Tips to protect your mental health, sobriety during the holidays3 min read
Thanksgiving is the kick-off to the holiday season and you may be concerned about over-indulging on food or alcohol, especially when this time of year can be stressful.
So an addiction and recovery expert talks about how to navigate spending time with family members, especially if there are mental health issues or addiction in your family.
“Always don’t give up, you know! And even if there’s a slip, get back on the horse,” said Adam Jablin, an addiction and recovery expert.
Jablin also said the holiday season can be quite challenging for many people so it’s normal to feel stressed out if you’re going to be around family.
“We have to realize they push our buttons the most because not on purpose because they’re the ones that installed them. That’s why they push them the most,” he explained.
And while visiting family members, if you begin to feel overwhelmed, Jablin said you should take care of yourself by walking away to collect your thoughts.
“I actually will excuse myself and go to the bathroom. Okay, it’s just my own thing. And I’ll splash some water on my face, calm myself down,” Jablin added.
Even taking a walk around the neighborhood can give you time to take deep breaths and reset.
Jablin also urges you not to stay with family if you can afford it because that healthy separation allows you to have an exit plan.
“If everyone else in the family is getting carried away, say you have to go and excuse yourself. So there’s power in taking care of yourself and having your own car keys there,” Jablin said.
And for those in recovery, the stretch from Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Year’s is often referred to as The Bermuda Triangle of Addiction, where drugs, alcohol and family issues can intermingle in the perfect storm.
And just like ships and planes mysteriously vanish in the Atlantic Ocean, the holiday season is often when addicts and alcoholics disappear from AA and NA meetings.
So Jablin recommends staying committed to your recovery every single day.
“So what I do is I really double down on emotional well-being, spiritual well-being and physical well-being,” he said.
And if you don’t have anyone traveling with you on your visit, ask a friend to be your check-in.
“I’m asking you to be there for me and don’t judge me. I may have to vent. I may have to cry. I may have to yell but I need someone. It’s so essential,” Jablin said emphatically.
But for those struggling with an addiction or a mental health issue, Jablin begs you not to put off getting help.
“Sometimes all of us need a time-out. A time-out where they can really focus on themselves. 28 to 30 days is a blip on the radar, compared to the rest of your life,” he said.
If you’re struggling with a mental health issue or addiction, you can call the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay 24-hours a day, 7 days a week by dialing 211.
And Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings are now on zoom so you can join an online meeting, whenever you need one.
Also if you’re interested in getting in touch with Adam Jablin, visit https://adamjablin.Com/.