You know what one of the best things about being gay is, in my not-so-humble opinion? The epic, beautiful, wild, magnetic Nightlife Culture. I’m convinced that no one, no one in this cruel, cold, ever-spinning universe knows how to party like us queer bitches.
Maybe it’s because we’re still celebrating that we’re finally “out” after spending many painful years trapped in the stifling closet. Maybe it’s because we’re still numbing the pain of our traumatic childhoods with booze and drugs and glitter. Maybe we simply enjoy getting lit. Or maybe it’s all of the above. Regardless, that’s not what this article is about. We’ll save the deep-rooted party girl analysis for another day.
Want to know what I think one of the worst parts of being gay is? The epic, beautiful, wild, magnetic Nightlife Culture. Because our parties and bars are so much goddamn fun, it can be hard to resist the urge to go out seven nights a week. And going out every night will weather the soul of even the most stoic lesbian. I used to feel most like myself at the sparkly gay parties. All I wanted to do was forget about all the dark shit that was hurting me and whirl and twirl with my community on a shiny, Champagne-soaked dance floor ’til the bar lights came on.
About a year ago, something shifted in me. Since then, I’m finding that the party girl lifestyle isn’t working out so well. I’m finding myself feeling restless and empty as I slug back the white wine, night after night. I’m finding that when I wake up the morning after a bender, I feel a coat of bad energy cover my body like a sheet. Also, I’m getting to a place where I crave tangible things, not just fuzzy memories of slurry conversations with slurry strangers.
More than anything, I crave health—both mental and physical. In the past year, I’ve begun to implement some serious changes in my life, and I’m already feeling much more at peace and (prepare to gag) “in touch with myself.”
So I decided to come up with some New Year’s resolutions for my fellow hard-partying girls who are ready to get their shit together and slay life in 2019!
1. Do a completely sober month at the start of the year.
I know, I know, dry January sounds super basic and cliché. It also sounds arduous and painful if you’re used to sucking down several cocktails a week. But I swear to my higher power Lana Del Rey, it’s an incredible way to kick off the year for those seeking a newfound sense of dignity and clarity. Even just going a month without alcohol clears the cobwebs out of your brain and helps you look at life with fresh eyes. After about 10 days, you’ll start to feel so much healthier—and less depressed and anxious—that you’ll get back in touch with your gut.
Real talk: It’s impossible to tap into your primal instincts when you’re living in an incessant state of being either drunk or hungover. When you clean out your body and get rid of the booze, you’re suddenly blessed with the ability to hear your self again. And when you can hear yourself, the visceral part of yourself (what yogi bitches often refer to as “the higher self”: the part of yourself that’s more evolved than your anxiety-ridden brain could ever be), you remember the things that ~truly~ make you happy. Not just “happy” from the boozy chemicals swishing through your system, but the kind of happiness that fills the gaping empty voids (without a brutal hangover) and fulfills you in a way you forgot was possible. Remember back in high school before you started drinking daily, back when you would just stay up all night collaging your walls and listening to music? And you felt connected to yourself and filled with purpose and inspired by life and its possibilities? Let’s get back to that place.
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Partying is indeed, fun, but it’s fun when it’s a novelty. It’s fun when it’s a treat served in moderation. . . . . . . . . . . #crazygirlquotes #quoteoftheday #writersofig #writerscommunity #writersofinstagram #zarabarrie #zarabarriewriter #authorsofinstagram #blogger #quotestoliveby #quotesaboutaddiction #mentalhealth #mentalillness
2. Swish back turmeric like it’s your goddamn job!
I started drinking hot water and turmeric (that gorgeously golden flowering plant in the ginger family) after a friend described it as the “world’s greatest de-puffer.” I had a photoshoot in the morning and was attempting to avoid the puffy face, so I traipsed over to Whole Foods and bought some in powder form because I don’t trust capsules. (So many fillers… plus, whose body can truly process that thick gelatin coating?)
I drank my powdered turmeric in hot water on the morning of my shoot—and holy shit. Not only did it dramatically reduce the thick swelling nestled around my eyes, but it also eased my anxiety. At first, I assumed that the foreign sensation of calm washing over me was a placebo effect, but then I did what I do best: deep-dived into the ole internet search k-hole. Study after study suggests that turmeric helps to ease the bitter sting of depression and anxiety. In fact, according to one report, it might actually make SSRIs (antidepressants such as Prozac, Lexapro, Zoloft, Celexa) more effective.
Shop my favorite turmeric powder here!
3. Write out a hand-written list of extensive goals for 2019.
Now that you have a clear mind (yas sobriety!), a freshly de-puffed face and body (yas turmeric!), and are starting to feel energized and in touch with yourself, it’s time to write a list of goals for the New Year. Don’t overthink the list. Let your mind wander to all the exotic places it wants to go, without judgment.
