Guest blog by Dr Phil Cooper of State of Mind Sport:
Simple steps to begin to improve your mental fitness
1. You could think about the last time you did something new and how it felt.
It’s never too late to learn a new skill or take on a new challenge. Doing it will make you feel proud. Try a new recipe, learn an instrument or take a course – but don’t forget to keep learning.
Ian Smith (State of Mind Sport presenter and former Super League and International Rugby League referee) says: “My thirst for looking for new things to do and challenge myself with a crossword or a round of golf makes me feel like I have achieved something that day. I am currently doing a mental health first aid training course, and loving finding out more about how to look after my mental fitness, and learn about other mental fitness issues.”
2. Make time to have a look around when you can.
It’s not often that we stop to notice the world around us, but it will make you feel differently. Try noticing the spring flowers or the autumn leaves.
Jimmy Gittins (State of Mind Sport presenter and former player, who broke his neck playing rugby league) says: “I always have to take notice of my surroundings from a different angle (in a wheelchair) than I used to so I can get around easily. I love looking at my environment and for the beauty I see every day that I used to just walk past. So don’t forget to keep noticing what is around you. It will keep you mentally fit and is simple to do”.
3. Spending time with other people is important to everyone’s mental fitness.
Danny Sculthorpe (State of Mind Sport presenter and former rugby league player) says: “I have always loved being around people. When I felt low in the past, I would isolate myself to feel safe, but it always made me feel worse. I now try to talk to people, when I get the chance, as I love to find out about people. They will have done things that I would never know about if I had not asked. Keeping myself mentally fit means I try to connect with people as often as I can.”
State of Mind Sport is a charity which delivers mental fitness and suicide prevention training across the UK.
VGC is partnering with State of Mind Sport to raise awareness of mental wellbeing issues among our workforce. The photographs on this page show members of the team delivering training to the workforce on the M23 (top) and at Tideway (right).