Preparing for the mental side of life without the distraction of sports

SPOKANE, Wash. — In times of crisis in the United States, many people turn to the sports world to distract themselves from what’s going on around them.  This time, it’s the tough situation that has stopped sports from playing.  Where do we turn to for entertainment and escape?

Chadron Hazelbaker is a professor of wellness and movement sciences at Eastern Washington University with a focus on sports in society.  He says the distractions that sports provide are a good thing.

“Looking across the nation, we see community built through sports,” Hazelbaker says.  “What can you talk to your dad about if the touchy-feely stuff isn’t there? I can talk about the weather to my grandfather the farmer, I can talk about sports and talk about the NCAA’s,” he added.

Not having that community to turn to for the forseeable future is something that can impact someone’s every day mental health.

“We already are seeing increases in anxiety, we’re seeing increases in mental health issues like depression,” Hazelbaker explained.

It’s important for people that usually follow sports to find something else to turn to.

“One of the things we’d like people to do is still be able to take part in those community things that sports brings to us,” Hazelbaker says.  “You can do individual sports, you can play things like Tennis where there’s some distance in the game.  So maybe you’re not a watcher anymore, maybe you are a participant.”

It will be interesting to see the trends in what people turn to with sports not being an option, people will need something to entertain them and be that distraction in their lives.