Have you, or do you know of anyone who has suffered with mental health problems? I'm willing to bet yes. You might be suffering yourself, or you might be someone who suffers at certain points of the year, after bad performances or even under heavy training load.
Regardless of your reasons for reading this, I'm willing to put money on you being able to implement one or more of these practises and, in turn, seeing better athletic performance.
Here's my top 10 tips to better mental health, from a professional coach and sufferer of Bipolar Affective Disorder.
- Understanding: Understanding that you are human and not ‘bullet-proof’, we all face challenges and this might include mental ones. Accepting this is the first step to better mental health.
- Nutrition: The healthier you can eat the healthier your mind will be. Fresh and organic produce, clean cuts of lean meat and healthy fats all promote a healthy mind as much as they do body.
- Exercise/Training: Just moving your body for at least thirty minutes per day will help you feel refreshed and alive. When you are training you should factor in how this might affect your mentality, doing too much might cause as much mental fatigue (burnout) as it will physical fatigue.
- Motivation: Find a reason to work on your mental health. This might include family, work, training, anything. Use visualization, print pictures or relate this to music you can play when you’re having a hard time.
- Support: You can’t do this alone. If you’re not ready to tell your partner, family members or friends then tell a stranger. Therapy or support groups will give you reassurance that you’re not alone.
- Relaxation: Find time in your day to relax. Meditation is great, check out the Headspace app. You will need to learn to love yourself in the process to having good mental health.
- Communication: Learn to communicate, this is essential. If you struggle to talk about your problems with close family members or friends then, again, a stranger is a good start. You could record yourself talking about your day, like a journal or diary, and show it to someone. Even playing it back to yourself might be useful for dealing with your problems.
- Focus: Learn to focus. Focusing on the reason you are working on your mental health. Again you can find your motivation and then ensure you spend some part of your day working on it.
- Grace: Having grace with yourself when you have bad days. You might not be mentally healthy for the rest of your life, this is ok. If you have a bad day, accept that and move on without punishing yourself.
- Consistency: Consistency is key. You don’t have to be perfect with these principles but being good with them for a longer duration will make them easier to achieve. Make small changes and go slow. Soon you’ll find that you’re close to perfect and it’s part of your normal routine.
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If you’d like more information on how Spokes can tailor a mental fitness programme to your exact needs, why not check out our products and services. Need more info or would you like to speak to one of our coaches? Get in contact.