As a student athlete, you face unique challenges and demands. Maintaining your mental health is just as important as maintaining physical fitness and performing well in academics. Having good mental wellness means that you are able to cope with the stress of being an athlete, reach peak performance, and develop healthy relationships with your peers.
With that said, here are some tips for student athletes to maintain their mental wellness.
Exercise plays an important role in managing anxiety and depression, both common issues facing student athletes. Not only will it improve your physical well-being. But exercise produces endorphins which can help boost your mood. Try going on a run or taking up yoga classes!
Additionally, taking regular breaks from competing or training can help prevent burnout.
Creating a Support System
Having a supportive and understanding network of people is vital to maintaining mental health. This could be either your teammates, coaches, friends, or family members.
So, make sure you have someone you can talk to if things get tough. It is also important to take time out for yourself and do something you enjoy in order to reduce stress levels.
Maintaining Healthy Habits
Eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep are essential for both physical and mental well-being. Eating healthy meals will give your body the energy it needs for performance on the field or court.
At the same time, getting adequate rest helps your mind recover from stressful situations. This includes setting technology boundaries so that it doesn’t interfere with quality sleep.
Its Okay Not to be Okay - Understand That
It is important to acknowledge that mental health issues are common, and there is no shame in seeking help. Mental health should be treated the same way as physical health because it is just as important.
Fair enough! It can be difficult to talk about mental health issues. But there are many resources available to student athletes who need support. It’s ok not to feel ok. Understanding that you may go through tough times and accepting that it is part of life will help you find ways to cope with difficulties.
Additionally, taking the time to practice self-care can help manage stress levels. This includes activities such as journaling, meditating, or simply taking a break from your daily routine. Making time for your passions and hobbies outside of sports can also provide an outlet for stress relief and help foster positive thoughts.
Talking to friends or family members you trust can also provide a sense of comfort and understanding. They can often offer advice or a different perspective on things.
Seeking Professional Help
It is completely normal if you need additional help in managing your mental health. Mental illnesses can be treated.
So, make sure you consult a professional and get the proper help when necessary. Taking care of yourself should always be your top priority. After all, self-care is not selfish.