Health and Wellness

Worried about Quarantine Drinking Habits? Here’s What to Do

Q: While isolated at home and stressed in the pandemic, I’ve been drinking a lot more than usual. I notice that many of my friends are doing the same, so my ramped-up consumption seems normal. But I have my doubts: How do I know if I'm actually drinking too much?

Data shows that many people have accelerated their alcohol consumption in the pandemic as a coping strategy, or even in response to flat-out boredom while isolated at home. In fact, one Morning Consult report found that 16% of adults were drinking more during the pandemic — and that was in April. Another study from RAND found that the number of women drinking heavily has increased by 41%. The longer the pandemic drags on, the more people are likely to continue to consume more than normal.

Line chart showing search frequency related to alcohol withdrawal queries, March to August 2019 and March to August 2020

Not just that, but search data shows that people aren’t just noticing they’re drinking more, but they’re also worried about it — even if they’re only sharing that concern with their web browsers. Searches such as “alcohol withdrawal” and similar queries have spiked in 2020, after increasing steadily over the past five years.

Bar charts showing heavy alcohol use across different demographics, comparted to 2019

But muddying the picture here is the widespread normalization of drinking, especially in the pandemic. It’s always “wine o’clock” somewhere on social media, where we’re desperately trying to find connections as an antidote to social isolation. Plus, we’re all under a lot of bona fide stress—and who couldn’t use a weekday happy hour (which seems to keep edging ever earlier)?

So here’s how to unpack how much is too much — and why it matters.

What’s normal and what’s not?

Pause for a moment and actually take stock of how much you’ve been drinking on a given day or week lately. Federal dietary guidelines define moderate alcohol consumption as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. So if you’re keeping within that range, you’re likely fine.

Now, here’s what high-risk drinking looks like:

  • Heavy drinking means consuming eight or more drinks per week for women.
  • For men, heavy drinking means 15 or more drinks per week.
  • Binge drinking is when the average woman consumes about four or more drinks in a single occasion, or five for men, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Even more practically, just consider this: Is your drinking causing problems in your relationships? At work? Or making you feel bad overall? If so, it might be time to think about scaling back.

Why does it matter?

There are real risks involved with drinking too much, beyond just run-of-the-mill, short-term side effects like blowing your diet or texting someone you maybe wish you hadn’t. Over time, too much alcohol can contribute to the development of chronic diseases and mental health problems.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over the long term:

  • Heavy drinking can cause heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
  • It’s hard on your liver, and can lead to liver diseases, including cirrhosis.
  • Excessive alcohol use can contribute to various types of cancer. Consume less alcohol, reduce your cancer risk overall.

How can you cut back?

The good news is that you’ve already taken a major step by evaluating your situation. That mindfulness is important. Now you can monitor your daily consumption and make a goal to keep it within the CDC’s guidelines.

Here are some other things that can help:

  • Write it down. Try keeping a drinking diary to hold yourself accountable and compare your real consumption against your goals.
  • Find simple ways to cut back your consumption. If you’re mixing drinks at home, measure out a half portion of alcohol before adding it to your cup.
  • When you’d be inclined to go for a drink, try an alternative stress reliever instead. Focus your mind on a puzzle (another favorite pandemic go-to), or dig into a craft or home-improvement project.
  • Get exercise. Even simply walking is therapeutic. And heavier exertion can help blow off major steam.
  • Give yourself a break. Yes, these are stressful times. If you exceed the recommended consumption limit once, be kind to yourself—and recommit to your efforts.

Health and Wellness

Breast Cancer Awareness

Let us answer some commonly asked questions about breast cancer so you can arm yourself with the information you need to prioritize your breast health.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

A Fresh Look at COVID-19

Consider this your up-to-date guide to stay as safe as possible for the rest of 2021 and beyond.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

You Can Strengthen Your Immune System—Here’s How

Give your immune system the boost it needs with these vitamins, foods, and healthy habits.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

Decoding Diabetes: A Look at the Types, Testing, & Treatment

Diabetes is more common than you may realize. Here’s what you need to know to stay well and watch out for warning signs.
Continue reading
Everyday Care

How to Relieve Your UTI, and Keep Another From Coming Back

It’s estimated that at least 60% of women will experience a UTI in their lifetimes and daily habits can make a big difference in preventing them, here’s how.
Continue reading
Everyday Care

