To hoard or not to hoard? That was the question most of my friends asked me after all bars closed. “Are liquor stores next?” a frantic friend of mines replied. 

They weren’t. Spirits are essentially lifting our spirits. 

Alcohol sales spiked 55 percent according to market research firm Nielsen the week of March 21st. 

Spirits sales increased by 75 percent compared to the same dates in 2019. Beer is the next most popular drink, with purchases up by 66 percent, then wine, up 42 percent year-on-year according to the same Nielsen report.

Point is if you’ve been drinking more than usual to deal with everything COVID-19, data proves you are not alone. 

Practicing social distancing, working from home, and avoiding everything public has left us filling many hours during the day. In April, the beer per hour was trending. 

A little alcohol makes things feel closer to normal and I am not here to judge. However, the deterioration of mental health is also spiking.

Pre-COVID-19, Mental Health America reported over 10.3M adults have suicidal thoughts, and that has increased by 23% since social distancing began. Concerns for the increased intake of alcohol and drugs has led the CDC to release a full guide to coping during COVID-19.

That guide can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html

A CBS Sunday Spotlight shows the Coronavirus pandemic may lead to 75,000 “deaths of despair” from suicide, drug, and alcohol abuse.

More importantly, do not feel alone! We are in this together. Recently, possibly the greatest Olympic Athlete of all time, Michael Phelps, spoke with ESPN to reveal how tough this has been on his mental health. 

In 2016, Michael Phelps shared with the world his battle with mental health. He empowered many to seek similar attention and brought a much-needed spotlight to the matter. 

Today he is doing the same sharing “It has been one of those months. Nonstop, my mood jumping up and down and all around. The pandemic has been one of the scariest times I’ve been through. I’m thankful that my family and I are safe and healthy. I’m grateful we don’t have to worry about paying bills or putting food on the table, like so many other folks right now. But still, I’m struggling.”

We are struggling and it’s okay to admit it.

At Voice Big, we have a couple of recommendations on how to adjust during the pandemic. 

  • Monday through Friday! It’s easier if you’re working from home if you find yourself laid off, start treating hobbies as work. Work out more. Point is, give yourself a reason to 9 AM – 5 PM.
  • If you drank with friends, keep drinking with friends! Meaning? Do not drink alone. Schedule digital happy hours, Saturday night facetime gatherings, or even zoom dates with your significant other. Give purpose to your drinking/partying.
  • Talk to your family, friends, and loved ones. Confide in them. Let them know how you’re feeling.
  • Binge Netflix, not booze 🙂 

Stay healthy and stay safe!  

Cheers.

Michael Phelps Source: https://www.espn.com/olympics/story/_/id/29186389/michael-phelps-most-overwhelmed-ever-felt

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