Katie Billham

Home is somewhere we all seem to have found ourselves a lot recently, and for many of us Uni students, that has meant spending way more time with our parents and siblings, significant others, or friends than we are used to. For many people, this has meant figuring out some new ways of coping, whether that be keeping busy picking up new hobbies, or just figuring out how to spend as much time out of the house as possible. 

Substance abuse was an overwhelming response to the question I put out. Humorous on the surface, yes, but numerous studies show that Covid-19 could be seriously affecting the drinking habits of the UK population. In times of stress people tend to fall back on things which they believe will make them feel better. A YouGov/Portman Group surveyi on alcohol consumption suggests that 35% of adult drinkers are consuming more alcohol than they were pre-lockdown. Boredom is also a key factor. For those of us with few hobbies, there is very little to do with our days, and particularly very few ways to avoid those we are living with, without an excuse to get out. A separate study conducted by YouGovii showed that 15% of those who increased their drinking during the outbreak have experienced related problems, such as an inability to work or increased stress in relationships.  

However, while potentially damaging, it has also resulted in some good distractions. Fake clubs, complete with ID checks on the door, video call drinking games with mates and a LOT of beers in the sun over the last few weeks. With pubs re-opening it seems as if, for a lot of us, our reliance on drinking at home will be reduced, and most will be jumping at the opportunity to get out of the house and finally get that long awaited pub pint in. 

Music seems to have been more important than ever in keeping people sane. Since the videos of balcony concerts in Italy, music has kept on giving brief respite from the madness of the world at the moment. Many artists have taken the opportunity to release new tracks; Waterfront have been doing virtual live gigs via their Instagram and some absolutely incredible online duets have been created with some amazing artists. Whether you’re tapping into the new tracks, revelling in some old favourites or enjoy the collaborations, I’m certain that there are very few people who haven’t tapped into their musical side at least once over the last few months. We’ve even created our own Storehouse team playlist, full of everything we’ve been listening to in order to cope. 

The great outdoors has been a welcome distraction from the news and our families. Walks, picnics, runs and even just sunbathing have kept lots of us busy and happy in the last few months. The health kick inspired by the pandemic is permeating social media, and seems to be one of the healthier ways people are staying occupied.

Mostly, I think, people are just keeping busy. There is a definite fear of what’s coming for us in the future, and not many people are willing to face up to the scary fact that we don’t really know what’s going on at the moment. Surviving day-to-day is the best most of us can do, and that looks different for everyone. 

Words: Katie Billham, Storehouse Content Team

Illustration: Freya Kemp, Storehouse Content Team, @freyaelise

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