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Sideline Stress on Game Day

Sideline Stress on Game Day
Dr. Constance Odom, MD Picture of Dr. Constance Odom, MD

Medically reviewed by

Written by our editorial team.

Last Edited 5 min read

You would think that all the screaming and yelling occurring during the Super Bowl with each touchdown pass, referee call, or missed tackle are great stress relievers. On the contrary, cardiologists warn that the stresses of the Super Bowl and any other major sporting event can cause spectator risk regarding heart attacks and high blood pressure complications. It’s not just the game itself that can be upsetting, there are a number of factors that create significant levels of stress during the Super Bowl season.

Planning the Party

If there is one thing the Super Bowl is known for, besides the actual game, it is the fabulous parties that sports enthusiasts host. It doesn’t even matter which teams are playing for many people. Super Bowl Sunday is a day of eating, drinking, and relaxing with friends. Unfortunately, it isn’t relaxing for everybody. Hosting a party or dinner and inviting a houseful of eager football fans over is stressful. There is a lot that goes into making sure your home is guest-ready, whether it be cleaning things from top-to-bottom, finding a place for the pets, or wondering how to keep your kids from eating all the candy before the game. The pre-planning phase can just as stressful as watching the score bounce back and forth. Fortunately, there a few things you can do to minimize the toll planning for the big day that will take on you.

•      Keep the menu simple. Have everyone that plans on coming to bring their favorite game-day snack and beverage to reduce how much work you have to do.

•      Strategically clean different areas of your house, but don’t take the job too seriously. Your friends and family are there to watch the game, not criticize the clutter in the office.

•      If there are children that will be in attendance, have a separate room for their own viewing party or have a popular new release movie playing. Have some kid-friendly snacks that they can access on their own, rather than interrupting the adults when the score is tied.

The Financial Risks

While this may not apply to everyone, major sporting events are popular betting opportunities. Though sports betting is still being legalized across the country, the friendly office pool might have you stressed. Whatever your reasons may be for placing a wager, watching the game unfold can bring additional stress if you know there is money at stake. There could also be the pressure to plan a huge feast or splurge for the best beer or liquor for the party, and if your finances are tight, this could be a problem. You might spend the prior week and the weeks after wondering how you are going to afford the cost of the party.

Being the Designated Driver

If you are a good friend or if you are on a mission to make sure everyone stays safe, you may have volunteered to be the designated driver for gameday. Football and beer seem to go hand in hand, and when the game is epic, so will the drinking. Worrying about your friends’ safety on the way home may have you sticking your neck out and volunteering to take people home. However, if you have to get up early for work the next morning, you might worry about not getting to bed at a decent time. Though it is just a small thing, the more you dwell on something unpleasant, the greater the stress you develop. You may even find yourself nervously checking the clock the whole evening, twirling your hair or constantly running your hands over your head. This nervous habit might be calming, but watch out. In prolonged periods of high stress, you might experience hair loss as a side effect. Even though the Super Bowl is just one night, it could be the final breaking point for some of your more frazzled and weakened hair follicles.

The After-Party

Even though your guests may have left the party, the night doesn’t usually end for many people. Riding the emotional high of a thrilling game and perhaps encouraged by a bit of a buzz, many couples take their celebrations to the bedroom. If you struggle with intimacy or have body image concerns, the thought of your own personal after-party could have you preoccupied during the game and struggles with insecurities. While sex is said to be a great stress reliever, sometimes just getting to that point can be stressful. Killing the enthusiasm of the night with a talk about your fears and anxiety isn’t recommended, but it is definitely a conversation you want to have with your partner if you don’t want to suffer from long-term stress.

Super Bowl stress can sabotage your party plans and ruin your evening. Take the game in stride and proactively address these areas of potential stress.


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This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.