Part of being a sports fan is enduring the pain of losing, this is a quick guide to the steps to help move on..

Acknowledge your feelings.
Sometimes people allow things like the performance of their favorite team to affect their emotions. That’s okay. If you are angry or upset about your team losing, don’t pretend otherwise. Give yourself a chance to vent a little bit, or at least be disappointed.[1]

• Keep control. Because it’s only a game, there is no reason for your anger or sadness to lead to personally destructive behavior. If you are at the game, go ahead and yell a bit, but avoid shouting at other fans (especially fans of the other team). Avoid stirring up fights or throwing things as well.[2]

Talk to other fans.
Sports are a great communal experience, and even if you are watching alone at home, there are other people out there enjoying the game too. Call your friends who are also fans to let off steam and cope with the disappointment of a losing team. Consider joining a fan club or online forums to talk more about your disappointment and even brainstorm ways to fix what went wrong. If you are going to suffer, it’s better to do so with other fans.[3]

Eat something.
Food can be a great comfort when faced with disappointment, including watching your team lose. Just make sure to eat healthy if you can. People tend to reach for sweets and other unhealthy foods when dealing with a loss. Instead, make sure you are surrounded by healthier foods so that you aren’t tempted to pack on the pounds after defeat.[4]

• Comfort food, a term for rich foods that tend to make people feel good after eating it, are popular choices after a loss. They are filling, and may remind people of pleasant memories like childhood, and other things to take the mind off of losing. Look for hearty foods like macaroni and cheese, stews, pot pies, meatloaf, and sweets, which are all popular “comfort” choices. To make these options a bit healthier, consider using lower fat creams and cheeses, swapping out beef for turkey in meatloaf or chili, or adding vegetables. If you are looking for something sweeter, eat darker chocolate.[5]

Avoid overeating. While it is okay to enjoy a little snack to feel better after a loss, remember to control your portion size. Use smaller plates when eating to prevent you from overdoing it, and put away the snack after putting some on your plate.

Turn off the TV.
If you are watching the game, and your team loses, you don’t have to wallow in your disappointment. Turn off the television and do something else. Find another activity to take your mind off of the result.[6]

• You’ll want to find something that has nothing to do with the team or game you just watched. Read a book, cook something, or watch a movie that takes place in an exotic location. Make sure you are doing something completely different.

Get a little exercise.
Some physical activity can be a good way to work off the frustration of watching your team go down in defeat. Even just a few pushups or jumping jacks, or a quick jog, can help work off your stress and disappointment. It can also give you an energy boost and stave off further anxiety over your team’s performance.[7][8]

Remember it’s just a game.
Your life is full of more important things than who wins and loses a game that you aren’t even playing in. While people can lose sight of this in the excitement of a game, it is always a good reminder after a loss. This doesn’t make your disappointment at losing any less real, but can help you move past it quickly.

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