COVID-19 has truly gripped the World and has forced people to restrict their movements in efforts to reduce the spread of the virus. Sportspeople are no exception.
This has completely changed the way we knew the world. Within a matter of weeks almost all public gatherings and sporting events have been cancelled. Schools have closed and millions of people around the world either have no work or are working from home. These are just a few of the few changes, not to mention lining up at supermarkets, people taking up handwashing seriously and maintaining physical distancing.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) postponed its hallmark event and many other governing and sporting bodies have had to restrict community and sporting activities as well.
This has had a direct impact not only on our Olympic hopefuls but all sports persons at any level here in Fiji.
It’s fair to say we’ve never experienced a time like this. This certainly poses a lot of issues such as wellbeing, safeguarding and general health. A lot of sporting organisations around the world have generated information to help each and everyone impacted by this pandemic. FASANOC takes this opportunity to share this information with not only the sporting fraternity but with friends and family.
Five steps to mental wellbeing
Evidence suggests there are 5 steps you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing. Trying these things could help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life during this trying time.
1. Connect with other people
• Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. They can:
• help you to build a sense of belonging and self-worth
• give you an opportunity to share positive experiences
• provide emotional support and allow you to support others
There are lots of things you could try to help build stronger and closer relationships:
• if possible, take time each day to be with your family, for example, try arranging a fixed time to eat dinner together
• make the most of technology to stay in touch with friends and family. Video-chat apps like Skype and FaceTime are useful, especially if you live far apart
• do not rely on technology or social media alone to build relationships. It's easy to get into the habit of only ever texting, messaging or emailing people
2. Be physically active
The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, or a combination of both.
Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness. Evidence also shows it can also improve your mental wellbeing by:
• raising your self-esteem
• helping you to set goals or challenges and achieve them
• causing chemical changes in your brain which can help to positively change your mood
• The website https://www.darebee.com/workouts.html has some fantastic workouts you can do at home or with the family or while you work from home.
• if you have a disability or long-term health condition, find out about getting active with a disability
• find out about getting started with exercise
• do not feel that you have to spend hours in a gym. It's best to find activities you enjoy and make them a part of your life
3. Learn new skills
Research shows that learning new skills can also improve your mental wellbeing by:
• boosting self-confidence and raising self-esteem
• helping you to build a sense of purpose
• helping you to connect with others
Even if you feel like you do not have enough time, or you may not need to learn new things, there are lots of different ways to bring learning into your life.
Some of the things you could try include:
• try learning to cook something new. Find out about healthy eating and cooking tips
• work on a DIY project, such as fixing a broken bike, garden gate or something bigger. There are lots of free video tutorials online
• try new hobbies that challenge you, such as writing a blog, doing crosswords or word games and reading
• do not feel you have to learn new qualifications or sit exams if this does not interest you. It's best to find activities you enjoy and make them a part of your life
4. Give to others
Research suggests that acts of giving and kindness can help improve your mental wellbeing by:
• creating positive feelings and a sense of reward
• giving you a feeling of purpose and self-worth
• helping you connect with other people
It could be small acts of kindness towards other people, or larger ones like volunteering in your local community.
Some examples of the things you could try include:
• saying thank you to someone for something they have done for you
• asking friends, family or colleagues how they are and really listening to their answer
• offering to help someone you know with DIY or a work project while keeping within the restrictions on movement and physical distancing
You can access more information from the below sites.
These links are also available from our webpage fasanoc.org.fj and our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/fasanoc/
Meanwhile, due to its vast reach, unparalleled popularity and foundation of positive values, sport is ideally positioned to contribute towards the United Nations’ objectives for development and peace.
To raise awareness of this potential, 6 April was declared as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) by the UN General Assembly. The adoption of this Day signifies the increasing recognition by the UN of the positive influence that sport can have on the advancement of human rights, and social and economic development.
In response to global developments concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, this year the IDSDP focussed on the health benefits of participating in sporting and physical activity, especially in this time of uncertainty and social distancing.
For the International Day of Sport this year, let’s #BeActive and healthy to beat #COVID19. More details can be found at https://www.un.org/en/observances/sport-day
For now, please continue to observe the curfew, physical/social distancing and stay well hydrated.
Above all, observe and adhere to the Ministry of Health and Fiji Government advice, be considerate, be resilient, be obedient, be safe, be smart and do the right thing.
pic: Rewa Women's Soccer Team at the Women's IDC last month showing support for International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP)