a wellness blogger who shares the joys of an alcohol-free lifestyle with her audience. Based in San Diego, she provides alternative drink ideas and is currently writing a book about the many benefits sobriety brings.

Today, she's sharing her story on how she found so much happiness once she left alcohol behind. She's been featured on Tell Better Stories AND Greatist and I am so thankful that she agreed to share:

  • The physical, spiritual and emotional benefits she experiences by choosing to lead a sober life

  • Why self-actualization is one of the best pieces of being alcohol free

  • Some soft cocktail (mocktail or sans cocktail!) recipes for autumn

In this Q&A she addresses the "moderation illusion" that many of us have when trying to limit our alcohol intake and describes her foray into an alcohol-free lifestyle as a "health and soul-conscious decision" - which I LOVE.


Karolina Q&A.jpg

You can read the full interview here.

I'd love to hear what you think! And again, many thanks to Karolina for participating in this Sober October challenge.

WANT MORE?

  1. Click here to see three autumn-inspired soft cocktail options, courtesy of Karolina

  2. Check out Karolina's tips on how to "Rock a Party Sober"

  3. Learn more about Karolina and upcoming news at euphoricaf.com or on Instagram at @karolinarzad

  4. Join the 100 Days VIP Community (a Private Facebook page) to connect with others and share your successes and challenges

  5. Happy Day 24 of Sober October!

Shades of Gray + The Drinking Cycle

You don't have to admit to being an alcoholic to want to stop the drinking cycle.

Most of us know the deal by now:

  • We make the decision to quit drinking after having to endure one hell of a hangover

  • After a few days, we feel great - almost too great! - and ready to take on the world

  • Once we feel better, we start to slide into the dangerous thinking of, "maybe I can have a glass of wine tonight. What's the harm?"

  • And then, for me, I'd either drink the whole bottle that night or end up back where I started (which was drinking 7 days a week, several drinks a day).

Drinking Cycle.jpg

I've received so much feedback from people recently:

  • People who admit to hitting a "high bottom" and wanting to change their life

  • People who decide not to drink unless it's a very special occasion because it doesn't fit into their healthy lifestyle

  • People who didn't have a problem but wanted to feel the very best they could

  • People who wanted to lose weight

  • People who thought alcohol conflicted with their religious beliefs

It seems there is a shift in people - from all backgrounds and all experiences with alcohol - who are starting to question the role a drink plays in their particular (and totally unique!) lifestyle.

Personally, I just think it's EXHAUSTING to repeat the drinking cycle over and over and over again. That's why I took a break. And every day that goes by, I feel better and better about my decision to remove alcohol from my daily life.

What about you? Are you caught in the cycle? Have you broken free from the cycle? Are you a moderate drinker who doesn't really relate to the drinking cycle? I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks for taking the time to read this email. Happy Sunday, Kim

How to add essential oils to your sobriety toolbox

Happy Monday! Super excited to be celebrating Day 15 of Sober October! Last year, I think I made it to Day 8 of Sober October so - if nothing else at least I’m making progress!

Once I started reading books written by people who got sober, I noticed many of them mentioned the use of essential oils. For example, Bex Weller, author of A Happier Hour, wrote that she started to incorporate essential oils into a bedtime routine that had her looking forward to something after attending a special event:

"I put fresh sheets on the bed, and placed a new essential oil and a great book on my bedside table."

Also, Holly Whitaker from Hip Sobriety added essential oils to her sober toolbox as a necessity, among rosary/prayer beads and good tea and healing music!

When exploring topics for this Sober October Challenge, I definitely wanted to address how to incorporate essential oils into a daily regimen. And I really appreciate insight from Joy, of Lemon and Joy Life! Here are a few basics about what essential oils are - and how to use them. She also provides a few special blends that are great to promote relaxation and reduce stress. Follow her on Instagram at Lemon and Joy Life - and definitely reach out to her if you have any questions!

Image courtesy of Young Living

Image courtesy of Young Living

What are essential oils? - Essential oils are the highly concentrated version of the natural oils found in plants, trees, shrubs and flowers. They are the lifeblood of plants and contain therapeutic properties when properly distilled.

Image courtesy of Lemon and Joy Life

Image courtesy of Lemon and Joy Life

How can you use essential oils? - To use oils aromatically, you can:

  • open the bottle and take a whiff

  • rub a drop in your hands, cup them together and breathe in

  • diffuse them in a diffuser.

