Social distancing and not having access to usual coping mechanisms or support systems can make people feel lonely and isolated. Work can also be a major source of stress at the moment; with changes to the way we work, increased workload and increased absences as colleagues self-isolate or take leave for other reasons, working from home.
If you are a carer you are likely to have experienced a reduction in availability of services to support you and the person you care for, leading to an increase in your caring role and stress levels.
Whatever your experience is you may find yourself turning to alcohol when you have some time to yourself. Drinking a bit more than usual is a common way of coping with difficult feelings or sleep problems. If alcohol is one of your coping mechanisms, you need to be aware that long term and frequent drinking can actually reduce your mental wellbeing and contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety, potentially impacting on both your performance at work and your relationships at home.
We’ve put together a few tips to help you manage your drinking, which you can find here.
If you are concerned about how much you are drinking, you might benefit from completing this self-assessment questionnaire.
Information about the above questionnaire can be found here.
You can find alcohol services in your area on NHS Inform, these can be found here.
Things that can help
Drinking alcohol can impact your health in different ways and the more alcohol you drink, the higher your risk. Keeping track of your drinking is important. Understanding why you drink and being aware of how many units you’re drinking can help you make informed choices and reduce risks to your health and wellbeing.
The low risk drinking guidelines state that to keep health risks from alcohol low, both men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week, on a regular basis. If you’re pregnant, trying for a baby or become pregnant, no alcohol is the safest option. You can find out more about alcohol and pregnancy here.
For people under 18 years of age, the Chief Medical Officer advises that an alcohol-free childhood is the healthiest and best option. If you’re taking prescription medication, or any other drugs, it’s important to be aware of how they interact with alcohol.
Choosing to cut back on how much you drink will help reduce related health risks and associated complications linked to COVID-19. Alcohol can reduce the immune system’s ability to fight off infectious diseases and have an impact on the health of your heart and lungs.
You can find further information and guidance about alcohol via the following links:
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