How are you finding Lockdown? It’s been over 12 weeks now. Maybe things haven’t changed that much and you haven’t stopped working?
It’s estimated that around 8.9 million of the UK’s workforce has been furloughed since March, thousands more are working from home and at least initially, many of us are leaving our homes much less. What with the weeks of great weather, at times it’s maybe felt like we’re on holiday? Mix the sunshine, social distancing, shopping restrictions and boredom and we really have had little else to do but think up our own entertainment.
Zoom and the like has meant we have been able to link up with friends and family for weekly bingo sessions, ‘pub’ quizes and even remote diner parties (I know right!) If your food bill has ramped up over the past few months, I feel your pain, but even more notable is the increase in spending on alcohol since we’ve been confined to barracks.
In March, UK alcohol sales increased by over 20% as people stocked up for what we thought might be just a few weeks at home. There has been a greater temptation to drink a little earlier, a little bit more and certainly more frequently than usual. The absence of work commutes, school runs and not being able to get to the gym has maybe meant that we have been less concerned with being ‘fresh’ the next day?
The British have (and excuse the sweeping statement) a rather casual attitude towards booze. We talk about drinking like it’s a right, old laugh and people who don’t indulge are often derided; “Why doesn’t she drink, what’s wrong with her?!” OK, so maybe this isn’t relevant to you, but if it does resonate and you feel you have been drinking too much alcohol recently, it could be that you have been feeling more anxious too? This is no coincidence as the two are often linked.
As a CBT therapist, I’m naturally interested in anxiety. I’ve been reading up on alcohol and anxiety and found an interesting (and more importantly, short!) article written by Amy Flemming, on ‘Hangxiety’. If you’d like to read it, click on the link.
Take care of your mental health and your physical health. Both rely upon each other. Both require an investment.