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Edmonton psychologist explains how to get out of the post-season blues

A group of Edmonton Oilers fans console each other after the Game 7 loss on June 24, 2024. (Sean McClune/CTV News Edmonton) A group of Edmonton Oilers fans console each other after the Game 7 loss on June 24, 2024. (Sean McClune/CTV News Edmonton)
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It's been a few days, Oilers fans. How are you doing?

From the bottom of the league to making it to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, Edmonton Oilers fans have often described themselves as feeling "depressed" after the final result.

Registered psychologist Dr. Ganz Ferrance spoke with CTV News Edmonton on what Oilers fans are enduring mentally after coming so close to winning the Stanley Cup and how to manage those feelings.

"I think it's hitting us harder because it's been so long since we've been to the Stanley Cup Final," Dr. Ferrance said. "There was an expectation of hope, a real desire for us to get back there again and to go all the way to Game 7, and then just lose… I think this is where that hit comes."

According to Dr. Ferrance, individuals might think the safest thing to do in a disappointing situation is to simply not care, but warns that this is counter-intuitive since caring is how a person can feel joy and enthusiasm.

So how can you prevent feeling so intensely about a bad outcome?

Dr. Ferrance believes that a 'three-carat process' of always having two to three things to look forward to can take an individual out of feeling down in the dumps.

"It's good for our brains, and it's good for our emotions," he said. "There's joy and an uplift of emotions and brain chemistry where we get into a positive state of being when looking forward to an event and then experiencing it."

"The downside of when something doesn't come off the way we want will suck for a while. It will pass but we still have the benefits of all the excitement, the drive and the togetherness that happened on the way there," he added.

Dr. Ferrance believes that Edmontonians especially get emotional over losses because of our city's former namesake.

"It's part of our culture, it's part of our identity. We used to have the sign outside the city, 'the City of Champions'... we feel a loss, not just for our guys that did such an amazing job getting to the Stanley Cup Final, but also the loss of identity that we haven't been able to regain for several years," Dr. Ferrance said.

According to him, giving yourself space for your feelings and then looking at the brighter side of the situation often helps when coping with loss – but also talking to someone can go a long way.

"If you're stuck and you can't move forward, talk to somebody – a good psychologist can help," he added. "It's really normal to feel grief and sadness and disappointment at a loss like this but it's also an opportunity for us to build that muscle, believe it or not."

With files from Connor Hogg.