During the COVID-19 shutdowns, everyone has had to find ways to pass the time while being presented with a lot more “downtime” from being isolated at home. While baking banana bread and binging Netflix have become very popular and seemingly–safe activities, not all new habits in quarantine may be as innocent. According to MarketWatch, alcohol sales have skyrocketed since the pandemic started, with reports that online alcohol sales shot up 243% in March. In addition, CNN reports that alcohol sales have grown by 27% during the past three months.
Alcohol has always been a common vice for coping with stress and boredom. It also should be noted that drinking during the pandemic might not be a huge problem for everyone – that is, if it is controlled, casual, and mindful. However, with too much free time and elevated emotions, excessive drinking could lead more vulnerable individuals to possibly be crossing the line. How can you tell when “casual” drinking is becoming habitual consumption and, perhaps, starting to become a problem?
Drinking too much alcohol should become concerning when one’s habits and thoughts change towards the idea of it. According to Sari Eithces, an integratic internist, this is especially true during the pandemic, when many are using it as a coping mechanism. If alcohol has a constant role in your life, there are certain things to watch out for when guaging whether or not your attitude towards alcohol is changing in an unhealthy way:
- You are constantly worried about not having enough alcohol.
An unhealthy dependency can start when it becomes less of a choice and more of a need.
- You make poor decisions while intoxicated.
Alcohol can heighten emotions and if this causes problems within your household or is causing you to do things you wouldn’t normally do, it could lead to bigger issues and complications in your life.
- You don’t feel good physically and/or mentally.
If you are frequently dealing with headaches, nausea or other hangover feelings, then you are not treating your body with kindness. Mentally, if you are constantly feeling more down and anxious than usual and you have a routine of drinking every day, the two negatives could correlated.
It is important to catch when one’s alcohol consumption has become unhealthy. Alcohol is a depressant, and while people use it to numb how they are feeling during the pandemic, those who are feeling depressed and anxious could be making these emotions worse.
Oasis has many resources for those dealing with addiction and substance abuse. If you feel that your drinking during the pandemic has become more than just casual, or if you are conerned that your feelings of anxiety and depression are worsening in light of COVID-19, don’t hesitate to request an appointment with one of our providers today.