Women Speak About How Quarantine Affects Drinking
With being stuck at home during the COVID-19 quarantine, a lot of women have been retreating to the kitchen to pour themselves a glass of wine or other alcoholic beverages to mask their anxiety and depression. A Morning Consult survey has said that 16% more women were drinking because of social distancing and living in self-quarantine, and 19% of women are drinking less as a result of the COVID-19 quarantine. By knowing what women are going through in regards to drinking and staying at home, we can truly understand their situation and the importance of abstaining from alcohol.
Meghan told Refinery29 that she has been drinking more than her usual two glasses of wine a night when she is really stressed. She was juggling a lot on her plate like taking care of her two kids, work, her kids’ school, making meals, exercising, and doing chores.
Taking on everything as a single mother can be very stressful. Over the course of a night, Meghan was able to finish an entire bottle of wine, but that is not something she would do on most days. She made sure to never be drunk around her kids and does not believe she is over-consuming alcohol.
Ciara started drinking wine pretty regularly with one to three glasses most evenings. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that if a woman is drinking, it should be no more than one drink a day. She said she will limit her drinking towards the weekend even though the weekend for her starts on Thursday—that is four days of drinking in a row.
Ciara felt like she was drinking a little more than usual, since she feels like drinking is the only enjoyment she experiences right now, along with food. The truth is that drinking will no longer be fun if you are experiencing your nights all alone with a hangover.
Anne Marie’s Story
Anne Marie lived by herself and did not like to drink alone. She had two nights where she drank during this past Easter and Zoom calls. In the past, she used to drink two to three nights a week. During quarantine, it went down even less. Anne Marie felt like drinking was not helping her out with her anxiety as well as with sleep.
She needed to be sharp and focused when it came to her work, with no time for a hangover. Anne Marie also felt like lessening her drink quantities was helping her lose weight, as she used to go to the gym to work out. With the gyms closed, she knew she had to control the empty calories from alcohol that would be part of her diet. This shows that Anne Marie is prioritizing her work and her health before her drinking.
Rebecca said alcohol consumption went up at her house with no idea why. She was normally the type to only pour herself a glass of wine after a hard day at work. Like Meghan, Rebecca felt like all of the roles she had to take on in the house increased her stress levels. Rebecca also mentioned that alcohol brought her back to happier times when she was out of the house seeing friends, her family, and worrying about nothing but just having fun.
Rebecca also felt like it was the most “normal” thing anyone could do right now. In reality, drinking can come with terrible consequences when you lose your sense of control. You do not need to take the edge off with alcohol when there are safer options out there that can accomplish the same thing.
Whitney felt like since quarantine, her drinking consumption has gone way down. Even just having one beer felt like a downer to her. Being in quarantine has made her realize that her reasons for drinking were always social. She never liked the taste of alcohol and used it as a way to get over her anxiety. Whitney says that the big challenge was that her husband loved to drink beer and is constantly surrounded by it.
Monica noticed the increase in her drinking at the start of quarantine. She noticed once she was done with her Zoom calls, she would be alone and drunk. Monica was going to bed at a later and later time and was gaining enough weight to not be able to fit into her jeans.
Looking at the empty bottles and her credit card statement showed it was time for a change. It was hard for Monica to stay away from alcohol—to the point where she had to hide it. She even asked her roommate to hide the alcohol. Monica has now been sober for 29 days and has a renewed interest in fitness.
What These Stories Teach Us
All of these women had their struggles with alcohol while living in quarantine. Some women discovered their motivations to drink and others have noticed their loss of control. It is important to find other ways to treat your anxiety like deep breathing, yoga, exercise, and speaking to your loved ones.
You can find ways to have fun while at home, like catching up on your favorite show, reading, and speaking to your friends and family online. Use quarantine as a way to get to know yourself when you do and do not drink and fix any problems you identify.
Although self-isolation during the pandemic can be difficult, turning to alcohol or drugs cannot fix it. Silver Lining Recovery offers a multitude of treatment options that can help address mental health and substance abuse issues. Our experienced counselors offer care through treatments like EMDR, CBT, DBT, meditation treatment, and faith-based treatment. Call us today at (866) 729-8577 to learn how we can help.