Alcohol and Covid19 (Coronavirus)

Alcohol and Covid19 (Coronavirus)

As we adjust to our temporary new normal of remote working, physical distancing and constantly evolving updates about Covid-19, now more than ever, we all need to be more mindful of how much alcohol we are drinking, the impact this may be having on our mental and physical wellbeing, and explore our sober curious. Here you can access information and practical advice on alcohol and mental health, drinking at home, your immune system, working remotelysleep and links to support. The Drinkaware team is here to help - join us on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn for tips, activities and events. We're all in this together.

Alcohol and Mental Health

Half of adults in Ireland use alcohol as a way to cope with stress, anxiety or to cheer themselves up. However, drinking to cope with these feelings is likely to have the opposite effect. It will not help to make you feel better and can contribute to the development of new problems. There are many different actions we can take to protect our own and our loved ones' mental wellbeing at this uncertain time.

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Mindful Drinking at Home

We are all spending more time at home than usual and have more free time to fill, so we may be tempted to drink more often. Let's use this time to explore our sober curious and think about our relationship with alcohol. For many of us, this might be a good time to consider taking a break from alcohol. If you catch yourself reaching for a glass of wine of bottle of beer to reduce stress or boredom, try our tips and make a change.

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Alcohol and your immune system

The HSE advises that you are more at risk of serious illness if you catch coronavirus and you have a weak immune system (immunosuppressed), among other at-risk groups. Did you know that drinking too much can impair the immune system in a number of ways?

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Staying well working at home

For some, remote working is quite normal but for others across Ireland, this is a new and unexpected experience that will take time to get used to. What is most important to remember is to keep up your usual workday routines and look after your wellbeing.

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Alcohol and your Sleep

Alcohol is a sedative which is why people often say that alcohol can help get you to sleep. While this may be true, there are some significant caveats to understand that are perhaps less discussed or widely known. At a time when stress and new routines may already be affecting sleep patterns, it's even more important to remember that drinking alcohol will have a negative impact on the quality of your sleep.

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Follow HSE guidance to slow the spread of Covid-19

  • Wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue when you cough and sneeze. Throw the tissue away and wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Maintain physical distancing. Keep at least 2metres (6.5ft) between you and other people.
  • If you feel unwell, stay at home and follow HSE advice.

Helpful links to support

Here is a list of other national charities who are going above and beyond to support their communities throughout this time, and links to our government's response efforts.

HSE Stress Control Programme
An evidence-based programme that teaches you practical skills to deal with stress. Dr Jim White will live-stream the classes, free-of-charge, starting on Monday, 13th April. Parents Centre
Trusted sources for updates on Covid-19 and links to key information about supporting your family to stay safe and well during this period. In This Together campaign
Advice, tips and activities on how you can look after your mental wellbeing, stay active and stay connected.

Alone operates a COVID-19 support line for older people
Call 0818 222 024 (8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday)

Marie Keating Foundation
Nurses are available to answer questions you have regarding COVID-19
Call 01 628 3728

Irish Cancer Society
Phone and online support for anyone undergoing cancer treatment and is concerned about Covid-19
Cancer Nurseline 1800 200 700 (9am to 8pm, Mon to Thurs, 9am to 5pm, Fri to Sun)
Online enquiry form

Irish Heart Foundation
Irish Heart Foundation nurses provide support for people living with the effects of heart disease or stroke (9am to 5pm, Mond to Fri)
Call 01 668 5001

Diabetes Ireland
Phone and online support for people living with diabetes
Helpline 01 842 8118

Women's Aid
Providing phone support and information to callers experiencing abuse from intimate partners.
National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900 (24 hours a day, seven days a week)

Irish Men's Sheds Association
Phone and email advice and support to men's shed members.
Call 01 891 6150

Information and support to anyone over 18 about issues relating to their own mood or the mood of a friend or family member, or who experiences depression or bipolar.
Freephone Support Line 1800 80 48 48 (from 10am to 10pm every day)

Pieta House
Phone and text-based support counselling for people who are suicidal or engaging in self-harm
Freephone 1800 247 247 (any time, day or night)
Text HELP to 51444 (standard message rates apply)

Mental Health Ireland
Information and support for people who experience mental health difficulties
Information line 01 284 1166 (9am to 5pm, Mon to Fri)

Ireland's 24-hour national listening service for young people up to the age of 18
Freephone 1800 666 666 (any time, day or night)
Text 50101 (10am to 4pm every day)
Chat online at (10am to 4pm every day)
Ireland’s youth information website created by young people, for young people.
Text SPUNOUT to 086 1800 280