Friday, May 29, 2020

Is Covid-19 causing you to drink too much?

People have responded to the Covid-19 crisis in many ways. Many people under a stay-at-home order have had to find ways to stay emotionally well during stressful times over these past few months; from practicing mindfulness, to staying mentally active, or even talking to an online therapist, there are different ways to deal with stress healthily.

However, some people find themselves dealing with stress or boredom by drinking. As people try to deal with the stress of worrying about the spread of the virus or having to deal with loved ones passing away, turning to alcohol might be a coping mechanism. Or, they simply don’t know what else to do during the day and start drinking as a way to pass time.

And the question you might be wondering is ⁠— how much is too much? When does your lockdown drinking turn into a problem? Are you going to struggle to return to a normal working routine after this is all over due to your alcohol consumption?

Well, here are some of the signs you’ll want to watch out for.

Drinking as a coping mechanism

If you’re starting to reach for the bottle whenever you feel stressed or bored, instead of turning to other coping mechanisms, you likely have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. You might find yourself thinking about having a drink and how nice it will be once you’re drinking.

Alcohol isn’t a good coping mechanism for either stress or boredom. There are healthier coping mechanisms, such as mindfulness, taking a walk, or talking with a friend, that can help regulate your emotions more effectively.

You’re experiencing physical symptoms

You might find yourself not feeling well throughout the day or find yourself dealing with intense hangovers when you wake up. If you wake up most mornings with a headache, sensitivity to light, or generally not feeling well, you’re likely drinking too much.

You might find yourself struggling to sleep or eat. Some people may even find themselves experiencing withdrawal symptoms. If you find yourself growing anxious, sweaty, or hallucinating when you don’t drink, you have become way too dependent upon alcohol.

Drinking more and more

Evaluate your drinking habits. If you find yourself drinking more each week or more each day, your drinking is escalating. You may even find yourself starting to drink earlier and earlier in the day as a way to cope.

As you drink more, you may find yourself worrying about having enough alcohol in the house. If you are as concerned about having enough alcohol during the lockdown as you are worried about having enough food and other essentials, that is a problem.

Others are concerned

Eventually, others may comment on your drinking habits. They might express concern over you drinking more often during the day or they might comment you’re behaving oddly. They may ask you to slow your drinking down or may even try to stop you from drinking.

As a result, you could find yourself growing defensive and justifying your drinking. Or you might try to hide when you’re drinking or how much you’re drinking. If others are worried about you, listen to their concerns

Drinking comes first

Taking care of obligations during a pandemic is hard. Eventually, you could start prioritizing drinking over other responsibilities. For example, if you’re currently working from home, you might find yourself drinking while trying to work. Or you might find yourself wanting to drink instead of taking care of your kids.

If drinking has completely taken over your life, and you’re neglecting other parts of your life in favor of drinking, that’s a sign that drinking is starting to interfere with your life.

You can’t stop yourself

Finally, you may tell yourself that you’re going to stop drinking. Or you may tell yourself that you’re going to go back to only drinking in the evenings. But if you’ve told yourself this, and still find yourself needing to drink, you need to seek professional help.

You might need to talk to a therapist to develop a healthier coping mechanism. Or you may need a rehab program, such as Delray Beach Drug Rehab, to help you overcome your relationship with alcohol.

Final thoughts

Realizing you have a problem with alcohol is a good first step. If drinking has become your primary way of coping during the pandemic and you’re unable to stop yourself from drinking, don’t allow it to keep consuming your life. Eventually, the world will open back up, and you’ll want to be fully functioning when it does!

This is a guest blog posting.

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