From the gridiron to the hammock: Patrick Mahomes shares his post-game relaxation secrets.

Finding Balance After the Final Whistle: How Patrick Mahomes Unwinds

As the star quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes faces immense pressure on game days. With the weight of an entire city’s hopes on his shoulders, he leads his team onto the field each Sunday, putting his body and mind through the grinder for 60 intense minutes of football. By the time the final whistle blows, Mahomes is drained both physically and mentally. Unwinding effectively after such a high-stakes performance is crucial for his recovery and long-term health. But how exactly does the reigning Super Bowl MVP relax and recharge?

Digital Detox for Deeper Disconnection

In today’s hyper-connected world, it can be difficult for athletes to truly detach from their sport, even after the game is over. For Mahomes, putting away his phone and avoiding screens for a set period of time is an important first step. “I try to stay off my phone and social media for at least a couple hours after each game,” he says. “There’s always analysis and opinions flying around, and I don’t want that energy lingering with me.”

The constant buzz of notifications and breaking news can prolong the adrenaline rush from the game. Scrolling through Twitter and Instagram also risks exposure to negativity or criticism, something Mahomes prefers to avoid in his immediate post-game wind down. “I know people want to talk about the game, but I need some space to process things myself first before engaging online,” he explains.

A full digital detox gives Mahomes the opportunity to be fully present in the moments directly after the final whistle blows. By silencing external noise and disconnecting from virtual connections, he’s better able to tune into how his body and mind are feeling in real time. This deeper level of internal focus aids his recovery and ability to relax.

Connecting with Comfort Through Meals and Memories

Once he’s put away his devices, Mahomes looks to real-life human interaction as part of his unwinding routine. “Sometimes I’ll go out for a nice meal with some of the guys on the team,” he says. “It’s a good way to decompress together and enjoy each other’s company after battling on the field.”

Shared post-game meals provide an opportunity for laughter, inside jokes, and reminiscing on highlights from the game. The positive social bonding helps counteract lingering stress hormones still circulating in his body. Eating comfort foods he enjoys like steak, potatoes, and fruit also aids the relaxation response by satisfying physical needs.

If teammates aren’t available, Mahomes finds solace being with his long-time girlfriend Brittany or other close family members. “Just chatting with those I’m closest to about everything besides football helps me shift my mindset,” he notes. Cuddling with his dogs is another simple pleasure that soothes him. Surrounding himself with loved ones who provide unconditional care, support and perspective helps Mahomes unwind more fully after high-pressure performances.

Active Recovery for Muscle Relief

While downtime with others is restorative, Mahomes also engages in light physical activity as part of his post-game routine. As an athlete, he understands the importance of active recovery to flush out lactic acid and reduce post-exercise muscle soreness. “Some light stretching, yoga, or even just going for an easy jog helps my body unwind and promotes better sleep,” he explains.

Gentle movement gets his blood flowing without exacerbating fatigue. Mahomes favors yoga in particular for its mindfulness-building benefits as well. “Holding poses and focusing on my breath keeps my mind engaged in a calming way,” he notes. Yoga’s combination of physical activity and mental focus aids his recovery on multiple levels.

On days with especially intense games or if he’s feeling particularly tight, Mahomes treats himself to a professional sports massage. “Getting knots and tension targeted can make a huge difference,” he says. Skilled massage therapists help remove metabolic waste from his muscles and improve circulation. The relaxation response is also stimulated through gentle touch therapy. An hour of pampering leaves Mahomes’s body feeling loose, light and ready to recharge.

Soaking Away Stress in the Sauna or Bath

For an even more soothing unwinding experience after high-stakes Sundays, Mahomes enjoys spending time in the sauna or soaking in a hot bath. “The heat really helps my muscles relax and eases any lingering soreness,” he explains. The therapeutic effects of heat therapy go beyond physical relief.

Sweating out toxins in the sauna or submerging in hot water induces the body’s natural relaxation response through increased circulation and the release of endorphins. The warmth is also deeply comforting on a psychological level. “It feels like all the tension just melts away,” says Mahomes. He’ll often listen to calming music or an audiobook while soaking to keep distracting thoughts at bay.

Between the physical relaxation and mental escape, spending 10-15 minutes in the sauna or bath leaves Mahomes feeling completely recharged. “The heat therapy is like hitting a reset button so I can start my week fresh both physically and mentally,” he explains. It’s the perfect passive way to unwind fully before sleep.

Meditation and Visualization for Mental Calm

While physical recovery tactics are important, Mahomes also prioritizes practices that aid his mental recharge after emotionally and cognitively taxing games. He incorporates brief meditation and visualization exercises into his post-game routine for this reason.

Sitting quietly and focusing on his breath for 5-10 minutes helps Mahomes shift out of active thought patterns. “It quiets my mind so I’m not replaying the game over and over,” he says. Simple breathing meditation transports him out of the past and into a place of presence.

Mahomes also finds benefit in guided visualization. “I’ll picture myself somewhere peaceful like on a beach or in the mountains,” he explains. Imagining calming scenarios stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system’s relaxation response. It’s a mental escape that counters lingering adrenaline.

Both meditation and visualization cultivate mindfulness, an ability that serves Mahomes well on and off the field. By training his mind to be fully present, he enhances focus and coping during high-pressure moments. The calming practices also aid restorative sleep, an important part of his post-game recovery routine.

Laughter and Connection Through Fun Activities

While more relaxing activities are a main part of Mahomes’ unwinding routine, he also makes time for pure enjoyment. Laughter releases feel-good endorphins and spending fun time with loved ones provides psychological benefits. “Playing video games, reading, or jamming out to music are great stress-busters,” he notes.

Board games and lighthearted competition with Brittany and friends bring laughter without mental taxation. Curling up with a good book transports him to another world. Music is also therapeutic, whether he’s singing along or simply vibing to a playlist. Creative hobbies provide an outlet and help him unwind more fully.

Nature’s Healing Powers

On days when the weather permits, nothing recharges Mahomes quite like time spent outdoors in nature. “Going for a walk or hike is so peaceful,” he says. Being surrounded by trees and open sky shifts his mindset. Research shows nature has restorative effects through exposure to greenery, fresh air and open spaces.

Walking under the sun or stars has additional benefits beyond the physical activity. “The natural beauty is grounding and puts things in perspective,” Mahomes notes. Appreciating nature’s simple pleasures counters inner mental chatter. Whether he’s strolling through a park or hiking scenic trails, Mahomes always feels revived after spending quiet time in nature’s calming embrace.

Finding His Perfect Recipe

While these unwinding techniques work well individually, Mahomes’ ideal recovery routine usually blends several strategies. “It depends on how I’m feeling, but sometimes I’ll stretch, meditate, take a hot bath and then have a fun game night,” he explains. A mix of physical, mental and social activities tailored to his needs ensures full relaxation.

The key is listening to his body and mind to determine the best post-game formula. Some weeks may call for more active recovery, others a sauna session. Laughter with loved ones might take priority over quiet time alone. Flexibility is important. Through trial and error, Mahomes has crafted a personalized routine that consistently leaves him feeling recharged to take on the next challenge.

With immense pressure comes the need for effective unwinding. By disconnecting from devices, connecting with others, soothing his body and calming his mind, Mahomes has established a recovery process that works for him. It allows both his physical and mental reserves to replenish so he can continue performing at an elite level, week after week. Finding balance through an individualized routine is crucial not only for Mahomes, but any athlete facing intense demands both on and off the field.

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