Below-the-Belt Symptoms Men Shouldn’t Ignore

Learn more about how Urinary Tract Infection‍ (UTIs), Kidney Stones, Enlarged Prostate, Erectile Dysfunction and Hemorrhoids can affect men.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

Clearing Up Your Teen’s Acne Questions

Skin issues can come to a head during the teen years. Here are a few tricks to help you and your kid get through it.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

The Types of Exercise That Will Give Your Body a Boost

You know exercise is good for the body. But what kind of exercise is the best for your body?
Continue reading
Everyday Care

Why Do I Always Have a Headache?

Why headaches happen, what you can do to prevent and treat them, and when you need to see a professional.
Continue reading
Care Made Easy

8 Questions to Ask At Your Annual Preventative Health Visit

Get the most out of your annual visit with these top questions. It’s not always easy to go through with your annual check-up for your health.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

A Diabetic’s Guide to Eating Well

Eat smart and stabilize your blood sugar with these key strategies.
Continue reading
Everyday Care

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Heart Health Today

There’s no muscle more important than your heart. Every day, it goes to work pumping blood and nutrients throughout your body.
Continue reading
Everyday Care

Menopause 101: What it Looks Like and How To Live With It

It can be challenging to know when menopause occurs. Here’s what you need to watch for and what to expect.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

Why Self-Care Is So Important for Mental Health

Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated. Find out how to simplify your routine and build a regular practice to reap the mental health benefits.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

So You Want to Try Intermittent Fasting?

Get the ins and outs of this now-trendy eating pattern to see if it could be right for you.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

Healthy alternatives to unhealthy coping mechanisms

How you de-stress can help or hurt your health. Check out some common coping mechanisms and see if your go-tos are helping or hurting your health.
Continue reading
Everyday Care

What Those Aches and Pains Really Mean

Getting to the root cause of your pain will speed up diagnosis and recovery. Take control of your pain today.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

New Challenge to Improve these 6 Areas of Your Health

Tap here for practical ways to improve your lifestyle habits. Amazon Care is offering a free six-week email course to help you form better habits.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

A 3-Part Series to Help you Build Habits Rooted in Happiness

Tap here for 5 habit hacks to keep new habits sticking all year long.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

How One Mom Juggled Virtual School and Full Time Work During COVID-19

Anna Edwards, President of Families@, shares her list of top parenting tips for working from home. Tap here to read them.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

What It’s Like To Be a First-Time Parent In 2020

On February 20th, Pooja Roaorane and Anupam Dighe welcomed their first child into the world, days before Seattle went into lock-down. Read their story.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

How One Amazon Mom Balances Work, Family, and The Pandemic

Tiffany Spatafore, Head of Brand Development at Amazon Music, and her family have been together in their small Seattle home since the pandemic started.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

5-minute Breathing Exercises to Help You De-stress Anywhere

There are many different ways to focus on your breathing, you are bound to find one that feels good. Tap here for 4 to try now.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

Simple Ways to Make Moving Your Body Easier and Enjoyable

Studies show that exercise lowers your blood pressure, blood sugar and helps you sleep. Tap here for a list of ways to make it easier to get and keep moving.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

Stress Relief Techniques That Actually Work

Tap here for 4 ways to help your body breathe a sigh of relief and know that, everything is okay.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

4 Practical, Feel-Good Habits Worth Forming in 2021-And How to Do It

Read on for four habits you can implement today to take better care this coming year.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

The Rise of Digital Health in Charts

Virtual healthcare has taken off in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tap here for a list of the top trends in the industry according to experts.
Continue reading
Everyday Care

Delaying Medical Care During COVID-19. There’s a Better Way.

A healthcare clinician, whether in times of stress or critical need or for routine checkups, can help prevent chronic conditions and improve quality of life.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

How To Make Your WFH Setup More Comfortable (and Healthy).

Customize your office to improve your posture and get moving. Stretching can also help to alleviate any back, shoulder, and neck pain. Tap here for 3 stretches.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

Small Diet Changes That Lead to the Biggest Health Changes

Plant food based diets significantly lower your risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease. Tap here for a few ways to start eating well.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

A 3-Week Habit-Building Challenge to Start Off the Year Right

Each week, you will receive an email detailing how to select habits that will help you to set reasonable and attainable goals.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

How Can I Help My Kids Manage Stress in a Healthy Way?

