Since the COVID-19 restrictions began there has been a 40% rise in alcohol sales in Ireland 🍺🍷. Now more than ever, we all need to be more mindful of how much alcohol we are drinking and the impact this may be having on our mental and physical wellbeing. 50% of adults in Ireland use alcohol as a way to cope with stress and anxiety. However, drinking to cope with these feelings is likely to have the opposite effect.
Psychologists suggest that habits can be formed within 21 days. At the end of May we had experienced 80 days of restrictions, and many temporary behaviours are likely to have settled into permanent habits. However, it is never too late to break unhealthy habits. As we all know, habits are easily formed but harder to break! If your new norm is drinking a few glasses of wine or cans of beer to pass the time every night, acknowledge that this is happening and make a conscious decision to do something else like go for a walk (ensuring physical distancing), join an online workout session or tackle that long to-do list for the house – you won’t regret it!
The HSE low-risk guidelines for alcohol consumption are not to consume over 15 standard drinks for men and 11 standard drinks for women spread over one week. 1 standard drink is equal to a pub size measure of spirits (37.5ml), 100mls of wine or 1/2 a pint of beer. These are low-risk guidelines not targets.