How the Super Bowl can boost your mental health

JOPLIN, Mo. – No matter where Elizabeth Standridge goes, she takes her team spirit with her.

“It’s actually more interesting over the last couple of years because I’ve been all over the country as a travel nurse and every Sunday I would wear some sort of Chiefs something, so generally somewhere in the country I can find some person that says something about it,” said Standridge, a family nurse practitioner with Freeman.

Being a Chiefs fan here in Joplin means making easy connections with patients who share her love for football.

“It always brings out something. So, generally, one of your patients will say something and it just starts to spark a conversation and you get a connection with somebody,” she explained.

As a medical worker, Standridge admits the pandemic has caused a lot of suffering. Many people are struggling with their mental health as they deal with the side effects of isolation that can come from COVID-19.girl and dog

“We’ve seen a lot of compassion fatigue. We’ve seen just a lot of disconnect especially with our elderly,” observed Amy Demotta, a Community Crisis Worker for Show-Me Hope.

If you’ve been feeling down, it turns out the Super Bowl can be a real mood booster no matter who you’re rooting for. Similar to exercise, cheering for your team can release endorphins, the hormones that make you happy.

“I think it gives us something to look forward to a little bit of normalcy that you can get together with your family that you see everyday, get to look forward to that good food, get to see those great commercials, and if you have somebody that is not with you everyday, you can Skype them in or Zoom them in,” suggested Demotta.

“It just brings everyone together. So not everybody in the Joplin area can be a Chiefs fan, but it still gives us that rivalry and we don’t have to be there to experience it. It gives us a hope, so something to look forward to,” exclaimed Standridge.

Local health experts are anticipating another spike in COVID cases from Super Bowl parties so they ask people to try to celebrate safely. Officials suggest wearing a mask and social distancing if you plan on tailgating with anyone outside your household.