How Sports on TV is Helping my Mental Health
and how it helps me be a better husband.
I love sports and I love television. I’ll admit it — I’ve spent thousands of hours of my life over the past fifty plus years watching and enjoying competition in just about every sport imaginable. And I don’t feel like a minute has been wasted.
I’ve integrated watching sports with being happily married, raising three children, having a successful career, and staying physically active. If you read my life story you’d say I was well balanced and have done alright for myself.
There has been one hiccup. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about fifteen years ago. In spite of it, with the help of a caring doctor and daily doses of effective medications, I’ve been able to carry on and pretty much accomplish all I’ve set out to do in spite of the daily struggle with my mental health.
Like you, COVID-19 has forced me indoors more and curtailed my social activities. I’ve become much more isolated and my introverted nature has led me to become somewhat of a recluse. I venture out with the encouragement of my wife, but I generally have no desire to leave the house. Sports on television has been a lifeline for me.
Other than my family, my communication with the outside world is through the world of sports on television. Fortunately, baseball, basketball, hockey, tennis, golf, soccer, and football are back and I’m happily perched in front of the screen.
How is sports on television good for my mental health? There are a few ways:
- It keeps me engaged with the outside world. If it weren’t for watching sports I’d have very little engagement with the outside world. I do read the news, but I don’t watch it on TV because I find it to be slanted toward sensationalism. Sports has integrated social issues, such as civil inequalities, and it has postively influenced my reading and my writing.
- It makes me happy. I love a well-played game or match. Watching the best athletes in the world compete against each other is still a thrill for me after all these years. I admire their dedication and competitive nature, and many happy memories of playing sports in my youth surface when I’m enjoying an event.
- It makes me a better husband. If I’m engaged with the outside world and feeling happy, I’m a better partner for my wife. Instead of brooding over what COVID has done to our lives, I can share my enjoyment of sports on television with her. It’s not unusual for her to walk by the television, get interested in an event because of a close score, and watch with me. It allows us to spend time together and enjoy a good game together.
Once the shroud of COVID lifts, I’m sure I’ll dial back on the sports watching and get out of the house more. My wife and I have taken many nice walks together and enjoyed a couple of short getaways in the past six months, which has also been good for my mental health. Thoughts of seeing friends in person and physically being at church, instead of watching online, keep me hopeful that my reclusive nature is only temporary.
It may seem like a shallow solution to some, but what matters to me is that sports makes an important, positive contribution to my daily struggle for good mental health. Maybe it’s not watching sports on television, but I hope you have a good outlet that helps keep you mentally healthy during these challenging times, and beyond.