Like most of you, I get hyped up while watching a Cubs game. You know, the feelings of jitteriness, being on the edge of our seats, and trying to anticipate the next play. This hype as I call it doesn’t always go away right after the game is over and might even prevent me from falling asleep at night. While I’m grateful that tomorrow is Friday and many of us don’t have to work on Saturday, I’d like to impart some mental health wisdom as we move into the rest of the post season.
Let me start with one very important concept. The post season is a marathon, not a sprint. Yes, every game counts, but we must keep our eyes on the prize – winning the NLDS first, then the NLCS, and finally the World Series. Let’s take one game at a time and focus on the small victories.
As we make the journey down this long road, embrace the camaraderie of our fellow fans and celebrate that we’ve made it this far. We need to allow ourselves to take in the energy of those around us from time to time, even if it means making some unhealthy food choices, staying up later, or enjoying a round of drinks with friends.
Remember that the adrenaline that pumps through our bodies during the post season is a good form of stress. For all the times we hear people talking about being stressed out over work, family, relationships…you name it, we can give ourselves permission to embrace this opportunity to be stressed out in a good way.
One medical note on stress from a non-medical professional: if you feel tingling, short of breath, lightheaded, dizzy, or anything else that doesn’t go away after a short while, it might be time to visit a medical professional or call 911. This includes if you’ve had too much to drink and are feeling sick as a result. Hopefully no one gets to that point, but we need to recognize when seeking medical treatment is necessary.
Finally, try to be realistic. The Cubs have come a long, long way over the last 100 years and the team has a bright future. For those of you who see the Cubs as underdogs, embrace it. And for all of the realists out there, give yourselves permission to let loose and have a little fun!