If you feel like you drink more than usual during the current pandemic, you aren’t alone. In previous pandemics like SARS and H1N1, many healthcare workers said that they drank more alcohol than usual during and after the pandemic.
Many people use alcohol to cope with difficult feelings like stress, anxiety, fear, uncertainty, and isolation. It’s a common response to trauma, grief, boredom or other difficult experiences. However, alcohol can cause problems when people drink too much or too often.
Here are some signs that you may need to think about making changes to the way you drink:
- Drinking alcohol is the only way you manage stress, fear, uncertainty, and other uncomfortable feelings
- You often drink more than you intend
- Your relationships with family, friends, or coworkers are strained due to drinking
- You have a hard time stopping once you’ve started drinking
- You miss work or other obligations as a result of drinking
- You find yourself in unsafe situations, like driving after drinking
- You find yourself often drinking alone
- You find you rely on drinking to feel relaxed or confident