During a year that’s been turned on its head, it’s more important than ever to recognise the importance of mental health. There should be no stigma about mental health, nor talking about how you’re feeling – especially if you’re going through hard times. The difficulties of the pandemic have affected and continue to affect us all differently and it’s ever more important for us to be a support for each other.
In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Week, we at The Sports Edit caught up with some of the friendly faces in our community to check in and see how they’ve been looking after their own mental wellbeing and the mental wellbeing for those around them.
HOW DO YOU LOOK AFTER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH, AND YOUR COMMUNITY?
Chris Magee, The Sports Edit Ambassador
"Self care, and in particular looking after your mental health is vital, especially in times of great change and uncertainty (hello, COVID-19).
In order to keep myself well and balanced I make sure I take frequent technology breaks and get outside to reconnect with nature. Go for a stroll, meet a friend, or sit in a park and watch the world go by for 10 or 15 mins - it makes all the difference!"
Charlotte Holmes, The Sports Edit Ambassador
"My health is nothing unless my mental health is in check. Lockdown has provided the perfect opportunity to reflect on this and remind myself to keep checking in. To keep putting myself. Remember, saying no to things is ok, time on my own is essential and putting myself first isn’t selfish!
Yoga helps me to iron out the mess of anxiety that some times creeps in. Time on my mat allows me alone time with my body and breath to reconnect."
Kerry Dixon and Ashleigh Nelson, The Athlete Method
"Exercise has always been our way to stay on top of our mental well-being and this year challenged it on a huge scale. Alongside, we found regular communication and daily check in’s to speak open and honest about how we were feeling extremely comforting especially as both of our families live outside of London.
We used exercise to connect virtually with our TEAM (of followers) on weekly IG lives. It was beautiful as we were able to connect, build our fitness community and train people from all over the world who may not have ever come across us and it gave us all a sense of togetherness and the ultimate endorphin boost after every session!"
Kat Pither, Yogi Bare
"I am so grateful today, Mental Health Awareness Week exists. Many years ago I buried my mental health as far down as it would go, refusing to acknowledge it and deal with it. But what I didn’t realise was that by burying my demons I was actually giving them so much time to start pumping weights and get stronger. As soon as I made the decision to be open and unashamed of my mental health and anxiety and instead coax it to the surface and treat it kindly and lovingly in all its fluctuations – that’s when I started to live again.
So if you too are playing a giant game of hide and seek with your mental health, here’s some important, nice & worthy things you can do: - make a list of things that you always wish you had time to do but never seem to: all the unread books, all the un watched movies that you pretended you’d seen (The Godfather anyone?), painting, making, DIY, baking. Here are some of my top tips:
Get the ingredients/ materials you need for your list and anything else that’s going to make this season of mental health easier for you. Bubbles for your bath, a freezer full of ice cream etc
Rearrange your space. Wash your bedding. Mix it up. Change your room around. Make it feel fresh & new like you’re staying in a fancy Parisian Airbnb & your name is now Audrey.
Buy some plants. Bring the outside in. Plants to nurture, plants to love on.
As someone who works from home anyway, it can feel like a mental marathon. Days are super long. Plan a little routine, a little structure. Take breaks. Move. Make an epic playlist.
Set up Skype Dates. Make your Dinner. Set your besties up on your laptop and eat together. Eat as much garlic as you like. No one's judging.
When you train a dog to walk by your side you stop & heel regularly. Do the same with your thoughts. Catch & notice when they are spinning off. Pause. Take a step back and remind yourself it’s not helpful or real. Heel as many times as you need. Treat your anxiety like a naughty puppy & love on it instead of letting it pounce and lick you to death."
Laura Beckford, Supernova Living
"We are so, so conscious of our mental health at Supernova HQ. From giving staff time off when they’re feeling anxious or stressed, we don’t shy from the subject. Obviously we have free Supernova to help everyone stay calm, relaxed and in a good ‘headspace’ and we have a positive affirmation on our Instagram every morning.
We also released our first 10 Day RESET in September which was solely focused on Self Optimisation. In such a turbulent time we felt it so necessary to spend 10 days to refocus on ourselves. Check in on yourself and see how we can help ourselves and others. So many bought the books and reduced priced ‘packages’ for friends in need.
We’ve also had more Gratitude Giveaways as a thank you to our community in such a difficult time for small businesses and have given thousands of free, exclusively designed Supernova Sachets to those who needed them the most.
Personally, we have been following a lot of the rituals from the 10 Day RESET book, such as body brushing, cold showers, meditation, raising our heart rates, grounding and of course Supernova, every single day with ingredient proven to keep the body in balance and anxiety reduced by up to 70%."
So there you have it. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to taking care of your mental health. And in such a turbulent year, it’s important to recognise it’s okay to not be okay sometimes. We at TSE hope some of the experiences from our community resonated with you, and that TSE can be a positive source supporting your wellbeing. For official information about mental health services, and to learn how to get support, visit the NHS mental health charities and organisations.