It’s very easy to fall into the habit of drinking regularly especially during lockdown – a glass of wine with dinner, a beer while relaxing on the sofa – they all add up.

Jane Sunter, a working mum and member of staff from Durham County Council, shares her experiences. 

The Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions has brought lots of opportunities for us all to reflect on areas of our lives we don’t always have time to think about. Our relationship with our friends and family, interactions with the outside world, fear of the unknown and how we manage our work life balance within the context of our new normal.

Adhering to the Stay at Home guidance issued by the Government has brought about many discussions in my household about the lifestyle choices we make as a family and the importance of sticking to a regular routine to help us all maintain our mental health and wellbeing.

This has resulted in the push to get teenage children getting out of bed in the mornings, the drama of home schooling, smiling at the strangeness of working with multiple colleagues on a screen, motivating everyone to exercise together as a family group, resisting that urge to constantly visit the fridge and also examining our new stay at home relationship with alcohol.

At the beginning of lockdown there was a temptation to use alcohol as we would on holiday. The weather was lovely, we didn’t have to drive to work, everything seemed more relaxed and…why not, there’s a pandemic on and who knows what might happen? It was all too easy to let things slide into a couple of glasses on an evening, as we discussed the handling of the pandemic from the comfort of our own sofa.

However, after a while, we began to lose the taste for it and realised it was becoming less of a reward and more of a routine without thinking. We also recognised the contribution of doughnut-size amounts of calories in every glass were adding to the expansion of our sedentary waistlines.

When my 16-year-old asked if he could also join in the new ritual, we knew it had to stop. And so as a result, we have now changed our evening in lockdown in to a new routine of a brisk walk and some very interesting cordials. The urge for alcohol has left and we feel much healthier for the change. We may still have a couple of glasses over the weekend, but know overall that the reduction in our weekly alcohol intake will make our bodies will be much more resilient to deal with any impacts on our health that may arise, Corona or otherwise.

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