Rest, Relax, & Repeat
The sunlight began to play peek-a-boo through the blinds in the window, casting an array of shadows on the carpet. I found comfort in knowing I could pull the covers over my head to rid of the new day that was greeting me. I decided to stay in bed until noon, then indulged in homemade waffles and a much needed Starbucks iced tea matcha latte before making a trip to the grocery store and folding piles of laundry.
Now, I understand how some may read the first paragraph and question how I manage to work sleeping in and Starbucks into my schedule, or what that even has to do with working in minor league baseball. But this particular entry is going to explain the beauty of an off day, and the importance of acknowledging mental health (this is 100% related to sports I swear!) as much as our society does physical health.
At this point in the season, I can officially pat myself on the back for surviving 15 games, two six-game homestands. While my heart misses the game-day atmosphere when the team is on the road, my mind and body crave the hours of rest to recharge.
The conversation of mental health has been lingering in my brain recently because I have seen countless individuals leave the industry due to work conditions that hurt them mentally, physically and emotionally. It makes me realize that not everyone is as lucky as I am to have bosses and colleagues who understand the importance of rest and the reality of burnout. As someone who struggles with mental health and always takes advantage of time given to rejuvenate, I feel that I can help bring awareness to the topic and hopefully help anyone who struggles with the same issue.
Ever since I can remember, the dark cloud of anxiety has been cast over my head. I had anxiety in school as a straight-A student, as an executive board member for extracurricular activities, at any and all social gatherings, and sometimes even at work (yes, it even happens at my favorite place - the ballpark). Honestly, I don’t know where my anxiety has stemmed from or why it persists. I constantly wish the dark cloud would go away and I could just be normal.
For me anxiety comes in many forms during baseball season, and more often during a homestand. My anxiety is the constant build up of clothes on the floor that need to be washed, dishes piling up in the sink, an unmade bed, and the several alarms set on my phone to make sure I wake up on time after a late night at work. To make it sound even worse in my brain, I have worked in sports since my sophomore year of college, yet the factors of anxiety that I know are coming still get me every single year.
Luckily as I have grown older, I have found healthier ways to cope with this such as journaling, bubble baths, retail therapy and actual therapy (shoutout to my girl Tonya for being such a great listener). But, I have found some solace in knowing that you can still love your job and have those days where getting out of bed seems like an impossible task.
I could never imagine myself working in any other industry than sports and it breaks my heart to see talented individuals with the same dreams leave and never look back, because they know staying in sports could lead them to more fatal conclusions.
To anyone reading this regardless if you work in sports or not, I cannot stress this enough:
Mental health is important.
Going to therapy is cool.
You are not alone.
Seeking help does not make you weak.