Alcohol & Covid-19 (coronavirus)
Covid-19 has impacted every aspect of daily life, but we are now seeing many of the restrictions being replaced with guidance and advice to enable us to work together to protect ourselves moving forward. Over the past months many of us have been forming new habits, some may be healthy habits that would be beneficial to keep up and others might not. It’s never too late to break an unhealthy habit to protect your health and wellbeing. In this hub, you’ll learn about practical ways to cut down or cut out alcohol and advice to develop healthier coping strategies that don’t involve alcohol.
With the limited return of indoor dining and reopening of pubs/nightclubs in Ireland until 8pm, there will be some opportunities to socialise with friends and family. The Government are advising that no more than 4 households mix at a time during the Christmas period. Remember to keep track of your drinking habits and be aware of the HSE low-risk weekly alcohol guidelines.
Protecting your mental health during Covid-19
Half of adults in Ireland use alcohol as a way to cope with stress, anxiety or to cheer themselves up. However, drinking to cope with these feelings is likely to have the opposite effect. It will not help to make you feel better and can contribute to the development of new problems.
There are many different actions we can take to protect our own and our loved ones’ mental wellbeing.
Explore some tips for mindful drinking at home
With the vaccine programme rolled out and the continuous lifting of restrictions, now would be a good time to rethink your drinking habits. Let’s use this time to explore the sober curious lifestyle and think about our relationship with alcohol. For many of us, this might be a good time to consider taking a break from alcohol.
If you catch yourself reaching for a glass of wine of bottle of beer to reduce stress, try our tips and make a change.
Parenting during a pandemic
Parenting can be challenging at the best of times, but it may have become particularly challenging in the last year when children and teens have mostly been under your care 24/7. Tensions and anxieties can run high, so it is really important that you, as parents, care for yourselves.
ALCOHOL AND YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
STAYING WELL WORKING AT HOME
For some, remote working is quite normal but for others across Ireland, it has been a new and unexpected experience that has taken time to get used to. What is most important to remember is to keep up or create a usual workday routine and look after your wellbeing.
ALCOHOL AND YOUR SLEEP
Alcohol is a sedative which is why people often say that alcohol can help get you to sleep. While this may be true, there are some significant caveats to understand that are perhaps less discussed or widely known.
Stress and new routines may have affected your sleep patterns, it’s even more important now to remember that drinking alcohol will have a negative impact on the quality of your sleep.
FOLLOW HSE GUIDANCE TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF COVID-19
- Wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue when you cough and sneeze. Throw the tissue away and wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your face, especially eyes, nose and mouth.
- Maintain physical distancing. Keep at least 2 metres between you and other people.
- Wear a face covering on public transport, in shops and other indoor settings – this is the law, you may be fined or refused entry if you don’t wear one. Read the full list of locations where face coverings are required
- If you feel unwell, stay at home and follow HSE advice
- Download the COVID-19 Tracker App now
HELPFUL LINKS TO SUPPORT
Here is a list of other national charities who are going above and beyond to support their communities throughout this time, and links to our government’s response efforts.
HSE Stress Control Programme
An evidence-based programme that teaches you practical skills to deal with stress. Dr Jim White will live-stream the classes free-of-charge.
Gov.ie Parents Centre
Trusted sources for updates on Covid-19 and links to key information about supporting your family to stay safe and well during this period.
Gov.ie In This Together campaign
Advice, tips and activities on how you can look after your mental wellbeing, stay active and stay connected.
Alone operates a Covid-19 support line for older people
Call 0818 222 024 (8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday)
Irish Cancer Society
Phone and online support for anyone undergoing cancer treatment and is concerned about Covid-19
Cancer Nurseline 1800 200 700 (9am to 8pm, Mon to Thurs, 9am to 5pm, Fri to Sun)
Online enquiry form
Irish Heart Foundation
Irish Heart Foundation nurses provide support for people living with the effects of heart disease or stroke (9am to 5pm, Mon to Fri)
Call 01 668 5001
Providing phone support and information to callers experiencing abuse from intimate partners.
National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900 (24 hours a day, seven days a week)
Information and support to anyone over 18 about issues relating to their own mood or the mood of a friend or family member, or who experiences depression or bipolar.
Freephone Support Line 1800 80 48 48 (from 10am to 10pm every day)
Phone and text-based support counselling for people who are suicidal or engaging in self-harm
Freephone 1800 247 247 (any time, day or night)
Text HELP to 51444 (standard message rates apply)
Ireland’s 24-hour national listening service for young people up to the age of 18
Freephone 1800 666 666 (any time, day or night)
Text 50101 (10am to 4pm every day)
Chat online at www.childline.ie (10am to 4pm every day)
Ireland’s youth information website created by young people, for young people.
Text SPUNOUT to 086 1800 280