This is not the time to drink. We all need to have all of our faculties and resources available not only to protect ourselves but to be able to help those around us. Alcohol drains all of our resources. Alcohol affects our health by weakening not only our immune system but also by chipping away at our mental health. For those still working or working from home, alcohol steals our ability to think clearly and lowers productivity. It increases our irritability at a time that tensions are already running high. And it drains our finances during a time where we need that security more than ever before.
If this is not the time to drink, how can we cope with the uncertainty and panic that seems to be overtaking us? We’re discouraged from congregating together. Entire states and countries are locked down and for many of us, we just feel so alone.
If we can’t forget, how do we come to peace with where things stand?
First and foremost, I think it’s important to remember that no matter how much we drink or do not drink, this situation is beyond our control. We can’t fix it, but we can do things to prevent making it worse. That includes auxiliary things that drinking alcohol can contribute to such as placing more strain on an already taxed healthcare system due to accidents caused while drinking. Of course, no one intends for that to happen when they drink, but by nature alcohol causes one to be more accident-prone.
Next, there are simple ways we can preserve our mental health which might not allow us to forget but can prevent us from dwelling on the crisis.
If you can—unplug. Put the phone down, step away from the computer, and turn the TV off. Go for a walk, go sit outside in the sun, listen to the birds chirp—do whatever brings you peace. Set limits on your exposure to the media. I have designated 1 p.m. as my time to check in and read the latest news every day. I give myself 30 minutes and after that, I check out. I’m not hiding my head in the sand but too much information can cause more harm than good.
What has really been difficult for so many of us is the isolation that has been forced upon us.
Even those who normally choose to keep to themselves are feeling caged in just because it’s now been ordered. I’m familiar with how being told I can’t do something at all (like drinking) makes me want to push back and do it even more. In this case, though, the reward of physically being with others is not worth the potential risk.
When is the time to drink?
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