If you’re working from home and going out as little as possible because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be drinking more than usual. Not having to worry about being presentable for work the next day, combined with the stress of living through the pandemic, makes it easier for many people to drink more often. Many people who would normally only drink every few days or weeks have found that it’s become a daily habit, usually to wind down after a long and stressful day. If you’re worried about your drinking habits, you’re not alone. So, how do you know if your drinking is becoming unhealthy?
Signs Your Drinking is Becoming a Problem
If you’re having trouble sticking to your own drinking rules, like starting earlier than you planned or drinking more than you intended, it could be a sign that your drinking habits are getting out of hand.
Having worse hangovers than usual, or having hangovers that last longer into your day, is a sign that you’re drinking too heavily.
If your friends or family members have expressed concerns about your drinking or asked you to cut back, it’s likely that your habits are more worrying than you realize.
Mixing stronger drinks so your loved ones can’t tell how much you’re drinking, drinking while they aren’t home, or hiding your drinking in other ways is another sign that you’re taking it too far.
How to Manage Quarantine Drinking
Accountability and alternative coping mechanisms are the best ways to manage your drinking when you feel like it’s becoming an issue. Research stress and anxiety coping skills like breathing exercises, journaling, working out, and meditation to get you through the day in healthier ways.
When you do drink, hold yourself accountable. Avoid drinking alone or with heavy drinkers. Make a plan to have a drink with a friend over video call, or with another person in your home. Before opening the bottle, ask yourself why you’re drinking and if there’s something healthier you can do instead. Limit yourself to only drinking a few days out of the week and ask a loved one to hold you to that rule.
Dealing with Alcohol Abuse
If you feel like you’ve lost all control over your drinking, it could be a sign of a more serious substance abuse issue. Talk to your doctor about your drinking habits and take their advice. There are many resources available, including substance abuse counselors and rehabilitation centers. If you can’t afford this kind of help, there are online 12-step meetings through video call or instant messaging where you can hear from people who deal with the same problems as you. For immediate help, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) hotline at 1-800-662-4357.
Comprehensive Primary Care at MD365
MD365 offers affordable, comprehensive primary care seven days a week. Our Shirley, NY and Lake Ronkonkoma, NY clinics offer televisits and COVID-19 testing by appointment. If you need help that we can’t provide, like mental health services or specialized medicine, we’ll refer you to a trusted specialist. Our services are covered by most insurance plans, so call or visit our website to schedule an appointment today!