If you could accomplish any 10 things this year, what would they be? Would you write that book you’ve always wanted to write? Would you stop abusing Adderall and trust your brain to focus on its own? Would you cut ties with your toxic friends and seek out newer, healthier people? Would you finally run that damn marathon? Would you save some money, rather than deplete your funds? Would you commit to drinking your hot turmeric every single day for a whole year?
4. Sweat. Every. Single. Day.
Sweating has been the most incredible form of therapy for me, besides actual talk therapy. It detoxifies the lifetime of party-girl sins I’ve inflicted on my poor body throughout the years. And since I started drinking/drugging at a young age, I’m certain I have serotonin deficiencies. Guess what naturally increases the levels of serotonin in your brain? Cardio, babe. It also provides you with a thrilling swoop of super-fun endorphins which results in a lovely little rush—a high, if you will—except a high with no soul-wretching, mascara-tear-stained comedown. It’s the kind of high I’m chasing these days.
So I challenge you, my sweet lez, to sweat every single day with me. We don’t have to get all CrossFit, SoulCycle nutty… just a brisk walk around the neighborhood to the sweet sounds of Lana Del Rey blasting through your new wireless headphones is enough to keep the party girl demons at bay.
5. Start off your day with Zara’s ultimate power smoothie.
I think I’ve figured out how to optimize your brain and body first thing in the morning, so it performs with the most prime energy and power possible. Not to toot my own horn, but I happen to think my “power smoothie” is more effective than Adderall (and I have, historically, loved me some pretty blue pills). But unlike my dear friend Addie, this smoothie is actually good for you—and you can’t be tempted to snort it up the nose.
Here’s the recipe. I linked out to where you can purchase these magical ingredients for yourself.
1 cup of Organic Coffee (any brand is fine)
2 spoonfuls of Brain Octane Oil (by the bulletproof brand)
Put the ingredients into a blender or Nutribullet. Drink hot, so it oozes over your brain in a cozy way.
The organic coffee mixed with the ghee butter and brain octane oil is what’s known as a bulletproof coffee, which gives you non-jittery energy and razor-sharp focus. (Plus, it manages your ghrelin and CCK, the “hunger hormones,” and stops you from craving shitty, sugary foods). I think of bulletproof coffee as lube for your brain. Adding turmeric helps to stave off the anxiety and the depression and will reduce inflammation in your body. Lion’s Mane is a powerful medicinal mushroom with nootropic effects. It is said to help improve focus, provide clarity, and help you tap into your overall intelligence. (Shit works, and that’s coming from a former Adderall enthusiast, so I’m not dicking around.)
And finally… my favorite: cordyceps! Cordyceps is another type of medicinal mushroom, except it gives you heaps of energy, can increase your libido (which is essential for creativity), has anti-aging properties, and gets you all amped up for the gym.
6. Whip out the journal, some pretty gel pens, and go to town.
As you delicately sip your bulletproof coffee, grab a notebook and a pen (don’t type, use your own handwriting) and write out a bunch of shit that you want to get done. Spill your guts onto the paper. It helps to clear out the clutter that’s clattering and clanking inside your brain, and the release of writing gives you space for new, fresh ideas to come in. Plus, getting things down on paper helps to organize your rambling, creative, ADHD thoughts.
If you want to get crazy, create a list of shit you have to get done that day. After completing each task, cross that shit off your pretty little list. Did you know that crossing things off lists increases the dopamine in your brain? And you know what helps you feel less manic about drinking and smoking? More dopamine, babe.
7. Start out your morning with gratitude, not expectation.
Once you’ve finished journaling, write out a simple gratitude list. I do this every morning, and it’s changed the way my mind works. Sometimes I thank the universe for my dog, other days for my cat, other days for the ability to express myself on paper, and other days I simply feel grateful for my long lush eyelashes. Taking time to count my blessings has made me a better person.
Not only will it help you emit positive energy into the dismal stratosphere, but also practicing gratitude is scientifically proven to reduce aches and pains in the body.
An angel card reader in Palm Springs (I know, I’m the worst… I might as well be writing this piece for Goop) once told me: “If you’re not living in gratitude, you’re living in expectation.” That angel card reader changed my damn life with those words.
8. Hydrate until you’re the Atlantic Ocean.
The key to feeling fierce, fresh, gorgeous, and ready to thrive in your life and your art is to hydrate. We party girls, in particular, need to hydrate; we’re making up for a lifetime of sucking the water out of our precious bodies. Which leads me to the holy grail of hydration… the one… the only… Hydro Flask!
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I can’t recommend the Hydro Flask enough. I like the hot pink one because it reminds me of Malibu Barbie (my first crush). It comes in other cute colors too. Every girl who has her shit together has a Hydro Flask—and 2019 is the year of getting our shit together, finally, isn’t it?
Happy New Year, party girls! Here’s to bettering ourselves, without losing ourselves.