World Mental Health Day 2017

10th Oct 2017 | Written by Gemma Simpson

Today is World Mental Health Day and Triathlon Scotland is signed up to the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s Mental Health Charter for Sport. The Charter outlines five actions that we, as a sector, can take to help make mental health a commonly understood matter and to help those in need. It sets out how sport can use its collective power to tackle mental ill health and the stigma that surrounds it.

What are mental health problems?
Mental health problems can affect the way you think, feel and behave. Some mental health problems are described using words that are in everyday use, for example ‘depression’ or ‘anxiety’. This can make them seem easier to understand, but can also mean people underestimate how serious they can be.

A mental health problem feels just as bad, or worse, than any other illness – only you cannot see it. Although mental health problems are very common – affecting around one in four people in Britain – there is still stigma and discrimination towards people with mental health problems, as well as many myths about what different diagnoses mean.

World Mental Health Day 2017

The World Mental Health Day 2017 theme is workplace wellbeing.  Stop for a minute and think, how do you look after you wellbeing in work?  For guidance and support, the Scottish Association of Mental Health have created a booklet that can give you some ideas for prioritising your mental health in work.

It is also important to maintain good mental health in training.  Tri Radar recently published an article giving advice for how we can all keep our mental health on top form while training.  The top tips are below and you can read the full article here.

  1. Recognising that fatigue will affect your mind as much as your body. If you are going to push your body hard your mind will need to be strong. Training your brain or making allowances if you are susceptible to mental health problems. Less training is more than no training.
  2. Relaxation or recovery for your brain. This can be solo time doing an activity you enjoy, some people like long, hot salt baths, what about meditation. Anything that can allow your mind to switch off. This might be perfect before bed to ensure a good night sleep or first thing in the morning to setup your day (even better both!).
  3. Eating the right foods. Fresh produce, lean protein and healthy fats rich in omega 3 are proven to help your mind work just as much as your body. Eat as cleanly as possible. Great sources of omega 3 are fatty fish such as salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel, flax or chia seeds and chicken which has been fed on flax seeds.
  4. Communicate with your partner, family or friends. When you have a close relationship with someone they should be able to tell you when you are acting off. Hard training can lead to burnout, or mental fatigue, which might make you moody, depressed and irritable.
  5. Find your reason why or your motivation. If you have something you can focus your mind on, such as an end goal like an event, trophy or competition it’ll keep you focused. You can find your why anywhere but it should light you up. This can be raising money for a charity that speaks to you, maybe it’s your family or even proving to yourself that you can do this.

You can also visit Triathlon Scotland’s Get Active page – Your Mental Health – for advice and support.  Just click here.

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