Drinking Too Much Because of the Pandemic
According to reports, alcohol sales and drinking during the pandemic are soaring, with the three-liter boxed wine winning the war with over 50% increase in sales.
Were you one of those who heard “lockdown,” and instead of running to the toilet paper aisle, you ran to the liquor store? If so, you are not alone. Many Americans went into “I’ve got to stockpile alcohol” mode. They had to be sure that when the stores were closed, they had enough alcohol to get through the lockdown period.
The fact that you are drinking during quarantine is not nearly as important as the reason you are drinking. So, why are you drinking too much?
If your reason matches any of the reasons listed below, it may be time to replace drinking with a more positive activity. You may even want to check into getting help from a virtual addiction specialist. We’ll tell you how to reach out for help at the end of this article. But first, let’s talk about why people drink.
A large number of people drink when they get stressed. Some eat, some don’t eat, some pace back and forth, some stay in bed. The way we deal with stress can lead to either positive or negative outcomes.
Drinking to alleviate stress will not benefit you in the long run. It may make you feel relaxed and happy for a few days, but those feelings quickly turn into higher levels of stress. Not only will you have anxiety about the pandemic, but you will also have the stress associated with getting and consuming alcohol.
Instead of drinking, try exercise, yoga, and meditation to help with stress. They release the same chemical properties in the brain that reduces stress, only without the hangover.
The first few times you are bored and start drinking, you may think this is the lifestyle you have been searching for all your life. You’re ordered to stay home, and in your home, you can drink if you want to. The more boredom you feel, the more you drink.
However, in a very short time, even alcohol is making you bored. Your tolerance increases, and you need to drink more. Before long, boredom-drinking evolves into a significant habit with dire consequences.
Avoid getting bored by creating a list of activities to do and do them. Every day you should be able to fill your calendar with positive actions. You can include hobbies, chores, repairs, online socializing, and learning new skills. You may even be able to work from home or start a side hustle online.
There are so many boredom busters out there you will have no trouble discovering something to do other than drinking.
Some people have noted they feel lonely during the pandemic while being stuck at home. They liked getting out of their home each day and interacting with people at work and in the community. Staying home can make some people fear loneliness and to ease the fear, they drink.
The problem, drinking is a depressant that leads to feeling depressed and anxious. You may feel less lonely at first, but over time, drinking will lead to more negative emotions than positive. At first, you may drink and feel happy. After a while, that happiness will turn into unwanted emotions like sadness or anger.
You’ve probably been there before. You were out drinking with friends, having a great time in the first few hours. You kept drinking, and before the night is over, you’re crying or complaining.
If you are feeling lonely during the pandemic instead of drinking, reach out to friends, family, social media groups, or support groups online.
How Do You Know If You Are Drinking Too Much?
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism created a specific definition for “drinking too much.” They claim women are consuming too much alcohol if they have four or more drinks a day or more than eight glasses a week. For men, five or more drinks a day or more than 15 drinks a week.
They create these standards based on many factors, including body weight, what you have had to eat before you drink, and the type of alcohol you consume. Beer, whiskey, and wine are different in ingredients and alcohol percentages.
If you find yourself passing out from drinking, it is too much. Assuming you make poor decisions while drinking, like going out during a pandemic, drinking, and driving, or drinking and engaging in social media attacks, it is too much.
If other people tell you that you are drinking too much, you are most likely drinking too much.
To avoid drinking too much, choose to participate in healthier activities.
Healthy Activities To Do
It’s true; you are stuck at home. But there are many healthy activities you can do even though you can’t travel somewhere else.
Get online with your friends, through chatrooms and social media groups. It is good to find ways to interact with people while in isolation. Your friends are likely feeling the same way you are, so reach out to them.
You have been saying for years that you need to focus on getting healthy. Um, hello, now is the time. Implement all those self-help tools you have heard work for others. Create a new diet plan, exercise, yoga, meditation, hygiene habits, and journaling for mental health are just a few ideas to get you started.
Finally, seeking counseling online is not a new concept, but seeing a massive spike in services during the pandemic. Virtual therapy has never been more accessible than it is today. You can find an online therapist for any problem you may be having, including drinking too much.
Virtual rehabs exist and can provide you the help you need to drink less or stop altogether. All you have to do is reach out. The best news is that this is something you can begin as soon as today.