As we manage our day to day tasks, there is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic reshaped our lives. The necessary measures to prevent the spread of the virus, such as social distancing and isolation, have led to both adults and children reporting higher levels of depression and loneliness. As we navigate the path towards recovery, one avenue that can help us rebuild our social connections and enhance our mental health is through participation in recreational sports.
Whether you head to the basketball court, the soccer field, or the squash court; it’s time to grab some friends and experience the benefits of getting out there and getting active. No need for intense competition. You and your friends will experience these benefits simply by engaging in your favorite activities.
Here are the top 5 reasons to get out there and play!
- Combating Social Isolation: One of the most significant impacts of the pandemic has been the sense of isolation felt by many. Recreational sports provide an opportunity to combat this isolation by fostering social connections. These activities bring individuals together, creating a sense of belonging and camaraderie. The shared experience of playing sports cultivates friendships and provides a support network to aid us in managing our highs and lows.
- Boosting Mood and Emotional Well-being: Everyday stressors and anxieties aren’t going anywhere, and they can take a toll on our mental health. Engaging in physical activity releases endorphins, which are known as “feel-good” hormones, leading to improved mood and overall emotional well-being. Physical activity helps reduce stress by releasing tension, improving sleep quality, and boosting cognitive function. Additionally, the immersive nature of sports distracts the mind from daily worries, providing a much-needed mental break.
- Improved Cognitive Function and Mental Agility: Participating in recreational sports goes beyond physical fitness; it also stimulates mental acuity. Participation requires focus, strategic thinking, and quick decision-making. The mental demands of sports help sharpen concentration, problem-solving skills, and multitasking abilities. Sports help the body and mind!
- Sense of Routine and Structure: The pandemic disrupted many aspects of our lives, including daily routines and structures. Regularly scheduled practices, training sessions, and matches provide a framework for organizing time and setting goals. It has been psychologically proven that routines provide a feeling of safety, security, and peace. Prioritizing our activities through a schedule establishes a sense of normalcy, boosting motivation and overall mental well-being.
- Enhanced Self-Confidence and Personal Growth: Our day-to-day lives often offer drudgery and tasks with little to no sense of accomplishment and fulfilment. Recreational sports offer an ideal environment for personal growth and self-confidence building. Overcoming challenges and setbacks during sports activities fosters resilience and self-belief, positively impacting self-esteem. The supportive nature of team sports also encourages positive reinforcement and creates opportunities for personal growth, both on and off the court.
It’s time to play again! You need this. Your friends need this. