Since you'll have less time to stumble around half-blasted all evening (kidding!), cleansing is a great time to catch up on your reading, so stock up on some books you've been meaning to get to. Pile them in beforehand or go to your favorite bookstore while you're on the cleanse. It's extremely relaxing and enjoyable. Plus you probably don't usually associate book browsing with drinking. Unless you've spent lots of time in the addiction self-help aisle, which I have. But I've never actually been drunk to do it. ;)
A really good place to start is the classics. Maybe there's a masterpiece you've always dreamt of reading. You might not get WAR AND PEACE finished in one month (I know I've been working on my copy for about ten years). But there are probably lots of other slightly less substantial reads you've be meaning to add to your repertoire. (This month, I picked up Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winner, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD - which I at least half read in tenth grade - but which I've been meaning to read again to research a novel I'm working on.) If you choose a classic, when the cleanse is over, you'll have enriched your life (not just your health) immeasurably. But, hey, if you're not feeling heavy, get in a stack of romances or fantasies or crime thrillers. Treat yourself. And don't judge!
This month, I also got in some non-fiction for my Kindle. I read Seth Godin's LINCHPIN, a really great book about making yourself an "artist" and becoming invaluable in your workplace. It has tons of great information about how technology is changing our world - and our potential - and how you can take advantage of that. It's a nice self-help book, too, referencing the wisdom of everyone from Buddhists to baristas.
I also read IGNORE EVERYBODY by the cartoonist and writer Hugh MacLeod. Interspersed with his hilarious cartoons, all drawn on business-cards, which is how he began, doodling on business cards in bars (a man after my own heart), he's got great advice about success, acceptance, and finding your own way.
Self-help books are wonderful when you're cleansing, because being 100% sober for four weeks really puts you in touch with yourself. Your mind is totally free to absorb all the new, potentially helpful information.
Business and relationship books are obvious choices - at least after that first foggy weekend is behind you. But you might even want to indulge in more spiritual self-help. As I've said, cleansing can be a very personal, emotional journey so it's a wonderful time to explore new teachers. I'm an enormous fan of Abraham-Hicks, Louise Hay, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, and many of the writers at Hay House publishers.
And speaking of books, maybe you want to pick up a nice, new journal or Moleskin notebook to keep a diary of your cleanse. Or you can blog about it. I've always kept a journal, but I find it especially rewarding when I'm cleansing. It's nice to keep a record of your journey as it happens. It's encouraging to keep track of the days going by. But it's also fascinating and helpful to go back to previous cleanses and see what was on your mind. Plus this acts as a record of your personal preferences and tips for your next cleanse.
But it's not just books you'll have more time for. Maybe there's a DVD boxed set you've been meaning to catch up on. We're watching "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and finished "Dexter" earlier in the month.
Maybe you just feel like "vedging" out. Sometimes it's fun to just put on TV Land or another golden oldie channel. Nothing like your favorite old feel-good shows on a cleanse - or any time, really. Right now, we're O.D.ing on "Cheers" and "Mary Tyler Moore."
Same goes for movies. Whether you go out for a flick or rent one to watch at home, enjoy. If you have kids, this is also a great time to really indulge their tastes, too. Even though I don't have kids, I can't shake the idea that cleansing would be a really special time with them.
Sometimes I just throw in an old fave from my youth. It's not often I get through a cleanse without watching JAWS for the 300th time. (Mind you, I was a little too busy for that this month). Scary flicks, classics, comedies, whatever. It's comforting, fun, and just a little bit frivolous to watch movies you really adore.
Cleansing can be a really emotional, spiritual time in many regards. But it can also be silly and fun. Don't take yourself too seriously. Enjoy yourself! If there's ANY time you deserve it, it's during a cleanse. You're doing something positive, constructive and healthy for your life. And your entire future. Act accordingly, be proud and have fun! The whole scope of your life is going to widen. Explore every nook and cranny you want to.