I connected with Meerah Jayakumar from Zero Proof Club to ask about how living alcohol-free has been impactful for her self-care as a whole (mental, emotional, physical, spiritual). Her answers are so honest, fun, relatable and helpful; specifically what she would put in a neon sign, her self- care habits, how she gets out of a funk or a low mood, the non-fiction book she recommended, and I had a really good laugh at the common phrase that rubs her the wrong way. And guess what celeb she met recently?
Read on and enjoy this interview with Meerah Jayakumar. Be sure to follow her on Instagram if you want fun memes and an uplifting, fun, alcohol-free space to tune into, too.
Tell me about Zero Proof Club, how it relates to your own lifestyle, and how you hope it helps others, too.
Zero Proof Club, formally Dry Society Girls, is a community for people who are alcohol-free, looking to drink in moderation, or just curious. I started Zero Proof Club to show people that the choice to be sober or drink in moderation can be just that: a choice. It doesn’t have to mean a drastic shift to your lifestyle or who you are fundamentally. You can live the exact same lifestyle, without the booze, if that’s what you want.
Personally, I made the choice to stop drinking alcohol in August 2020 to be healthier - physically, mentally, and emotionally. When I made that choice, I promised myself that I was going to keep doing the things that I love, including going out with my friends to restaurants & bars.
I launched ZPC to share the resources and tips I picked up along the way, share the best non-alcoholic drinks that taste great, and show other people the hottest restaurants & bars with zero proof drinks to elevate their experience. We’re also planning some fun events this year to help bring people together…stay tuned for more!
What self care habits or routines do you have?
Some of my favourites include: face masks, bubble baths with zero proof wine, meditating, journaling, and going to therapy.
How do they help your overall well-being (psychological, spiritual, physical, emotional)?
They have a bigger impact than I thought they would. I feel like in some way they all help me stay grounded and keep me in the present…which is something I’m really trying to focus on.
Tell me a few favourite products you bought recently!
We just bought an Aarke, which I’m obsessed with! It’s a stainless steel sparkling water maker – carbonated drinks are my favourite.
Tell me about what you do for work and how you got into that.
I’ve always been in the marketing industry, but 5 years ago, I switched things up slightly and went into the events world. I’ve always done events on the side but decided that I wanted to do it full-time. My favourite thing about doing events is that no matter what’s going on in someone’s life, you have the opportunity to give them an escape for an hour or two and make them smile.
I have to ask: What was it like meeting Gwenyth Paltrow?
Sometimes I forget that I met her, it just doesn’t feel real! I didn’t have much time with her, but honestly the energy she gave off felt genuine – she seemed like such a kind person.
How do you get yourself out of a funk or a low mood?
It depends on what’s causing it. I might indulge in my favourite food (Italian all the way), go for a long walk, throw on some music and have a dance party, get an extra session in with my therapist, or sometimes I’ll just have a good old-fashioned cry. Throw on some sad music and bawl my eyes out…that usually does the trick haha.
What’s a phase that resonates with you so much that you would turn into a neon sign for your home?
“Someone else’s urgency is not my emergency”. I heard this recently, and it really hit home. Sometimes you need to put your own mental health first and reinforce your personal boundaries.
What’s one common phrase that rubs you the wrong way?
It’s not really a phrase, but it’s the word “pivot”. I feel like it was used everywhere during the pandemic, and I’m sick of it haha. Especially being in the events industry, it felt like we had to “pivot” every two seconds.
Do you have a personal goal this year? What would it change in your life to achieve it?
My main goal this year is to put my mental health first; to really listen to my body and know when it’s time to take a break. Whether that’s taking a vacation, going for a walk, or taking a break from social media.
What’s one of the best compliments you’ve received lately?
Someone recently called me confident and in tune with myself. As someone who doesn’t always feel confident in myself or with what I’m doing, that was really nice to hear.
What’s something you notice about others right away?
Energy is big for me; I can usually tell when someone is having a bad day.
How do you know if it’s your head or your heart that is leading you somewhere?
You know what, in the moment, I never know (or I just don’t realize). When I reflect back, 90% of the time I would say that I lead with my heart.
When are you the most inspired?
Definitely in the shower.
What music are you listening to right now?
I listen to pretty much anything. I’m in the process of planning a trip to Nashville, so I’ve been trying to listen to some country music to get me ready for it.
Tell me a few favourite things in your home
We got a new bar cart that I’m obsessed with! My partner bought it because he’s tired of finding all of the non-alcoholic drinks I’ve been buying all over the house.
Tell me a few favourite things about your neighbourhood
We actually just moved to a new neighbourhood in Toronto - it’s in between Yorkville and the Danforth. I love how quiet our immediate area is, but we’re a 10-minute walk from literally everything. We’re really close to some of my favourite coffee shops, bars and restaurants in the city.
What’s your signature outfit these days?
Black anything all the way! Lately, it’s been a LBD, tights and some L’intervalle boots.
If you had to describe yourself as a scent, what would it be?
I had to ask a friend for help on this one haha…they picked one of your scents (Honey Tobacco). On your website it describes the scent as “cozy, alluring, sensual, and unique. To be more literal, it smells like a blend of deep vanilla and men’s cologne.” My guess is it’s partly because my style can either be girly or sporty.
What are you most proud of?
I’m really proud of myself for starting and sticking with Zero Proof Club. I don’t always feel confident in myself, but last May I decided to take a chance and do something that might help even one person.
What’s something you are tired of?
I’m tired of caring about what other people think of me & comparing myself to others. It’s something that I’ve been working on, and with Dry Society Girls, it’s been something that I’ve had to be more conscious of.
What’s something you wish you had more of?
That’s an easy one - I wish I had more time.
What would you tell your younger self?
What’s your go-to recipe for a dinner party?
A cheese & charcuterie board is always my go-to. It’s so easy, and depending on how elaborate you want to go, it can even double as décor (until it’s eaten haha).
Favourite thing(s) you cook/bake?
I don’t make it often, because it takes me a lot of time, but I love making jambalaya! I found a great recipe for it during the pandemic, and I have a lot of fun with it.
Best movie you watched last year?
A Star is Born - I know it came out a few years ago, but I didn’t watch it until I went to a friend’s cottage last year. It was amazing - everything from the storyline, the acting & singing, to the chemistry between Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.
What’s your favourite fiction book(s)?
This was really hard! I don’t have an all-time favourite because there are SO many good ones. The last fiction book I read that I loved was The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides.
What non-fiction / personal development book/podcast had an impact on you recently
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. A friend of mine recommended the book to me just before I created Dry Society Girls, and the biggest takeaway for me was not to wait for things to be perfect…to just do it.
Tell me 5 random things about you that may not be well known?
- I’m an Aries
- My background is Sri Lankan
- Reality tv is my guilty pleasure…specifically Love Island UK
- I laugh in awkward/uncomfortable situations…it’s my go-to response in any situation actually haha.
- My favourite place to vacation is Ibiza…I’m headed back there later this year! You get the best of both worlds…relaxation & partying.