The current COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the mental health of the soccer community. Players, coaches, decision-makers, administrators, and supporters have all been impacted by the coronavirus, which can cause anxiety, distress, fatigue, a diminished ability to perform, and burnout. Scientific research has revealed several evidence-based techniques which can help Soccerscene readers bolster our mental health, during this challenging time.
Here are some tips for readers to help improve and master our mental health:
Please identify ways to create savouring experiences, thoughts, and emotions. Savouring refers to strategies we can use to create, maintain, and share positive experiences.
- Please use mannerisms and gestures, such as smiling, and greeting each other.
- Please celebrate and acknowledge positive events and moments with others.
- Please write and read affirmations, and positive words and quotes.
- Please create and listen to playlists of music and sounds which are uplifting and inspiring.
- Each night with a beloved person, please identify three positive events that transpired during the day, as well as the causes of these events.
Please adopt a positive attitude of gratitude and appreciation towards yourself and others.
When we are grateful and express gratitude to others, we create positive thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and decrease negativity. A helpful practice is to show gratitude towards our family members, teammates, coaches, staff, and loved ones. When we show gratitude and compassion towards ourselves, we can often withstand challenges and frustrations.
- Please write a positive message to someone important in your life, expressing gratitude. Send this message, or deliver this message directly to the important person.
- Please identify a regret in your life. Please write a reassuring message to yourself, expressing compassion and understanding towards yourself about this regret.
- Please identify an opportunity to offer kindness and assistance to someone in need. What can you do to help someone else – especially during this Covid-19 pandemic?
Mindfulness refers to a psychological state in which individuals experience an awareness of objects in their immediate environment, as well as their current thoughts and feelings.
Individuals who demonstrate mindfulness direct their attention to their present surroundings and their psychological state, but engage in experiential rather than analytical processing. That is, mindfulness refers to sustained or frequent awareness and attention to current and ongoing experiences. People who practice mindfulness develop greater self-esteem, concentration, emotional intelligence, and resilience.
- Every hour or so, please sit quietly for a few minutes with your eyes closed and focus your attention on your breath.
- Then, direct your attention towards your surroundings – What you hear, what you smell, what you can taste, and how your body feels.
- Then focus on your emotions, and thoughts.
- Mindfulness practice can be used by Soccerscene readers in your pre-game preparations to develop focus, reduce anxiety, and build resilience.
Christopher Shen is a Psychologist, based in Melbourne, Australia. He can be contacted at: www.christophershen.com.au