By Sean O’Malley
CAMH Public Affairs
The daily routines of millions of Canadians are about to become disrupted in a major way this week with the beginning of the NHL and NBA playoffs.
If you’re lucky and your favourite team goes all the way to the finals, you will not be back to your regular habits until sometime in late June.
So we thought this would be a good opportunity to tap the expertise of some of our CAMH clinicians about how to experience the playoffs in a mentally healthy and balanced way.
A survey done by a sports website a few years ago confirmed what every sports fan already knows: if you drink, you will drink more during the playoffs.
“Think about your alcohol consumption in advance and have a plan for moderation,” says Dr. Peter Selby, Addiction Medicine Physician and Clinician “If you treat every single game like it’s the Super Bowl, you might find yourself drinking a lot more than you usually do, especially if you are watching the game with friends every other night for two months. Make a conscious effort to pace yourself, including game nights where you abstain.” Also mixing alcohol and cannabis is not recommended and neither is driving a vehicle after drinking or using cannabis.
Dr. Selby adds that it is also a good idea to be mindful of friends who love your team as much as you do but don’t drink.
“Make an effort to make your non-drinking sports fan friends feel included in social evenings. If you are hosting, make sure you have a variety of non-alcoholic options on offer,” says Dr. Selby.