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Top Tips About Drinking Too Much During Quarantine

Important tips on not drinking too much during self-isolation and self-care.

With everyone stuck indoors and bored, it’s very common that you would reach out for another glass of wine or some stocked up vodka on the shelf to help pass the time. Although drinking alcohol to entertain yourself is very common in social life, during self-isolation it can conjure up habits that may become increasing dangerous and difficult to break once the quarantine is over. Here are some tips to maintain awareness of your drinking habits:

Of course, spending days on end slumped on your couch, scrolling endlessly through social media for any source of banter or entertainment, the days seem to be endless. And it is a very common attitude that to deal with stress, you can have a pint until you wait for it to pass. 

However, in times like these, when it is uncertain how long nations will uphold their lock-downs to deal with the current COVID-19 pandemic, grabbing a pint and waiting for it to ‘cool over’ does not seem to be a proper long-term solution.

Image via Creative Commons

With these new social distancing measures implemented by most governments, the private pains of a retracted social life are being stocked next to the bottles of alcohol that people are conserving in their home cupboards. This removal of the social element during drinking binges may have caused drinking habits to become even more pronounced for individuals, pining for a coping mechanism. 

Drinkaware had posted a statistical analysis proving there to be 586,780 dependent drinkers in England in 2017/2018, with more than 80% not receiving proper attention. With self-isolation already being a symptomatic attitude of alcohol dependents, and it now being enforced by the government, it is important to keep mindful self-awareness about creeping dependency issues rising. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently become aware that many citizens are feeling anxious and preoccupied with the uncertainty of the current global medical crisis, and locked at home it is foreseeable that many may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope. WHO strongly discourages partaking in this strategy to cope,  as it is a potentially very harmful and detrimental way to manage stress. 

Image from Misawa Air Base

In the midst of a crisis, a drink can seem like a good option to alleviate your anxiety, however the more you make a habit of drinking, the more your tolerance for the substance increases and this can lead to a stronger dependency. 

A Drinkaware representative advises:

Alcohol is best avoided when you’re anxious. It’s actually a depressant, and it can interfere with processes in the brain that are important for good mental health as well as contribute to symptoms of severe depression.

Drinkaware to UNILAD

Not only does alcohol affect your mental health, but it may also severely detriment your physical health which is currently already highly at risk due to the ongoing viral pandemic. Alcohol suppresses a lot of immunity responses your body would naturally have, and compromising your body’s health at the moment would be unwise. 

Drinking is also correlated to smoking as Drinkaware statistics say  ‘people who drink more than the low risk drinking guidelines are more than twice as likely to be smokers, and dependent drinkers more than four times as likely to be smokers, compared to the general population and we know that smokers are faring particularly badly in terms of severe disease and death if they become infected with Covid-19.’ 

Image from Pexels

In this emotionally draining time, it is important to keep your healthy habits in check, both for your mental and physical states. Self-isolation is difficult for all, but an especially vulnerable time for those with substance dependence or addiction. 

There are various methods one can use to help themselves, such as creating a daily routine and sticking to it. 

This should include reasonable hours to wake up and go to bed, washing and changing your clothes daily, eating healthily consistently at usual times. Factoring other activities for your relaxation throughout is also important, to give you mental exercise. 

If possible, make sure to get fresh air every day in a safe way by  going for walks or exercise. If not, there are many mindfulness apps or online websites that can help cater you towards hobbies to relax. 

Also, make sure to prioritize staying in contact with people; beat the loneliness with a phone call, text messages, video calls, to feel a little less alone. We are all in this together, each in our own home, but a strong sense of unity can still be created and help us through this together. 

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

For those struggling with substance dependence issues, although all social institutions have been revised due to our current affairs, there are still support systems in place for those who need them. Alcoholics Anonymous is holding meetings online, and the website for We Are With You published guidelines on how to access their support services remotely. 

Make sure to check up on your loved ones, and ensure that you are safe yourself – both mentally and physically. There are plenty of online forums and communities in place to help with these feelings of stress and loneliness that this global pandemic has stirred in each nation. This may be one of the hardest situations many of us have had to deal with, but remember that you are not alone, and it will pass. 

Read more on how to stay safe and calm during this Corona Virus pandemic here

Featured image via Shutterstock

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