According to Joy, research shows that the constituents in pure essential oils stimulate olfactory receptors in the brain and activate the limbic system which is associated with memory and emotion. Simply inhaling an oil can ease daily stresses and emotional ups and downs. Many oils can also be used topically. To use oils topically, you can apply to your wrists and breathe in. Or you can apply to your neck or chest.

Here are some Young Living Oils that Joy suggests to promote relaxation or relieve stress:

Lavender- is the most popular of all essential oils because most people have heard of Lavender being a relaxing aroma even if they aren't familiar with essential oils or aromatherapy. This one can be diffused, applied topically, made into a pillow spray or room spray.

FUN FACT: Lavender is frequently called the "switch blade oil" because it has so many uses. 

Stress Away- a blend of Lavender, Vanilla, Lime and Cedarwood that smells like a tropical getaway. Keep the roll on you in a bag and take it with you to help calm the mind and body while on the go. It is great to use during rush hour traffic or before a difficult meeting.

FUN FACT: Both Lavender and Stress Away are also available in all natural bath bombs that are a great way to relax after a rough day. They are fun, fizzy and relaxing and so nourishing for your skin. 

Tranquil- another handy roll on but this one has Lavender, Cedarwood, Roman Camomile. This one is a favorite of parents and children.

FUN FACT: Joy suggests taking it with you to calm a tantrum on the go, you can apply it to children or adults at bedtime to promote a restful atmosphere and prepare the body for a good night's sleep.

Peace and Calming- "This one is a favorite to diffuse at bedtime in our house," says Joy. It is a blend of Tangerine, Orange, Ylang Ylang, Patcholi and Blue Tansy. "We love the aroma and the sense of calm it brings to our house. I have been known to diffuse this during playdates too!"

FUN FACT: Essential oils have been around since biblical times but they have had a resurgence in popularity in recent years and now you can buy them any where. They are not all the same, even if the label says "pure" or "all natural." According to Joy, Young Living has the Seed to Seal guarantee meaning they have the highest standards in every step of the process, starting with the best seeds, grown in optimal conditions, harvested at the optimal time, then distilled with the utmost care and precision and, finally, every batch of oils is tested in house and by a 3rd party with multiple tests to ensure every bottle of oil contains the correct amount the therapeutic constituents. Young Living has been around for 25 years and truly sets the standards for the industry.

  1. WANT MORE RESOURCES?

  1. Say your Daily Mantra "I seek wellness in my life." whenever you have a chance.

  2. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 15 of Sober October.

  3. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.


Sobering Statistics - Day 8 of Sober October

Day 1 (15).jpg

I usually like to keep things light and positive.

But the truth is, it's important to start seeing alcohol for what it is. It's a known carcinogen that can cause death, destruction, depression and dismay. Viewing alcohol this way - in a new perspective - is especially helpful for me when I start to romanticize bringing alcohol back into my life...

Oh, wouldn't a delightful gin and tonic be so refreshing on this crazy hot day?

Hmm, no, not really. Because it will make me want three more. I will be tired and cranky that I can't take a nap...because kids, y'all. I will most likely eat half of the pizza we ordered for the kids and then I will sleep like shit and wake up feeling like a swamp monster.

<Put that in a commercial and see how well a light beer sells!>

O.K. So let's talk sobering statistics. I know I've shared the following before - but in case you missed it or glossed over it, I'm sharing again. It's a quote from Jillian Michaels in her book, Making the Cut.

Screen Shot 2018-10-07 at 3.26.33 PM.png

  1. Alcohol not only promotes fat storage and inhibits muscle growth - but it has been linked to cancer, y'all. Cancer.

  2. According to Cancer.gov"there is a strong scientific consensus that alcohol drinking can cause several types of cancer. In its Report on Carcinogens, the National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services lists consumption of alcoholic beverages as a known human carcinogen.

  3. Drinking too much can harm your health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths each year in the United States from 2006 - 2010. It can shorten your life or reduce the quality of life you lead.

  4. Alcohol is considered the #1 date rape drug, per the National Institute of Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse. Conservative estimates of sexual assault prevalence suggest that 25% of American women have experienced sexual assault, including rape. Approximately half of those cases involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator, victim or both.

