Four months into this leap year and we could have never imagined the actual ‘leap’ we’ve all made in the last month. Before everything normal changed quite dramatically we were coming off a new year of festivities, resolutions, goals and then moving into actioning some of those good intentions or….not….like every year 😉. Then a Corona blast like virus pandemic exploded into our lives as we knew it and many of us have been reaching for ways to cope or manage; drinking alcohol being a big one for many of us.
Let’s just back track and reminisce a little can we?……..Did anyone actually take on Feb Fast this year? Who decided to give March a blast too or were those warm summer days and nights too tempting for a thirst quenching ale or delectable wine tingle with a fun night out with friends? Capping off and starting the weekend with a tasty bevy is an enjoyable choice it seems for a fair proportion of us. But now……… in this ‘new normal’, capping of these Corona virus self-isolation days as well as very real encounters with extreme stress (i.e job losses, security/safety and financial issues for some of us), it seems have literally been a challenge for many of us to tackle.
Life is hard for many of us with changes that have come so quickly there has been no time to prepare. We’ve been left reaching out for different and some unhealthy ways to deal with our anxiety and stress. A fresh new poll taken by the Foundation for Alcohol Research & Education (FARE) reveals that during this time 20% more Australians have purchased Alcohol and 70% of those are drinking more alcohol than normal. Many would agree that this is not a good ‘new normal’.
Calling a time-out on alcohol, sugar or another vice (the impetus for FebFast) that gives you sparks of joy and pleasure in our weeks might be hard….but then again, they can be the best decisions we make for now and, even beyond these weird days, for a lifetime.
The 2019 Annual Alcohol poll indicated that among us Aussies there is widespread confusion about the effects of alcohol. Our so-called ‘binge-drinking’ culture is still very much alive and kicking. The poll indicated 64% of us who drink to get drunk do so at least twice a week!?? Before any pandemic – Our nation has a problem with Alcohol.
It doesn’t seem to cut it anymore to tell us to be responsible or drink in moderation. Let’s face it, getting blind drunk may deceptively lend itself to some escapism, a few laughs and some fun but also unfortunate consequences that we can often regret. Even at what we might boldly consider to help us at basic levels; excessive consumption of Alcohol taken to numb or dull your nerves does not curb anxiety but is said to actually contribute to it.
That fresh new poll taken during this #iso season indicates a clear rise in our consumption but it also clearly highlights that we know it’s a problem.
We’re in this together!
So we think this must beg us to ask the question – Is this really good for us? In this time of “We’re in this Together”, let’s get some fresh and healthy perspective……
1. Did you ever wonder why you pee more when drinking alcohol?
Alcohol is an actual bladder irritant which leads you to produce more urine making you go more. So if you’re drinking to the point of blacking out you are more susceptible to losing bladder control and waking up saturated…..Unpleasant – yes! If you already have trouble with leaking when you don’t want to then alcohol consumption can only make it worse. So have a think about what’s actually reasonable and what’s actually being responsible for you as well as most importantly what it actually means for your overall – mind, body and soul.
Reminder: There are things you don’t have to put up with.
2. The link between drinking alcohol and violence or aggression is well known
Why? Now is a time where any ignorance shouldn’t actually be bliss. Alcohol, like any drug effects our cognitive and physical function causing reduced self-control, limiting our ability to process incoming information as well as assess risks. This can make us feel emotional labile or numb and impulsive. This lack of control is then inevitable and alcohol related harm can’t be avoided. This means different things for each of us but when the ultimate result hurts you or others you know and even don’t know the consequences can be devastating and, even in this sense, life changing.
3. Sometimes love can get complicated
So, if your relationship with alcohol remains a little ignorant, you make yourself susceptible to long term health risks such as heart disease, stroke and even cancer. Getting a fresh take on the fact that if you drink too much you just increase that risk of harm; let’s understand that significance.
4. A bit dry?
You’ve already heard that alcohol is an irritant and pretty much has a diuretic effect on the bladder – meaning – you have substantial increase in urine flow and excessive loss of body fluids. So, what’s the after affect of drinking too much? You get dehydrated that’s what! Many of you would have already heard of being encouraged to drink water in between alcohol. There is obvious merit in this plus the added bonus of helping deal the dreaded hangover for the next day. So, take that precious pearl from this one wise fact and even consider some healthy alternatives like Kombucha, Fresh juice or maybe even a Mocktail more generously, it’s ok! You’re doing yourself a massive favour. But always – WATER is best!
5. Notes from above
Our government (Australian) knows we have a problem with alcohol. It seemed to conveniently coincide with FebFast that there was a nice little increase in the tax levy placed on our beloved bevvy in February. When it comes to cost it seems this is a greater disincentive and a big tick to our government in detracting us from buying. It’s also important at this time to be mindful of the Alcohol industry’s crafty marketing strategies to get you to buy more than you need. Save your spondooli and take a retake on your time-out.
FebFast was a great kick-starter for the year on some good healthy habits as well as a bit of significant goodwill to consider. Aside from clichés, it really is never too late to start a fast; whether that be for February or not. We say it’s still legit for April, May, June or forever how long this Pandemic visits us. Do a Tik Tok retake on picking up that alcohol bottle and reaching for that alternative; and that includes some exercise too! Stay tuned for sparking more than just your booty into action!
If you are struggling with things at the moment, like many are, then reach out to Beyond Blue who can support you right now!