Pandemic Drinking! Yes, this has become a real thing.
I happened on an article in the New York Times and it is titled: New Yorkers Want Cheap Wine and Lots of It. This headline caught my attention and had me reading about the way people are buying wine, the demand for cheap bottles, and how they are turning to drinking to help cope with COVID-19. We all have heard of the very popular Zoom Happy Hours with our friends these days. I suppose we need to be stocked for these occasions.
Are we drinking more than usual? Are you drinking more than usual? These are good questions to ask ourselves in the midst of this stressful time. Observing and noticing our drinking habits to see if and how they may have changed would provide some insight as to how we are coping with the crisis.
If I were to take this article at face value, people have not stopped drinking, but rather there is a clear demand for alcohol, just bottles that are cheaper given how often they are buying it and the lack of money to indulge in fine, expensive bottles of alcohol.
I remember a Professor of mine back in school once said to her class, “At the end of the day, if you are enjoying a glass of wine, enjoy it. However, if you are reaching for a second glass, that is the time to be asking yourself why? What is going on?” I always thought that was a good thing for me to keep in mind whenever I was pouring myself a glass of wine during the end of my normal days.
Now, do we even need to ask ourselves such a question? Isn’t it obvious why, if we are reaching for a second glass, the reason? The stress of these days, the anxiety over the uncertainty of the situation, the boredom of not having much to do, the desire to escape our reality or, at least, to take the edge off of the days. There are many obvious reasons people are drinking more. It could also be you were always reaching for more drinks than you felt comfortable with, but the pandemic is now the perfect excuse to make you feel better about your habit.
Whatever the reason, alcohol, as it has always been, is around if we want it. Reaching for a glass or even two may not be a problem at all as long as we are conscience of what we are doing and noticing/observing how we are feeling as we do so. Even during these stressful times, it is still important to stay attuned to one’s self and what we are and are not doing to care for ourselves. In this way, we can stay present to the action of drinking.
Also, if you are reaching for the wine, make it an enjoyable, mindful experience. Smell the fermented grapes, take notice of the beautiful color, and really taste it when you take the drink. Bringing a mindful approach to how you drink may not only show you down, but offer a moment to really relish what you are drinking and not just drinking to drink. How about a Zoom Wine Tasting to experience mindful drinking with your friends?
Alcohol is playing its role during this pandemic. Notice, observe, and be present to how you are using it to stay in touch with yourself and how best to care for you. Cheers!