When it comes to our relaxed attitude towards alcohol…you have to ask yourself, is your antidote actually the poison?
As most of us transition into adulthood, our relationship with alcohol changes. It becomes less of a novelty, more of a tool. To calm the nerves, to relax after a long day, to enjoy with friends.
Gone are the days when chugging vodka straight from the bottle sounds like fun (sorry Mum and Dad!)
However, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I use alcohol to my benefit. After all, it’s the most socially acceptable drug we use as a society, 2nd to caffeine. It’s positively encouraged in most social circles. Which, in theory, is absolutely fine in moderation.
But one thing I feel isn’t discussed enough is alcohol’s link with anxiety and stress. More specifically, anxiety or anxious mood/thoughts being amplified by alcohol. "Hangover sads" are real, guys, and they suck.
It feels like a quick fix...but is it doing more harm than good?
If you read my previous blog post, you’ll know I’ve definitely been experiencing more stress and anxiety recently due to my workload. Which is why I’ve found myself reaching less and less for my Friday night G&T.
It feels like a quick fix - just to take the edge off - but is it actually doing more harm than good?
Personally, I know I have to be in a healthy, well mindset to enjoy alcohol in moderation. Even if I have a few drinks, I notice a big difference in my mood the day after, especially if work or other stuff is on my mind.
I know I’m not alone in sharing this, I just feel like it’s not discussed enough. If you’re dealing with this, I wanted to end on some really practical tips that have helped me with anxiety, particularly when it's exacerbated by alcohol.
♡ Moderate your intake. Try and have ‘dry days’ as much as possible, and do not binge drink - I find ‘little and often’ and ‘saving it all ’til the weekend’ are both recipes for a racing pulse.
♡ Drive or commit yourself to leaving early by pre-booking your journey home. Especially midweek, I'll drive to events so at most I can have one small drink with food and then have to order softs. Lemon San Pellegrino is my non-alcoholic drink that feels like a treat!
♡ Prevention is better than cure. Make time for self-care rituals in your week. Meditation apps, deep breathing, walks, workouts, yoga, speaking to a therapist or counsellor, just looking after yourself and your mental health as best you can.