The loneliness epidemic is causing a spike in drinking. Everyone's concerned about the growing loneliness problem, which is related to the pandemic and social media. However, that's not the only problem that's taking place behind closed doors.
More younger men are drinking alone in their bedrooms. Per Newport Institute, binge drinking has been on the rise among young adult men and college-aid students. Binge drinking involves consuming over five alcoholic drinks within an hour which brings the blood alcohol level to 0.08 grams or higher.
According to the CDC, men are more likely to binge drink compared to women. This can lead to an increase in injury and violence to one's self or to others.
Men who still live at home or move in with their parents are on the rise. This can lead to feelings of isolation, anger, and hopelessness. Most of these men already struggle with behavioral and mental health issues which exacerbates these problems.
How do you combat drinking alone? Thankfully, there are better things you can do with your time.
1. Talk to someone. Talk to your mom or reach out to your friends. When was the last time you saw them? Pick up the phone or send them a video call instead of reaching out on social media. Talk to them about your loneliness and drinking problem. Some people might be honest with you and share some insight.
2. Start a hobby. Do you have a hobby? This is a good time to revisit it again. Hobbies give people purpose and keep them distracted by doing something they love. Some examples of activities you can try are gardening, dancing, sports, book clubs, or volunteering.
3. Exercise. Breaking a sweat is a great way to avoid drinking alone. Plus, it'll motivate you to live a healthier lifestyle. Go for a run to get your adrenaline pumping or practice yoga to quiet your mind. Maybe you could also go to the gym or get an accountability partner.
4. Get out of your comfort zone. If your friends or co-workers invited you to a gathering, don't turn them down. Make a promise to yourself to attend for an hour or so. This is good practice for feeling comfortable with being around other people. Be to be patient and kind to yourself when it comes to meeting new people and making friends.
5. Embrace your creativity. Take an art class and learn watercolor painting. Or, draw a picture that depicts how you feel. This is a great way to connect with yourself and learn something new. Also, you'll realize you can express yourself outside the bottle, which is empowering.
6. Write in a journal. Your feelings are safe with you. Keeping a daily journal can improve your mood. Document a gratitude list to shift your perspective. Soon enough, you'll realize that your life is better than you assumed.
7. Seek help. If you're still struggling with drinking, don't be afraid to consider rehab or counseling. Or, maybe you can attend an AA meeting in your area. Be honest about your struggles and how it is impacting your life. Having a strong support system will put you on the path to recovery.
Remember, you are not alone. Over 58% of men have reported binge drinking by themselves. This list of seven better things to do can help you feel more connected to yourself and to remember to do what you love.
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