Personally, I've made 1,001 awful decisions when I have had too much to drink:

  • Decisions that put myself and others in harm's way.

  • Decisions that I would never had made sober.

  • Decisions that left me apologizing years afterwards to people for something I did or said.

  • Decisions that left me physically ill and full of anxiety and depression.

  • Decisions that ruined friendships or other relationships.

  • Decisions I probably would have been fired for.

The truth is alcohol promises everything, while taking away your inhibitions, self-respect and decision-making abilities. It takes everything that is valuable to you but offers less than little when it comes to leading a joy-filled and intentional life. I think a glass of wine every now and then is perfectly fine - but let's be honest, I'm not part of that minority that can simply have a glass of wine and leave it. So why even bother?

Let’s keep going and figure out new ways to enjoy life, socialize, unwind, celebrate, relax and mourn. xoxo Kim

FOLLOW THE NEXT STEPS TO COMPLETE DAY 8

  1. Say your Daily Mantra "I am healthy and strong. I take care of my body so it can take care of me." whenever you have a chance.

  2. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 8.

  3. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.

  4. Did you see this article that features my Sober Journey and 100 Days of Sober in the Greenville News?


100 Days of Sober featured in The Greenville News

Screen Shot 2018-10-06 at 5.15.15 PM.png

As someone who has been in the PR profession my entire life, it truly is weird to be on the other side of a story. But I want to thank Lillia at the The Greenville News for writing an article that highlights the rise in restaurant trends geared towards non-alcoholic beverages and lifestyle trends that focus on balance - as well as my semi-private (now public haha!) 100 Days of Sober Challenge where I've taken a step back from alcohol in my life.

(For anyone who knows me, I've had a longstanding love affair with wine that has recently ended!)

This will be the only time I'm ever uttered in any article in the same mention as Husk Restaurant, so I'm just gonna roll with it! If you read the article, let me know what you think. xo Kim

Day 3 Sober October - You promised!

Mantra Day 3 Sober October

I recently read the Best Selling book, Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. It is so inspirational and has encouraged me to DREAM BIG and stop listening to the lies my mind tells me.

She made a point that we would never break the promises we make to others as often as we do to ourselves. If we did, we may not have many patient friends surrounding us anymore! Here is a quote from the book:

"If you constantly make and break promises to yourself, you're not making promises at all....How many times have you given up before you've even started? How many times have you made real progress, only to face a setback and then give up completely? How many times have your family or friends or coworkers watched you quit? How many times have your children watched you give up on yourself over and over?" - Rachel Hollis, Girl Wash Your Face

Please do your self a favor this Sober October and DO NOT quit this journey.

  • Let's keep going.

  • Don't give up and break this promise to yourself.

  • You are here for a reason.

  • You signed up for a reason.

  • When it gets hard, when life gets stressful and sad and gloomy - which it very may over the next 31 days - DO NOT QUIT.

I want to celebrate with everyone at the end of the challenge. Let's find out how strong we really are. How prepared we are to ace daily hiccups and frustrations - and even the good stuff.

We don't need to celebrate, mourn, rewind or decompress with alcohol. I'm going to keep my promise to myself today on Day 3. How about you?

  1. FOLLOW THE NEXT STEPS TO COMPLETE DAY 3

  1. Say your Daily Mantra "I keep the promises I make to myself" whenever you have a chance

  2. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 3 - and that you kept the promise you made to yourself

  3. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.
    Much love and success for Day 3! xoxo Kim

Sober October Day 2 - Meditation

Day 2.jpg

Welcome to Day 2 of Sober October!

Whether you are a seasoned veteran at this practice or new to it, I'd love to explore the benefits of meditation today. I have personally seen how it has changed my emotional and physical states through my own sober journey - and am thrilled that there are so many studies and research to back up the good-for-you feelings that so many have discovered on their own.

Healthline article cited that a recent science-based study showed that meditation could even help with addictions:

"Meditation develops mental discipline and willpower and can help you avoid triggers for unwanted impulses. This can help you recover from addiction, lose weight and redirect other unwanted habits."

The same article reported the following 12 benefits of meditation:

Benefits of Meditating.jpg

MY OWN JOURNEY

My personality tends to thrive on stress and having a lot to do. And I used to find it more than difficult to even attempt to calm down my mind. Even taking a yoga class was a stretch for me because I thought I wasn't moving enough, doing enough, exerting enough energy!

