Whether you’re an essential worker or not, it’s still important to maintain healthy habits. Especially for healthcare professionals, the habits that are maintained outside of the workplace are just as important as those followed inside. One such habit comes down to what’s being put into the body: alcohol. Below, we’ve listed a few different tips for maintaining healthy drinking habits during COVID-19. These are important for anyone—regardless of job title—to follow. After all, healthy habits lead to a healthy life. Learn more below.
Limit Off-Hour Drinking
If you’ve just gotten off of a shift or have a few days away from the hospital, try not to turn to drinking to pass the time and unwind. This is an incredibly stressful time, which is part of the reason why so many people have turned to alcohol to cope. Start weaning off this by limiting your drinking. Start simply by pouring the standard drink sizes. This will keep you from pouring “one glass” of wine that, in actuality, is actually 10 ounces of wine (two standard wine glasses). The more limitations you set and follow through with, the better your drinking habits.
Focus on Self-Care Strategies
One of the most important tips for maintaining healthy drinking habits during COVID-19 has to deal with how you’re partaking in self-care. Self-care is not a bottle of wine a night when you’re not at work. Self-care is taking the time to put your mind and body in a better, safer, and calmer position. This means putting down the liquor bottle and turning to healthy habits. Try meditating after a long shift, exercising more on the days you have off, and taking a luxurious bath to ease your muscles.
The healthy self-care strategies you follow through with now will carry over even when all of this has eased a bit. They’re the habits that truly stick with you.
Limit Sugary Cocktails
If you decide to have a drink or two on your days off, try to limit the sugary cocktails. At this point, it’s been seen that people with underlying conditions such as heart disease and diabetes have a greater risk of contracting coronavirus. When you turn to sugary drinks, it can impact your immune functioning. Instead, aim for low-calorie beverages—and not a lot of them.
Try Not to Relax Your Rules
One thing that often affects healthcare professionals is that after a long, hard day of work, it can get easy to come home and relax your own rules. After a tough shift, you may come home and decide that you’ll have three or four drinks, instead of just one. Relaxing the rules can lead to unhealthy drinking habits, so turn to those healthy self-care strategies when you’ve had a bad shift.
There’s no perfect way to handle all of this. If you’re struggling, that’s okay. All you can really do is try to stick to standard, healthy habits; hopefully, these tips will help.