The COVID-19 pandemic has put us in a unique situation. As we self-isolate and minimise social contact, adults across the UK are coming face-to-face with a new stressors. People are being pushed toward substance misuse, addiction and subsequent drug addiction treatment.
With the uncertainty of life, disruption to social circles and daily routines, many are turning to alcohol. Although many adults are controlling their drinking, a significant number in the UK are struggling.
If this sounds like you or someone you know, we’re taking the time today to list a few tips to help you manage your drinking a little better.
Learn About Your Triggers
Everybody who is struggling with a substance will have their own set of triggers that compel them to use. This applies to someone who only mildly misuses or is dependent on drugs or alcohol as much as it does a full-blown addict – and it’s important to think about the subject in more detail.
Triggers will vary from person to person; there isn’t one picture or type. Common examples of triggers for alcohol consumption are the chiming sounds of glasses touching, the smell as you walk past a pub and walking past the alcohol section of your local supermarket. They can, however, be even more specific and unique, so it’s important to think carefully about what might be bringing about the urge to drink for you. During COVID-19, it could be as simple as being in a certain room of your house at a specific time of day.
Identifying your triggers gives you a powerful tool in your arsenal by helping you to plan your day in a way that minimises and avoids them.
Embrace Your Routine
We’ve all been in calls with colleagues and friends in the past weeks where someone has joked about waking up late or doing a business call in a dressing gown. It’s funny to share these stories, but there’s an important truth behind them: routine is the first thing to go during a time like now – and that’s bad news where drinking is concerned.
Why? Simply put, a lack of routine places us gently onto a spiral towards depression and substance abuse. The negative effects on our wellbeing when we get up at different times and eat poorly are significant, and it’s exactly these kinds of stressors that can lead you to drink to cope with their presence.
The answer is clear: embrace your routine. By being diligent and consistent in your self-care and daily life, you strike a decisive blow against the compulsion to drink more than you should. During this pandemic, your routine will probably look different from what was once normal – and that’s ok. The important thing is to have a routine and to see it involve care for your body and your mind.
Controlling drinking during this period is a challenge many adults are facing. It’s a worthy thing to do your best to fight that urge and we wish you all the best in your efforts to do so.