Workplace stress is an unfortunate norm: 40% of workers report their jobs are very or extremely stressful. That leaves some professions at the mercy of lunchtime drinking. Tourism, real estate and law are especially vulnerable to lunchtime drinking affecting recovery or sobriety. Watch for these signs so you can act before your noon-hour drinking becomes problematic.
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- Craving alcohol during the lunch hour
- Feeling like you can’t make it through the day without a drink
- Struggling to meet work deadlines and other responsibilities
- Higher tolerance to alcohol, e.g., that one glass of wine at lunch becomes four, so you feel less stressed
- Headaches and irritability when you miss that lunchtime cocktail
Fortunately, you can retake control and create a better plan for managing your work stress. If you wish to reduce your lunchtime drinking or spend your days sober, try the following:
- Being aware of your drink intake: Keep a tally of the number of drinks you have during a week. Know the size of your drinks too.
- Budget: Set aside specific funds for alcohol, and don’t exceed them. Since going out during lunch can add up, consider taking food to work, so you are less likely to order that wine, beer, or cocktail.
- Identify your triggers: Are there certain work situations that trigger drinking? If so, find a way to neutralize or manage them. For example, if your stress arises from a coworker harassing you, report the incident to HR rather than drowning your sorrows. Also, consider not drinking on super busy or demanding days so you’re not tempted to fall back on that crutch.
- Set aside non-drinking days: Make some rules. For example, you will only drink on Fridays and weekends but abstain Monday through Thursday. If you have friends or coworkers who encourage you to drink, tell them your intentions or avoid them on your non-drinking days.
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These tips work well if you don’t have a substance dependency problem. If you find you experience withdrawal symptoms or can’t cut back at all, you likely require treatment. You have options: inpatient treatment, counseling, 12-step programs and more. See your doctor, and you can start your successful recovery when lunchtime drinking gets out of hand.
If you decide to remain sober during work hours or start alcohol recovery, celebrate each step with my12stepstore.com. We offer recovery resources and gifts that help you get through each day, one day at a time.