Picture for Are you drinking too much alcohol?

Are you drinking too much alcohol?

Most of us are still spending the majority of our time at home - and apart from work, entertaining the children, and domestic duties, we have little else to do. It's therefore not surprising that we're all tempted to have a few more drinks than usual!

However, rather than making us feel better, our drinking habits may have the opposite effect. 

Alcohol sales are up by 22%, wine o’clock is getting earlier and earlier and some of us are even joining online Happy Hours – this all means one thing - we're all drinking more, and many of us are drinking a lot more. Whilst the social media meme ‘I’m coming out of this global pandemic either a Master Chef or as an alcoholic’ made me laugh, it also made me think about the effects all this alcohol is having on our bodies and our minds.

So this week, by popular demand,
I have put together my top tips for drinking less.......


Behind the joking and humour, there is a concerning reason causing us to drink more – uncertainty, boredom, fear, frustration and worry are just some of things I have heard you mention to me over the past few weeks. Yet the both physiologically and psychologically the soothing effect of alcohol is short lived. When we start to have our first sips, our mind relaxes and things start to slow, but just 20-30 minutes later, as the alcohol leaves our blood we start to feel even more stressed and anxious. Not to mention the effects on our waistlines!

 

So what can we do to help us drink less in the ‘new normal?’

  1. Buy less - if you have a bottle of wine in the fridge you’re more likely to drink it, so when you're doing your weekly shop, take alcohol off the list!
  2. Establish a regular routine – right now our weekdays and weekends melt into each other without the social markers to differentiate them. With that, the usual rules that we set ourselves when it comes to alcohol have been thrown into disarray. When you finish your ‘day’ try taking a walk, a run or even a shower – anything that helps you unwind from work and stops you popping straight to the fridge for a drink.
  3. Only drink at weekend -  make this promise to yourself and to everyone in your household - and stick to it. On weekdays, use another mechanism to unwind - a warm bath or a spot of Jane Plan yoga!
  4. Avoid Zoom and social media drinking - if we already have a part of our brain that is saying having a drink will help us feel better, and then we go to Facebook and all our friends are posting about their ‘quarantinis’ and their Zoom happy hours, it’s very easy for us to justify drinking even when it isn’t serving us.

Best wishes,
Jane and the Team


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