Tap here for a list of signs that your child may be experiencing stress and anxiety, and what parents can do to help kids cope when those feelings arise.
Continue reading
Community

Meet Three Muralists Spreading Care Around Seattle

Tap here to learn more about these three remarkable artists and their creative inspiration behind each mural.
Continue reading
Everyday Care

A Guide to Kid Fevers

If you are worried about fever, you are in good company, and it doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong. Tap here to learn when you should call a doctor.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

Six Steps for Getting Better Sleep —and Why It Matters to Your Overall Health

Too little sleep makes us irritable and causes headaches, stomach troubles, anxiety and depression. Tap here for 6 steps to getting better sleep.
Continue reading
Everyday Care

3 Ways To Keep Your Family Safe From Wildfire Smoke

Here are 3 ways to ensure the safety of you and your family.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

How to Capture the Healing Power of Nature at Your Desk

Tap here to learn how sunlight, listening to natural sounds, and a stress reduction playlist can be as healing as the great outdoors.
Continue reading
Everyday Care

Now Available: Primary And Preventive Care Services

Amazon Care is now offering even more healthcare services to care for you and your family, including primary and preventative care. Learn how to get started.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

Managing Loneliness During the Holidays

If you find yourself feeling stuck in it this season, here are 6 steps you can take to connect to others and deepen your connection with yourself.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

Why Can't I Sleep?

Hours of sleep does not necessarily correlate with quality. Care Medical clinicians can help you to identify sleep issues and manage better nighttime habits.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

Creative Ways to Find Community During COVID-19

There are lots of good options for finding like-minded folks with whom you can spend your time safely online or outdoors. Tap here for 3 places to start.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

Worried about Quarantine Drinking Habits? Here’s What to Do

Tap here for 3 signs of high-risk drinking and how to cut back. Too much alcohol can lead to the development of chronic diseases and mental health problems.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

5 Ways to Cope With Seasonal Depressive Disorder, as told by Amazonians

Limited sunlight in fall and winter can cause a drop in serotonin, the brain chemical that affects mood. Tap here for 5 tips to cope through the winter months.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

Your Complete Guide to Sore Throats (And How to Treat Them)

Sore throats are one of the most common reasons people see their family practitioner. Learn about sore throat causes, treatment and when to seek care.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

Three Strategies for Breaking Negative Thought Patterns in Minutes

If you find yourself worrying over something you think might happen, you can do these 4 steps in your head or write them on a piece of paper.
Continue reading
Health and Wellness

Making Big Leaps with Moderation: Updating Your Relationship with Risky Substances

Research shows that substance use is on the rise in COVID-19. Interested in exploring your relationship to substances? Tap here to try these 4 tips.
Continue reading
Everyday Care

How to Know if You Have a Cold, the Flu, or COVID-19

Tap here to see charts with information from experts to help you interpret your symptoms.
Continue reading
Community

Fun Ways to Protect You and Your Family this Halloween

There are fun ways to enjoy Halloween this year while also mitigating the risk of contracting or spreading COVID.
Continue reading
Pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness
Health and Wellness

Breast Cancer Awareness

Let us answer some commonly asked questions about breast cancer so you can arm yourself with the information you need to prioritize your breast health.
Continue Reading
Breast Cancer Awareness
Person with thumbs up and bandage on arm after an immunization
Health and Wellness

A Fresh Look at COVID-19

Consider this your up-to-date guide to stay as safe as possible for the rest of 2021 and beyond.
Continue Reading
A Fresh Look at COVID-19
A colorful salad sits on top of a wooden table.
Health and Wellness

You Can Strengthen Your Immune System—Here’s How

Give your immune system the boost it needs with these vitamins, foods, and healthy habits.
Continue Reading
You Can Strengthen Your Immune System—Here’s How
Download the app to get started
Click to download from the App StoreClick to download from Google Play
Care Team available for virtual care or questions 7 days a week through the app*
Make appointments in advance - around your schedule
In-person follow-up care when you need it*
* Only available in select locations.