Fall is in the air and that can mean a few things. The air becomes crisp and fresh, the kids are back to school and football season begins. Everywhere from the grocery store to the gas stations, armchair quarterbacks are donning their football jerseys in support of their favorite teams.
Yes, for diehard fans, football begins in the spring with training camp, but officially kicks off (get it?) in the fall. I love football; more importantly, I love Steelers’ football. Football season can bring with it time with friends, great food and a feeling of camaraderie. There’s nothing better than a group of people all cheering for the same team, sharing the joy of a win and dealing with the inevitable defeats. After all, fan is short for fanatic!
However, football season can also add some stress to your life and the lives of those around you. Let’s take a look at the stress football season can cause and how to avoid it.
Don’t lose sight of obligations and commitments
The old cliché of the wife ‘losing’ her husband to football may not be as far-fetched as one would imagine. Both men and women can become obsessed around the game, planning their weekends around football, rather than their loved ones.
Football can also be problematic in the workplace. According to the Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario, almost 58% of employees admitted to taking part in Football Pools during the season. This can also cause added stress in the workplace when you figure in factors such as watching or streaming the game online during work hours. Employees may face disciplinary action when a hobby infringes on company time.
It’s only a game
As a fan, we tie our identities up in the team. They’re our team. When they lose, we lose to a certain degree. But a win is also out of our control. Just as in most situations where we begin to feel stressed, we should not waste time fretting over things we cannot change or control. Stress, as we know, can raise our blood pressure and heart rate. It can affect the efficiency of our immune system as well as disrupt our sleep patterns. Over time, these can all have a negative effect on our mental and physical health.
Football can also reduce stress
As mentioned above, watching the game with family and friends is a great weekend activity and can also be a stress reliever that keeps you away from the malls or other consumer pressures. Laughter is the best medicine they say and after a long week at work, unwinding may be just what the doctor ordered. Like most things in life, moderation is the key. Remember not to take things too seriously. You cannot change the outcome on any given Sunday, so take the outcome for what it is. And at the end of the day, remember what countless parents tell their eight year olds when they take the field at school, ‘It’s only a game. As long as you’ve had fun, that’s all that matters.’
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Photo via Flickr Creative Commons : Elvert Barnes