Today is #BellLetsTalk Day!
The last 10 months have been hard!
Our lives have been impacted in so many ways. Over the last 10 days, we've shared some articles and resources to remind us how and why sport and being active is important. We've shared why folks play sport, the importance of acceptance to drive continued participation, and the resulting benefits of an active lifestyle - physical and mental well being!
It's okay to not be okay!
Now more than ever, mental health matters, and every action counts!
Small actions, from encouraging physical activity and getting outside to recognizing stressors to being there for a loved one, can all go a long way to help to support mental health and strengthen our communities during this difficult time.
Below is a recap of the research articles we have shared about the benefits of sport, how to get more active, and mental health tips for coaches and athletes to help us navigate our way through COVID-19.
At the end of the article, we have compiled a list of helpful resources and information developed by various organizations like the Canadian Psychological Association and the Centre for Additional and Mental Health (CAMH) on how you can help yourself, your friends, and your family cope with stress and look after their mental health.
24-Hour Movement Guidelines
According to the new 24-Hour Movement Guidelines published by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP), which focuses on healthy living and the benefits of healthy living, "by getting the most out of your whole day by moving more," it can help you:
- Improve fitness.
- Strengthen muscles and bones.
- Improve mental health and wellbeing.
The CSEP has also provided some guidance on how to continue to practice healthy movement behaviours in the COVID-19 Era. Check out the article here if you are looking for some ideas.
Acceptance - the Hallmark of a Quality Sporting Experience
Research indicates that regardless of skill, age or gender, individuals continue to participate in sports as they feel a sense of belonging and acceptance.
Acceptance is achieved in one of two ways:
- Engagement in sport is through effort, which improves performance and leads to acceptance through successful performance.
- Engagement in sport first comes through acceptance, which then drives effort, which improves performance.
Regardless of the path, it is acceptance, this sense of belonging, that fuels a life-long passion for sport, which leads to a healthier, more active lifestyle and improved mental health and wellbeing!
Why Folks Start to Play or Get Involved In Sport
Again, regardless of age or gender, the TOP 5 reasons why folks start to and get involved in sport are:
- To Have Fun.
- To improve their skills/learn new skills.
- To be with friends and make new ones.
- To be part of a team.
- For the excitement/challenge of competition.
Sports organizations, activity leaders and coaches that embrace these "whys" as a part of their underlying core values and integrate them into their programs and activities create the accepting environment that develops that sense of belonging and plants the seeds for a lifelong passion for Sport, reaping the benefits of an active lifestyle, improved mental health and wellbeing not just in the short term but in the long-term!
Mental Health Tips for Athletes, Coaches and Sport Administrators
COVID-19 has limited and changed our ability to reap the benefits of sport and physical activity. This has affected us all in different ways and similarly impacted our health and wellness.
As we continue to stay home and stay safe, our friends at the Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC) have put together some Mental Health tips for coaches, athletes and Sports administrators to support our mental health and optimal mental performance to help us through to the other side of this pandemic.
- Pre and Post Daily Routines. Create a pre-day and a post-day routine to bookend your work or school day.
- Get excited for new solutions. Adopt a solutions-focused mindset and challenge yourself to find new and better ways of doing things.
- Cognitive fitness. Find fun and creative ways to engage your mind in diverse and meaningful ways. Take an online course, read a book, do a Sudoku or crossword puzzle, etc.
Check out the full list of tips in the article here!
ADDITIONAL ARTICLES AND RESOURCES
Articles, Factsheets and Information:
- SIRC: Supporting the Psychological Wellbeing of Athletes: What Can Coaches Do?
- CAMH: Mental Health in the World of Sport
- Canadian Psychological Association: "Psychological Works" Factsheet: Psychological Impacts of COVID-19
- Canadian Mental Health Association: Mental Health for Life
- Candian Mental Health Association: Supporting a Loved One
- Kids Help Phone: How to Help a Friend
- Kids Help Phone: Asking for Help
- Canadian Mental Health Association: Getting Help