You know the feeling........you just reached your goal weight. Or saved enough for a deposit on your first home. Maybe you wrote your first book (I'm envious if you did that's on my goals list!). Or it's your birthday, it's Christmas, Hanukkah or any other special occasion. All of these call for a celebration! Which society has trained us to believe equals champagne (or another drink of your choice). There is nothing wrong with this of course. I mean it's a celebration, of course you should drink booze.
Except that is if you are on the Whole30. Or another type of detox diet. Or in recovery. Or you just want to celebrate in a fashion that wont give you a headache the next day. The fact remains, with alcohol off the table it can be pretty challenging to decide how to honor the momentus occasion's in your life.
This week on day 18 of the Whole30 I got a promotion. A big, fat, unexpected career defining promotion. Here I was thinking I had reached my personal ceiling in my current field and the next change would be maybe a health coaching business, a yoga studio a juice/smoothie bar (or maybe all three at once). On hearing this news my ego obviously kicked into over drive. Even after lots of self analysis it's still pretty chuffed - as am I. It's a good feeling for sure. And boy have I ever wanted to celebrate this news.
But without the option of grabbing a bestie or three and cracking out the Veuve Cliquot I spent a lot of time pondering what do non drinking types do at moments like this. I even turned to Google for inspiration. Can I just say none of the ideas truly felt like they compared with my very ingrained typical mode. Nonetheless after a few days of consideration I decided to write this list in case you're ever in the same situation.
- Give yourself the night (or day off). Maybe you have a special someone who can take care of all your normal responsibilities for the evening. Maybe even give you a foot massage. If not, do what I did. Take the night off studying (or cooking or gyming etc), order in and binge watch whatever takes your fancy. Take a bath. Burn essential oils. Relish in the good feelings.
- Share your accomplishment with your nearest and dearest. In doing so you will get lots of feel good messages coming your way (woohoo you did it, you earned it, I'm so proud, you rock etc) You will also hand over some responsibiity for 'celebration' mechanisms. After sharing my news I was very fortunate to be on the receiving end of three beautiful bunches of flowers, a home cooked meal and a Japanese tea set. All easily made me smile just as much if not more than glass of champas!
- Write yourself a letter full of your own feel good messages. Soak it up. Keep it somewhere handy like your bedside table to be read if you are having a bad day.
- Invest in some serious self indulgence. Do you have something on your list of I would really like X but it's totally frivolous or just too much money? If you do then I say go for it. Treat yourself. I booked a few flights (I know this is fairly common behavior for me but still......).
- Do something that makes you laugh out loud. Go see a comedy at the movies or watch one on the box. Better still go see some stand up comedy. Actually if you want a quick fix right now watch this Jimmy Kimmel video. I know I should not be encouraging kids to feed their sugar dragon but I can't help it, this video makes me laugh till I get tears in my eyes.
- Plan a group event to honor the news that doesn't revolve around drinking. A walk around the park followed by a fancy breakfast? A trip to the nail salon? How about trying out eye lash extensions just for fun? Sorry boys, although if you've never had a pedicure you should get one with a 30 minute massage to boot. Just hold the polish.
- Be bad. Allow yourself to break one of your less health reliant rules (if you have one that comes to mind). I decided that despite having promised myself only one cup of coffee per day, that a second one was absolutely not going to bring me any real harm on this one special day.
- Listen to your favorite tunes, sing at the top of your voice and dance around your house. The only problem with this is it's not such a rare event for me. But maybe it is for you :)
- Finally this one is more about the next day, or later in the week. Rather than thinking about how you can gift yourself. How about you do something amazing for someone else. I always find the art of giving incredibly joyful. And you deserve to be super happy. You've earned it!
For the record whilst my ego has been having a field day enjoying all that goes with being promoted this past week, I'm not about to 'change'. In fact I figure being true to me is what got me here in the first place. I will continue to embrace the good stuff, to focus on health and happiness and set myself up for a more holistic life down the track. And in the right now I will continue showing up, being present and being productive when my committment is to the office. Balancing all the important aspects in life is often times a challenge. But it's worth the effort, because when you get it right, happiness is within reach. And that's more important than any promotion.