Alcohol and Self-Isolation

During self isolation you may find you have more time on your hands than normal. Although studies suggest people actually work more when they are at home, some of us may be unable to work as usual, and that leaves us more time to kick back and maybe watch that TV show or read that book that we have been meaning to start. Why not pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back on your sofa, and binge watch ‘Love Is Blind‘? However, with the concoction of stress, anxiety and boredom during these uncertain times that one glass can quickly become a bottle.

Idle hands are the devil’s workshop and they don’t call them spirits for nothing. I think we can all agree some of the worst decisions made are done so half a bottle in. Truthfully right now these decisions may have quite serious consequences, especially when you are missing that human connection with others. Make sure in these times your relationship with alcohol continues as it would. Set yourself goals and routines, try to keep drinking to certain times of the day and be proud of your accomplishments! it is not easy to avoid the temptation to drink more when you don’t have to be at work.

Some suggestions:

  • Try not to overbuy or hoard alcohol. Though it may be tempting to stock up, this increases your ability to consume more in one setting with greater frequency. The fear of running out is not worth sacrificing your health and all that hard work you have put into your current lifestyle
  • Try to engage in communication with loved ones and friends for distraction and motivation
  • Set yourself goals and tasks to keep you on the path that makes you feel great about yourself.
  • When times are tough and you want to give in just buy yourself 10 more minutes. It’s amazing what a difference another 10 minutes can make, and it’s much more manageable than the goal of ‘no alcohol for the rest of the night’. Come on, you can do just ten more minutes… right?
  • Don’t suffer in silence or fear that other people have ‘bigger problems’. your struggles are real to you, and you deserve the support to get through this time.

If you are struggling with alcohol dependency issues being at home may be one of your greatest fears. The temptation is great and there may be no one there to help you avoid drinking. If you are struggling, please reach out for professional help. Sometimes all it takes is a single good conversation in a week to help keep you stay on track and be the best person you can be.

By Dr Elio Martino, Registered Psychologist

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