What to Do if You’re Drinking Way More During Self-Isolation

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Has the coronavirus turned you into a borderline alcoholic? Don’t let drinking wine at lunchtime in your PJs become the new norm. Mindful drinking experts Club Soda advise on what to do if you’re drinking way more during self-isolation…

It’s easy to drink too much when you are confronted by uncertainly and situations outside your control. Getting drunk is our culture’s unthinking response to stress and difficult events. Drinking at home is even more likely when you have done a big shop to see you through isolation and find you suddenly have lots of spare time on your hands. So what can you do?

Do those things you never had time for

Rather than drinking in response to stress, use this time to do things that will make you more resilient in the long term. Invest some time into trying new things. From meditation to computer games, I suspect that your list of “things to when I have more time” doesn’t include getting sozzled! So write everything down, from new hobbies to jobs around the house. Then prioritise. The feeling of energy and accomplishment you got from doing a few things well will far outweigh the temporary high of getting drunk. And you’ll avoid the regrettable post-binge hangover, so you will be mentally in the right place to get through these tight times. Hit the free trials of yoga, meditation, knitting, masterclasses and more.

Get a helping hand

Did you do a big booze shop because you were frightened it was going to run out? This may be a clue about whether your drinking may be slightly more out of your control than you think. You could use the next few weeks to take a break or learn to moderate. And invest in your health as well. Alcohol is not the best substance to support your immune system, and it will affect your mood. Maybe a course like Club Soda’s Mindful Drinking programmes could help guide you through the next few weeks.

Explore the delivery options

If you want to keep your drinking in check then don’t have alcohol in the house. If you do want a drink, only have some when you order it with a takeout. Placing alcohol firmly in the “treat” box, so you won’t rely on it as a coping mechanism. Lots of restaurants also do a range of alcohol-free with their delivery, so you don’t have to have alcohol. Try out delivery services such as Wisebartender.co.uk and grab yourself a mixed box. Use the next few weeks to find a new favourite alcohol-free tipple as a long-term choice (and use discount code CLUBSODAVIP to get some money off).

Structure your day

This has been the main advice for everyone right now. But it is especially important if you don’t want to slip into drinking at lunchtime in your PJs. Set some clear rules about times you will and won’t drink. Or save it for the weekend. You could even save your glass of wine for when you call friends in the evening, so you are never drinking alone. Give yourself a limit of how much before you start. Switch down to half bottles of wine if you think the temptation is too much once you have opened a bottle. Nothing about this situation will be improved by drinking.

Play it forward

You may not have control over the lockdown, but you are in control of how you react to it. Look ahead to who you want to be when this is all over, and focus on the bigger picture. Where do you want your life to be in 12 months time? What role does alcohol play in this vision of the future you? If you can begin to visualise yourself in the future, you can begin to ask yourself some fundamental questions about drinking. Ask yourself where, when, who with and what you want to drink, so you can make more conscious decisions about the role of alcohol in your life. Remember that drinking alcohol is never compulsory. You can take action now, and make it more likely that you’ll achieve the relationship with alcohol you have always wanted. There are some great exercises in Club Soda’s book, How to Be A Mindful Drinker that will take you through the possibilities for the future you!

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