2020 has certainly been a difficult year so for many of us out there and this pandemic has been extra tough on everyone around the globe; especially those who have lost loved ones as a result.

Other parts of the population that have been more indirectly affected but still severely strained are parents of school-aged children. In addition to the direct health concerns of one’s self and family, daily lives and routines have been extraordinarily challenged as well. Most of us know what it feels like to wear “many hats” in our day-to-day lives regardless of our working situation.

Parents in particular have experienced a huge expansion shift in their responsibilities due to virtual schooling, especially if they’re also working a part-time or full-time job. If you’ve been one of the “lucky” ones to still be working through the pandemic — either remotely or commuting on location — then you’ve been confronted with all that comes with the new world of concerns, obstacles, and protocols, etc. If you’ve had to cut back on your working hours or even seek new opportunities, then that could potentially be even more stress that you’ve had to carry in addition to the rest of the demands at home.

Researchers have found that many parents are turning to alcohol in order to help them cope. Many of them do not even notice their increased intake until it’s too late. They have found alcohol consumption has increased by 25% and that the trend is only magnified in homes with school-aged kids.

Life has always had its moments where it seems full of stress. There are situations that come up everyday that can trigger those big negative emotions in us — worry, fear, and anxiety to name a few.  Many studies have found that people who experience high levels of stress are more likely to have alcohol use disorders.

There are other ways to cope. If you are experiencing the stress, try turning to yoga or meditation to revive your body and reduce the stress. If you are already in recovery, attend a 12-step fellowship meeting to get additional support from our brothers and sisters in the community.

Don’t give in to the temptation to resort to alcohol or substances as coping mechanisms that only make matters worse. It is never too late to change your course.