Meditating has helped my sober journey simply because I'm more mindful of the reasons behind my decisions and motivations to do things. I'm no longer on auto pilot and therefore no longer relying on old habits to get me through. I have the luxury of taking a step back to make a decision and evaluate whether or not it's a good one for the goals I've set for myself.

Rachel Hollis quote.jpg

RESOURCES
Looking for a meditation that is right for you? You may want to try:

  • Gabrielle Bernstein - This is such a timely note because today she announced she is celebrating 13 years of sobriety!! You can visit her post here to see her must-have tools in her sober toolbox. Many of her mediation albums are available on Amazon Music - and a few are free with an Amazon Prime Membership. My favorite Album is 2010 Gabrielle Bernstein Meditations and the Vision Track (number 8) is SURE to get you pumped for the day!

  • Headspace App Headspace has a plethora of options to explore for everyone from the novice to the seasoned pro! I've used the running meditation, the morning meditation and have also completed a series of basic programs for the beginner.

  • Calm - Calm is also a great resource. I've used the meditations and mindfulness practices there to help get to sleep and end the day on a relaxing note.

FREE GIFT FOR YOU!

  • Morning Handover Meditation (from Meditations for Alcoholics). Grace at Meditations for Alcoholics provided their popular "Morning Handover" that includes reflections on Steps 1 through 3 and also the third step prayer. PLEASE NOTE: Don't worry if you do not identify as an alcoholic or do not practice the 12 steps in Alcoholics Anonymous! It can still be beneficial for you if you give it a try! Also, the recording appears as if it's 17 minutes long, but it really only is a 10-minute meditation. Decide you can make the time for a meditation practice and go for it!

  • Here is a note from Grace at Mediations for Alcoholics who graciously shared this meditation. Here she shares her story on why she created a series of meditations specifically for people with an alcohol addiction.

WOW! I hope this fills up your sober toolbox full of good things to explore.

  1. FOLLOW THE NEXT STEPS TO COMPLETE DAY 2

  2. Download your FREE MEDITATION here or find another meditation guide to incorporate into your daily practice

  3. Say your Daily Mantra "I live in the present" whenever you have a chance

  4. Head over to the Private Facebook Group and join us to share that you completed Day 2 (or post a favorite meditation practice you've found helpful!)

  5. Send any questions you may have to me at kim@100dayssober.com. I want us all to have a successful Sober October so let me know how I can help.

Much love and success for Day 2! xoxo Kim

Day 0: Sober October Challenge!

Tomorrow marks a new month, a brand new day and Day 1 of our Sober October Challenge!

If you are interested in changing your perspective on alcohol - or just want a fun challenge during one of the best months (in my humble opinion!) of the year, then be sure to sign up for the Sober October Challenge.

I’ll be joining you on this 31-day alcohol free journey. Hope to see you there! Kim

The Drinking Cycle + free sign up for Sober October Challenge

Looking forward to taking a break from alcohol - and getting out of the rut of a drinking cycle? Join our free Sober October challenge, which begins October 1!

Looking to breaking this drinking cycle?! Sign up for the free  Sober October Challenge  with 100 Days of Sober!

Looking to breaking this drinking cycle?! Sign up for the free Sober October Challenge with 100 Days of Sober!

For years, I was caught up in the following cycle: 

  • I would drink wine nearly every night as a “treat” for making it through the day

  • Slowly, over time, my drinking would increase

  • I would start feeling like crap and be tired of feeling tired

  • I’d stop drinking for a few days and feel better and then repeat the cycle.

  • Someone recently asked me if it was OK to take a few days off and then have a beer.

    For me, I keep on realizing more and greater benefits the longer I go without alcohol. The cycle above was leaving me in a constant state of anxiety and disappointment.

    Holly from Hip Sobriety asks the question “Is alcohol getting in the way of your dreams in this one life you have been given?”

    For me, it was. I have more energy, more enthusiasm and feel like my daily wine consumption was preventing me from doing what I wanted. And that is to feel good in my skin.

    Does this cycle look familiar to you? I have been working to create daily content for a FREE Sober October Challenge. I’d love to have you join me if you’re looking to enjoy an alcohol-free October.

“Is alcohol getting in the way of your dreams in this one life you have been given?”
— Holly, Hip Sobriety