Mental strength is as important as physical strength
You may have to fight a battle more than once - Margaret Thatcher
Today is world mental health day, hopefully most of you will know this. It is a day to educate, raise awareness and reduce the social stigma that, unfortunately is still attached to mental wellbeing.
Hopefully those of you reading this are in a good place both mentally and physically. if so congratulations! Carry on what you are doing but take some time out today to think about a colleague or friend who might have changed recently in their mood or you know is struggling for sure. Drop them a text, call them or pop in on the way home to say hello. You don’t have to become a councillor but just let them know you are there as a friend.
Without good mental wellbeing you cannot maintain good physical wellbeing. It is interesting in this modern age where we have what seems like unlimited opportunities, communication with friends and family via 20 different apps and devices. And yet never before has there been such an increase in mental ill health and loneliness.
The mind and body are as one. As an athlete you need to put in place systems to recognise when one is slightly out of balance. If not it will slowly effect the other until you are in a spiral. Recognising when you are starting to feel stressed or overloaded is key before symptoms of depression and anxiety take hold.
Being injured can lead to being depressed because you cannot train and race. If you are coming into training with some personal issues and feeling stressed, anxious or depressed be careful with your training load. Inform your coach and trainer if you are not feeling 100% either physically or mentally. Repeated hard training sessions will place extra strain on your central nervous system not helping your feelings ease and limiting how your mind and body recovers.
So today take some time to check everything is cool with yourself and then someone you know. As they say ‘it’s okay to talk’.