Here's Why You Might Want To Lay Off The Booze A Bit This Summer

by Erica Gordon

Now that the sun is out, there's significantly more opportunities to socialize. Restaurant patios are packed, someone's always hosting a beach barbecue and rooftop parties are everywhere.

All of these events seem to share one thing in common: lots of booze.

Have you noticed that because it's nice out, a lot of your homebody-type friends have suddenly come out of hiding? Are they now always down to go out drinking, encouraging you to join?

Just because the summer presents you with considerably more opportunities to drink doesn't mean you have to partake. Your summer will be a lot more enjoyable if you change your drinking habits a bit and think about the benefits of the joy of missing out, rather than giving into the fear of missing out.

No, I'm not necessarily suggesting having a "dry July" (even though I obviously like anything that rhymes). Instead, I'm all about seeing how much fun it can be to get creative and experience more memorable activities than nights out drinking and all-day booze cruises this summer.

Here are nine reasons you should try to avoid alcohol this summer:

1. Avoid wasting a beautiful, sunny day because you're moping in bed hungover.

There's no worse feeling than wasting a gorgeous summer day in bed while you deal with your hangover. After a Friday night out drinking, chances are, you won't be feeling good until Saturday evening. If wasting a beautiful day is avoidable, what choice would you make?

The air is filled with a certain guilt when you're indoors on a gorgeous day. It's not a good feeling.

2. Don't drink if you have an addictive or habit-forming personality.

If you get into the habit of drinking on a regular basis, that habit can easily turn into an alcohol addiction. At which point, you'll have to work hard to get your health back.

If you're concerned your drinking is becoming a problem, you drink to cope with stress, you indulge every day or you notice you depend on alcohol and/or consume more of it than your friends, it's possible you have an alcohol addiction. If you or others are bothered by your reliance on alcohol, reach out for help to get healthy again.

3. You'll be in a better mood.

If you don't like being in a bad mood, you're not the only one. Your friends and family also don't like you when you're in a bad mood. Guess what really affects your mood? Alcohol.

It's a depressant, so it's very common to feel sad and down on life the next day. The morning after a night out drinking, you'll probably feel like shit physically, mentally and emotionally.

The best way to make sure you stay in high spirits this summer is to, um, avoid the spirits.

4. You'll go on awesome, creative dates.

Think about it: How many guys do you meet on dating apps who suggest the typical "going for drinks" as a first date? Going for drinks is boring. How about a memorable SuperDate instead, like a picnic at the peak of a beautiful hike, a night enjoying live spoken word poetry or a zip-lining adventure in the tree tops?

When you cut out alcohol from the equation, you're forced to get creative with your date ideas. And that's a great thing.

5. You'll experience JOMO.

I'm a strong believer that JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out) is quickly becoming the new FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). I watched a TED talk called "The Power of Introverts" that explained the benefits of solitude. It was very inspiring, since boredom motivates the pursuit of new goals, and isolation inspires our creative mind.

Being alone and "missing out" on a night out drinking can result in some awesome idea-forming, powerful thoughts and self-reflection that changes you for the better.

6. You'll figure out who your real friends are.

If a "friend" invites you out for drinks, you suggest a sober activity instead (like a hike or a cooking class) and they suddenly don't want to hang out anymore, then isn't that a sign they might not be a real friend? And what if this exchange turns into a pattern?

If this keeps happening with one of your friends, they're probably only hanging out with you to party, not connect.

7. If you don't think you need to apologize for something you don't remember doing.

Isn't it frustrating when a friend does or says something horrible when she's drunk – something that really offends or hurts you – but she won't apologize to you because she doesn't recall the incident? Excuse me, but whether you remember what you did or not, you still owe me an apology.

If you disagree, you probably shouldn't drink. All that matters is the person impacted by the incident remembers what happened and how it made them feel.

8. You'll stay focused on your summer fitness goals.

Not only is booze full of empty calories, but you're also a lot less likely to hit the gym when you're hungover. I'd call that a lose-lose, wouldn't you?

If you're trying to stay focused on achieving that summer beach bod, you'll be on the path to healthy living when you start avoiding alcohol.

9. You'll be a hell of a lot more productive.

When you're clear-headed and sober, you can get so much more done. You can safely drive yourself around to run errands, you can work on some household projects and you can actually read a book at the beach (which is pretty hard to do when you're drunk).

It's just nice to feel productive rather than feel like you're a mess.