World Mental Health Day (10th October 2020) – Mental Health for All
What is World Mental Health Day?
This Saturday (10th October) is World Mental Health Day. First established in 1992, at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, is an international day dedicated to global mental health education, awareness, and advocacy against social stigma.
This year, the theme set for World Mental Health Day is Mental Health for All; Greater Investment – Greater Access. Everyone, everywhere. World Mental Health Day comes to us this year, during the strange and uncertain times, caused by the global COVID- 19 pandemic. Anxiety, uncertainty, and isolation have often felt at the forefront of our lives this year. Hence the motivation behind this years World Mental Health Day theme. The World Health Organisation believe that at times of crisis such as this one, demand for mental health care and support is almost certain to rise, and when it does, every single person should be able to get the help they need.
Our industry, and what we love, both in terms of travel and of course major global sporting events, have been deeply affected by the impact of the virus. There have been postponements and cancellations of events across the globe, and various restrictions put on international travel. Both as travel experts, and as a group of keen athletes and sports enthusiasts ourselves, we understand hard the past few months have been for everyone.
At Sports Tours International, we want to be a positive force for people. Rather than focusing on the negatives, we want to inspire people. Help them look back on their previous sporting achievements with pride. Keep them motivated and active throughout these testing times. Help them look forward to events returning, and a time when we can get back to what we love; helping you make your dreams come true through sport.
Sports, Activity & Mental Health
You don’t have to do much research, to find a whole host of articles on the benefits of exercise for mental health. Regular exercise has been found have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It has also been shown to relieve stress, improve memory, and assist with better quality sleep. Studies by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, have demonstrated that running for just 15 minutes a day can reduces the risk of depression by up to 26%.
We want to spread this message; we want people to stay as positive and keep active through this pandemic, safe in the knowledge that we’ll be waiting on the other side, ready to share incredible sporting experiences with you once again.
Exercising regularly is a great commitment and investment in yourself. Those who exercise regularly often report increased self-esteem and confidence (especially as they notice their bodies changing and benefiting from their new routine). Reaching a goal (whether that be a new pb, or simply finishing an event) often brings a great sense of achievement. The benefits of the social aspect of keeping active can also never be overlooked. Think of how many friends you have made in your local running or cycling clubs, or indeed on a Sports Tours International holiday.
The COVID – 19 pandemic has made some of these benefits feel a little more distant for the time being. We know how much, like us, you will all be missing the race day buzz and that cross the finish line feeling. We understand that you will miss training and racing together, and of course that it can be hard to motivate yourself on those dark, wintry mornings. Especially when you’re not sure when your next race might be.
During the pandemic however, we have loved seeing comments coming in about everyone’s happy memories of events with Sports Tours International. We are also so excited to see messages coming through about the tours you’re looking forward to taking part in, when all this is over.
Sports Tours International CEO, Chris Bird, has opened up about his own battles with depression. He is now committed to improving, not only his own well-being, but the mental health and well-being of wider communities through active lifestyles and sport. In 2018, founded and supported by Sports Tours International, The Running Bee Foundation was established. The Foundation’s aims are to ‘champion health and well-being initiatives, promote the benefits of an active lifestyle and help in the fight to reduce childhood obesity’.’Thus the World Mental Health Day theme for 2020 is at the very heart of what The Running Bee Foundation stands for. Better well-being for all!
World Mental Health Day 2020 – Mental Health For All
Instead of focusing on the negatives, take some time this World Mental Health Day to reflect on how far you’ve come during the pandemic. Think about the challenges you’ve faced and how you’ve overcome them (whether that be home-schooling full time while getting used to working from home or moving your cycling club meetups, and workout routine into the online world.) Consider how far you’ve come since you started your fitness journey, the friends and memories that you now have all over the world. Think about your goals for the future, where you want to go and what events you want to do when all this is over.
Whether you’re taking some time for an extra training session, ironing out the muscles with some yoga, or simply taking a well earnt rest day; let us know how you’re making some time for yourself this World Mental Health Day – the World Mental Health Day For All – in the comments below!
For further information on World Mental Health Day, and how you can get involved, SEE HERE.
If you, or someone you know, might be in need of some extra support this World Mental Health Day, please take a look at these USEFUL LINKS or the advice offered by the NHS.
For advice and resources for looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak see HERE.