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9 October 2020   |   Blog   |   

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.

The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day is

Mental Health for All; Greater Investment – Greater Access. Everyone, everywhere.

Her Spirit Etape du Tour

This year World Mental Health Day has come around during the strange and uncertain times, caused by the global COVID- 19 pandemic. Anxiety, uncertainty, and isolation have often felt like they have been dominating the news this year. Instead of focusing on the negatives however Mental Health Ireland are asking people to Reflect on their Growth, this World Mental Health Day, and consider how far they’ve come in these strange and uncertain times.

We, at Sports Travel International, want to urge people to do the same with their sporting achievements this year.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 mass event postponements and cancellations, and various restrictions put on international travel all over the world. Both as travel experts, and as a group of keen athletes and sports enthusiasts ourselves, we understand how testing these times can be.

The Mental Health Benefits of Keeping Active 

Mind Body & soul at Club La Santa

However, you don’t have to look very far to find a whole host of research into why staying active is good for your 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%. At Sports Travel International, we want to Spread this message; we want people to stay as positive and keep active through these testing times, safe in the knowledge that we’ll be waiting on the other side, ready to share incredible sporting experiences with you once again.

Sports Travel International’s own CEO, Chris Bird, has opened up about his own battles with depression. He is now committed to improving, not only his own wellbeing, but the mental health and wellbeing of wider communities through active lifestyles and sport.

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 furthest distance run or ridden) often brings a great sense of achievement.  The benefits of the social aspect of keeping active can never be overlooked. Think of how many friends you have made in your local running or cycling clubs, or indeed on a Sports Travel International holiday.

Stay Connected 

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.

Many of our past clients have, however, come forward during this difficult time, and shared with us their incredible and inspiring stories of what they have achieved through sport. We have loved seeing comments coming in about everyone’s happy memories with Sports Travel international, and we are so excited to see messages coming through about what you’re looking forward to taking part in when all this is over.

Reflect and Grow 

So, 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 working from home, while home-schooling full time, or moving your cycling club meetups into the online world.) Consider how far you’ve come since you started your fitness journey, the friends and memories (some all over the world) that you have made along the way. Concentrate on your goals for the future, where you want to go and what events you want to do when all this is over. Reflect and Grow.

Whether you’re doing an extra training session, taking some time out to meditate, 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!

Further Info & Support 

For further information on World Mental Health Day, and how you can get involved, look here.

If you, or someone you know, might be in need of some extra support this World Mental Health Day, please share THIS information with them.

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