Wellbeing

How to cope with the aftermath of England v Italy heartbreak

Advice from clinical psychologists to help you heal

‘That England’s gonna throw it away, Gonna blow it away, But I know they can play, ‘Cause I remember, Three Lions on a shirt.”

Ah, how those lyrics get us right in the belly every time.

For anyone out there feeling the heart-sinking feeling of last night’s Euros result, we hear you, we see you, we feel you.

No matter how many times we remind ourselves ‘it’s just a game’, for a moment the magic of hope united our country and made us forget our troubles.

But alas, it wasn’t meant to be, and England bowed out to Italy after nerve-shredding penalties.

[Credit: BBC]

If, like us, you’re feeling deflated today, or have partners or kids struggling to come to terms with the result, then we’ve got some top tips to help cope with feelings of deep disappointment.

First and foremost, Dr Marianne Trent, a clinical psychologist at Good Thinking Psychological Services, wants to remind us to stay kind to ourselves and Gareth Southgate’s team, while explaining why we experience emotions that might seem irrational.

Dr Trent said: “When things matter, and they don’t work out, then disappointment is an understandable and incredibly human reaction.

“When we watch team sport, our physiology mirrors the people we are watching and so our disappointment was actually the same disappointment as that of the England team.

“It’s hard to sustain the biology behind all the suspense and nail-biting moments over such a prolonged period of full time, extra time and penalties.”

She added: “We are always going to have a post-match slump and may feel a bit jittery as a result and disappointment makes it feel all the worse.

“Stay kind to yourself. Stay kind to the team. Remain united. Remain human. It’s okay to have big feelings, just keep them kind.”

[Credit: BBC]

Meanwhile, Andy Chambers at mental health consultancy specialists Born Human, echoed the sentiments, and encouraged people to reflect on the positives.

Andy said: “The sense of disappointment many people will feel waking up this morning is not what we may have hoped for, but as we have all come to appreciate in the past 18 months, we have to take the positives from every situation, regardless how challenging.

“We have the choice to acknowledge and build on our achievements and focus on the incredible feeling it is to overcome tough milestones in life.”

He continued: “Our football team have set a great example of how great things can be achieved with the right attitude and commitment.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day is too much of a delicate analogy, but you get my point.”

[Credit: BBC]

Those of us old enough to remember might recall the Samaritans setting up a telephone helpline to offer counselling to fans when Take That split up in 1996.

Coincidentally, the same year that England lost their Euros semi-final match to Germany when Southgate missed the infamous penalty.

In light of this, Helen Llewellyn, Director of therapy organisation Infinity Wellbeing, says that if emotions become too much bear then it might be time to reach out for professional help.

Helen said: “If you have feelings of depression that last more than a few hours after a disappointing result of a football match, you should talk to a therapist or counsellor.

“If you are employed, ask your manager for details of the employee wellbeing provider if you don’t already have them.”

[Credit: BBC]

Similarly, Dr Shungu Hilda M’gadzah, Director at Inclusion Psychologists Limited, said it’s crucial to express how we feel rather than squash it all down.

Dr M’gadzah said: “There are going to be some sad and depressed people today enduring this week and this will weigh heavy as the whole nation feels it.

“It’s important to express our feelings of disappointment and loss, talk about how you are feeling and help others to do the same, especially children.”

She continued: “It’s also important that people find a way of lifting their spirits and not dwell on what could’ve been. We need to focus on what we achieved in getting so far.

“Send out positive messages and focus attention on the players, helping them recover and this will also help us recover and move on until next time.

“We will regroup and have another opportunity to bring it home.”

Indeed, she might be right…

With the World Cup taking place next year, can it come home from Qatar in 2022!?

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