A regular health and lifestyle column from Corinne Yeadon, of the Being Better private therapy practice based in Newmarket Street, Skipton

MY partner David recently celebrated his nine-year soberversary.

Recovery from alcohol addiction is no easy feat but a darn sight easier than maintaining a drink dependency.

Relationships with alcohol are extremely varied and complex. When does alcohol use trip over into misuse? The lion’s share of people who present at our practice to address their drinking tend not to be people with a physical 24 hour a day, 7 days a week dependency but alcohol is nonetheless causing some major problems in their daily lives.

In theory the closure of pubs and restaurants during the pandemic should herald a nation of people with squeaky clean livers, however sales of alcohol have increased and virtual pubs and boozy zoom parties have sprung all over social media. We are pack animals and social distancing/isolation is a never before experienced situation; ironically, problematic alcohol use is notorious for doing exactly that, creating isolation.

Alcohol is such an integrated part of British culture, justification for drinking can always be found.

In the current climate, it can be easy to rationalise an increase in drinking due to the extreme circumstances.

Alcohol can feel like a panacea for boredom, loneliness, anxiety and low mood. Using alcohol to ‘feel better’ is a risky business and can easily become the ‘go to’ or default setting and create a reliance without even noticing.

• Be mindful of how much and how often you are drinking

• Drink diaries can help keep track

• Consider your mindset when deciding to drink.

The temptation to drink your way through COVID-19 may be appealing, however, habits relating to alcohol are easily and readily formed and could linger around long after the pandemic is over.