When lockdown first began, everyone was stressed, confused and like the classic British jokers we are, much was made about ‘drinking through it’ and treating this period as the ‘weird stage between Christmas and New Year
when no one knows what day it is’.
I personally had just had to postpone our wedding and facing the idea that we’d not be able to see our families for a long time yet. Despite usually only drinking on one day of the weekend, I drank solidly from Wednesday - Sunday every night, which was such a change from my usual behaviour. Whilst I did feel more relaxed at the time of drinking, able to sleep better and most definitely able to belt out some 90s top tunes, as is the way with alcohol, I felt worse afterwards. Within a couple of weeks of my ‘habit’ starting, my skin completely flipped out, my passed out sleep was such low-quality I could barely function in the daytime, and I began putting on weight! It was a lose-lose situation and the few minutes or hours I got for a buzz and to feel ‘happy’ was not worth it.
The World Health Organisation has labelled drinking alcohol an “unhelpful” coping strategy for dealing with the stress of isolation and social distancing. It may not be news to you, but alcohol is actually a depressant, which can contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression - whether pre-existing or not. Not only is depression a factor, but any accidents or injuries that occur right now as a result of alcohol intake will serious impact our already overburdened health service.
New research from Alcohol Change UK suggests that one in five people (21%) say they are drinking more during the pandemic, and many of those people are feeling anxious. Are you one of those people? If so, here are three ways to limit your intake of the fizzy stuff.
Reduce Access To Booze
Pubs, bars and nightclubs are closed, but shops and off-licences are still open, meaning that people are continuing to buy and order wine, beer and even ready-made craft cocktails. Whilst this is not really a concern in itself, if you buy a few bottles of wine in preparation for the weekend at the start of the week, but are tempted to crack one open by Tuesday evening, it may be time to rethink when and how much you are buying. This can be easily rectified by only buying as much as you’d like to drink (during your essential grocery-buying process), or if you prefer to buy in bulk, making sure that the excess alcohol is hidden away in a garage or under the stairs so it’s not staring at your every time you open the fridge.
Stick To A Weekly Routine