This week (15-21 November) is Alcohol Awareness Week. This year, Alcohol Change UK is concentrating on the issues around alcohol and relationships, and the best ways to look after ourselves and those we love. This is especially important now, as the pandemic is far from over and we are all still experiencing the worries and struggles surrounding COVID-19.

Excessive drinking of alcohol is likely to make symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression worse – even though people sometimes choose to turn to alcohol as a form of self-medication to try and lessen these feelings.

Relying on drinking can become a problem by getting in the way of everyday activities and impacting upon relationships with your family and friends, ultimately undermining your mental wellbeing.

The Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines advise against having more than 14 units of alcohol per week, which equates to about six standard glasses of wine or six pints of lager, spread out over three or more days, with a few days off.

If you are worried that you are drinking excessively to try and cope with or numb your feelings, and that this is affecting relationships with your loved ones, then it is best to seek support and advice from your doctor – or use the NHS service directories to find an alcohol support service near you.

Tips from Alcohol Change UK to improve your health and wellbeing include:

  • Getting active – getting outdoors and regular exercise can boost your mood.
  • Talk to someone – taking the time to sit down and talk to a loved one about how you feel can help lighten the load.
  • Take steps to manage your drinking – downloading the free Try Dry app can help you set some goals.

Find out more about Alcohol Awareness Week and find more tips and advice here: