Stress is an unfortunate and unavoidable part of life. The continued mandates relating to Covid-19, social quarantine guidelines, and other daily stressors have the propensity to exacerbate these already overwhelming feelings. The weight of these stresses often leads to a dangerous increase in the amount of alcohol consumed to cope with this stress. This increased consumption can have a major impact on your life.
Monitoring your alcohol intake is increasingly important in the face of these unprecedented and difficult times. Attempting to stay in control of your drinking means first understanding that your relationship with alcohol is not unique. It is up to you to take accountability for your drinking habits.
Increased Drinking Becoming More Prevalent
The amount of alcohol that Americans drink has increased substantially since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and is further accented by the illusion that avenues of help are no longer available. As vacations are canceled and quarantine and social distancing fatigue set in, it is increasingly common that you may look to other outlets to pass the time. Your alcohol intake may be that unhealthy crutch that upends your stability.
The lack of social atmosphere with other people demands relief, and turning to alcohol throughout this past year and has become more prevalent. Understanding your drinking habits and what effect it has on your life is more pressing than ever. The decrease in social events has also created a stronger social media presence for many as the most accessible avenue for socialization. Social media is an often toxic and convoluted platform for interaction, which oftentimes provides a distorted perception of alcohol as something that is championed, accepted, or glorified. Seeing these stressors as unprecedented, abnormal world events within your lifetime can help begin to contextualize the changes in how you may have engaged with drinking. This can help to highlight these changes that have been to your detriment, not your betterment.
Reclaiming Your Life
Acknowledging your drinking has become more frequent as a result of these drastic world events can help you better understand your relationship with alcohol. First, it is important to understand that you will have your own threshold when it comes to alcohol consumption. Just because you can measure your drinking against someone else’s and say, “I’m not as bad as _______”, that does not mean you should not seek help.
It is also possible that one may be measuring themselves against obtuse metrics from social media that do not provide a personal or realistic perception of alcohol use. Your relationship with alcohol is personal. Your mentality surrounding its use can vary, which makes it all the more important that you make an informed decision for your recovery.
It is common that you may not realize how much your drinking habits have changed over the last year and a half. Finding a way to objectively measure the financial burden related to alcohol can help illuminate the need to recover. Keeping receipts from liquor stores or any other purchases regarding alcohol can show how much money is being spent on alcohol. Doing so can also point out how frequently you are engaging with these substances, creating a more complete picture of how toxic your relationship with alcohol has become.
The stresses from news outlets, social media, and world affairs can be extreme, and processing the effects of this stress can often trigger the need to use alcohol. Avoiding stresses can add a sense of peace needed to provide the mind and body with a break from constant stimulation. Turning off social media during certain hours or agreeing to avoid news outlets a few days a week can help you begin to distance yourself from these intense sources of anxiety.
Finding a Healthy Social Outlet
While the fluctuating guidelines of social distancing and Covid-19 can impact how you approach large social circles, having a small, trusted group can help address your social needs in a healthy way. It is common that as social restrictions are lifted, larger gatherings are planned in order to celebrate the ability to see each other again, resulting in large parties, cookouts, or gatherings.
Having a smaller group can help satiate your social needs in a more intimate environment where drinking may feel unnecessary or can even be avoided. Selecting a small group of trusted people who share the same perspective on alcohol can help to contextualize your use.
Reaching Out for Professional Help
For some, it is impossible to moderate the use of alcohol. Through continued stresses and increased intake of alcohol nationwide, recognizing your use becoming more destructive may indicate the need for professional help. The ability to manage your use has become an illusion due to the inability to cope with the social and emotional stresses unique to this time. Having a supportive outlet in which to process these complex feelings related to your alcohol use may be paramount to begin an informed, transformative journey to regaining control and start your recovery journey.
The increased alcohol consumption nationwide is birthing new and dangerous norms when it comes to alcohol. At Avalon Malibu, we are prepared to help you address your changing relationship with alcohol to create a healthier future. We offer an array of proven, effective recovery programs that can be personalized to your unique needs and goals. Options include individual and group therapy, writing therapy, art, music, massage therapy, and both 12 Step or non-12 Step programs depending on your needs. Your time can be further personalized at any stage of the recovery process, whether you are just taking your first steps into detox or navigating residential, partial hospitalization, or intensive outpatient care. For more information on how we can individualize your time with us, or to speak to a compassionate member of our team about the next step on your recovery journey, call us for more information today at (844) 857-5992.