When does alcohol as self-care become a problem?

by | August 29, 2018

We’ve all seen the memes on social media, the funny slogans across t-shirts, the jokes being made about needing a bottle of wine at night instead of a glass. But the memes don’t lie. Young women are drinking more wine than ever before. But when does using alcohol as self-care become a problem?

Two years ago, April Storey a mother of two from California, posted a hilarious video on Facebook showing off her ‘wine workout’ and quickly became a viral sensation. The video shows her doing pushups, with a wine glass underneath her. Each time she does a rep she sips wine through a straw, even though she has admitted she doesn’t actually drink while working out and was just for the purpose of the video. Her post gained traction with moms online, getting over 22 million views and floods of comments.

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It seems as though moms worldwide have become more desensitized to drinking and more women are turning to alcohol as self-care. Author of Sippy Cups Are Not For Chardonnay Stefanie Wilder-Taylor knows about this firsthand, as she used to be one of the moms making the wisecracks about needing a drink every night. She quit drinking in 2009 after realizing that her nightly drinking had gotten out of hand. She went online and found a community of people who were all ‘booze-free.’ “Many moms who joke don’t have a drinking problem. They just think it’s funny,” she says. “But the women who do have a problem get fooled into thinking, ‘Every mom drinks like I do.’

alcohol as self-care

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost one in three Americans are an excessive drinker, and one in six have admitted to binge drinking about four times a month. Alcohol-related deaths, drunk-driving arrests, and alcohol abuse cases are on the rise among American women. Between 2002 – 2013 the number of women who admitted to consuming more than four drinks a day rose by almost 60%, while those meeting criteria for alcohol abuse increased by a shocking 84% according to the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.

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Of course, not every mom who enjoys a glass of wine on occasion, or uses alcohol as self-care occasionally, develops a drinking problem. Moderation is key in life, however, although it may work for most people, it isn’t the right answer for everyone. If you feel like your drinking has got to the point where you’re reaching for the bottle more as a reflex than a way to enjoy an evening you may want to take a step back and ask yourself has my drinking become a problem?

Try to engage in more things that don’t involve alcohol as self-care. Go for a run, get your hair or nails done, get out of the house and go see a movie. Little things like this are better self-care. And if you sometimes find yourself reaching for a glass of wine at the end of the day, then do it. It should be a choice, and if it doesn’t feel like it is anymore, there are numerous resources to help you out.

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Alex Jones

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Categories: Parenting

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