You don’t have anywhere to be tomorrow but at home.

In fact, the only people you might see are your housemates or your family. Maybe just your dog. Maybe only the people on the other end of a Skype call.

Why not have an extra drink tonight?

And why not make it two?

It’s no secret that Australians like a drink. Alcohol advertising is flashed across our TV screens nightly, we see beer brands emblazoned proudly on our athletes, and our government in the midst of shutting down all “non essential” businesses. Is it any surprise that many of us are turning to the bottle to alleviate some of the stress of the world outside?

On top of that, nearly every activity you might have used to fill your time has evaporated. Gone. Can’t go to the gym, the movies, out to dinner. Even heading to the park might be taken from us any minute now. So what are we to do with the hours left in the day?

SMART Recovery Australia is proudly harm minimisation and strength based. We wouldn’t tell you to stop drinking totally if that isn’t the right choice for you. However, we encourage all Australians to seriously think about their relationship with alcohol while we’re all sequestered indoors. Drinking more than usual to deal with the uncertainty in the world around you may be understandable, even reasonable, but it might also not be great for you.

These handy tips provide you with a great way to remain mindful of your alcohol consumption:

  1. How do you feel? See if your feelings around alcohol are positive or negative before, during, and after drinking. 
  2. Are you drinking more than you would normally?
  3. Is your drinking preventing you from doing things you otherwise enjoy, like exercise, doing puzzles, or playing a musical instrument?
  4. Would the money you spend drinking be better spent on something else?
  5. Are you drinking to augment a good time, or to fix a bad one? If the former, you’re probably OK. If the latter, try checking out our tricks for staying on track during the shutdown.

If you’re worried about someone you know, JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that “even small signs that someone cares could make a difference in the early stages of social isolation”. A simple phone call or text message can go a long way to reminding your loved ones that they matter.

You can also continue your SMART journey from home with an online meeting or a SMART Recovery Australia handbook.