Monday, October 12, 2009

Who you gonna call? Stress Busters!!!

Tis the season for stress.

It's crossover season. For those of you reading this who are not immersed in the SID world or up to date on your SID lingo, 'crossover season' is the time of year when the sports seasons overlap. For the SID, we have two such crossover seasons. Currently, we are experiencing the first of the two as the fall sports are heading down the stretch and will be soon gearing up for conference tournaments and national postseason events while the winter sports - in particular, men's and women's basketball, get ready to fire up.

Crossover season is a stressful time. There is much to do and very little time, it seems, to do it all in.

In my 11th year as a SID, and I swear I feel less and and less prepared and ready each time a crossover season hits. (And in my humble opinion, the winter-to-spring sports crossover season is the worse.)

But this is not a column about crossover season. (Although, one will be coming, I'm sure.) This blog post is about dealing with stress. And right now, I'm feeling a ton of it.

See, this is not a normal crossover season. I have been such the great mentor to my assistant that he has be hired as the head SID at King (Tenn.) College in Bristol, Tenn. (King is a NAIA school that is transitioning into membership in NCAA Division II.)

I kid about the great mentoring bit. Only Gene can answer that. I am truly happy for him. This is a great opportunity for him as he will essentially build and shape the sports information department at King from the ground up. (They have not done much in way of sports information before now, and Gene will get the chance to put his mark on things.)

So, in addition to during with crossover season, I'll being doing it by myself for the first time in 3 years (by the way, 3 years ago, Union had 6 fewer sports) and while leading a search for a new assistant.

I'm not going to lie. My head is spinning, and I probably should be in bed right now resting up for another busy day ahead. Yet, I feel compelled to blog and share this journey.

It's been hard to focus on what I need to be doing at a given moment. Do I work on football game notes, or what about the basketball media guides or the swimming guide or the bowling guide? I've got how many resumes to look at?

Since I have been dealing with only football in the fall, I'm having to do a crash course on what's been going on with the other fall sports. This is bad of me to say, but I've not kept up with their schedules or when they play next. This is what happens when you have such a good assistant.

As you can tell, the stress is piling up.

Big time.

But I have found a couple of stress relievers that have worked thus far - and I've made my bride promise to help keep me on track.

First and foremost, I make sure I exercise. Lately, I've been enjoying going on 2-3 mile runs. It really clears my mind and helps my body release all that tension. (Plus, it's a great way to listen to more U2 tunes :-D) When I can't go for a run, I use the WiiFit - which has been one of the best gifts my bride has ever bought me.

In addition to being a great stress reliever, exercise provides a couple of other benefits. Keeps me fit and helps fight off the urges to eat, munch and snack all the time - like what happens to a lot of us when we are stressed out. (After all, stressed spelled backwards is desserts LOL)

The other stress buster I'm implementing is forced time off the laptop when at home. There is no way around it, I'm going to have to do work at home during this crossover season, especially with my assistant leaving me after this week. However, I don't want to get in a routine of coming home, firing up the laptop and basically ignoring my bride and kids. My fear is that if I get in the habit now, the trend will continue once a new assistant is in place.

For example, tonight I stayed off during the laptop for three hours so I could eat dinner with my family, go for a run, help put the kids to bed, and watch TV with my bride. I don't want my kids lasting image of me of always being on the laptop. Yes, it will be part of their memory banks, but I don't want them to think/believe that I spent more time on the computer than with them.

In doing this, it helps put things in perspective. Family before work. Yes, there are times work needs to take precedence. But all in all, family should always come first.

These are by no means the only stress busters out there. But I encourage you to find what works best for you. Otherwise, stress will get the best of you and eat you alive.

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