The rise of wine-o-clock

The rise of wine-o-clock

I was interviewed by Steve and Basil from 6PR morning show on Friday asking about the reasons behind the rise in wine-o-clock and whether it was a “bad” thing. They asked “isn’t it good to have a glass of two to relax each day?”

It’s a sentiment shared by many well-meaning, health-oriented men and women.

Wine-o-clock is a term to signify the growing emergence of women itching for their first glass of wine to signal the beginning of “me” time. So in other words, it’s that moment when you “take a load off” and relax from the hectic day that you’ve just had.

And this is precisely why wine-o-clock is something that has resulted in the rise in the number of women drinking. Because of anxiety based triggers.

So why is this happening?

Simply put, it’s stressful, busy lifestyles where women are juggling numerous responsibilities at full speed – including motherhood, work and relationships. You get to the end of the day and you want the fastest way to relax. Cue the glass of wine!

So here begins the health dilemma. Most people would not know that alcohol is a type one carcinogenic – the same as asbestos and formaldehyde. And you would see people running a mile from those!

Past research showed that a maximum of two standard drinks per day was the safest way to consume alcohol – however in the past few years there has been other research contradicting this. In 2009 the UK organisation, Breast Care, commissioned a One Million Women study on the impact of alcohol on breast cancer. And the results were staggering.

The research findings showed that for every daily drink women have, their risk of breast cancer increased by 12%. So if you’re a regular two glass per night consumer, your risk of breast cancer increases to 24%. So in a nation that has a huge support for breast cancer awareness, why is it that very few women know about this statistic.

That’s in addition to the long list of other health issues including fertility, liver disease, a long list of cancers and impact on mental health such as anxiety and depression.

So that leaves us back where we started. If we’re drinking to relax, what do we need to do instead of this?

  1. Firstly, we need to identify why we’re drinking – is it stress, to relax, to unwind?
  2. If so, look at ways to reduce down your stress throughout each day. Be mindful, slow down, observe when you are at the most stressed then look at ways to prevent this from occurring.
  3. Consider how much you are actually consuming (see my other blog topic for this one!)
  4. Find other ways to unwind at the end of each day. A great one is to exercise – go for a walk around the block when you get home as a way to unwind rather than reaching for a glass of wine.
  5. Substitute or alternate water for wine. This keeps you hydrated.
  6. Take stock. If cutting down on your daily wine-o-clock frightens you, you may want to consider seeking professional counselling to look at the underlying cause of your drinking.

If you, or someone you know, is looking for guidance with their drinking consumption, contact The Whitehaven Clinic on 1300 766 925 or email info@whitehavenclinic.com.au.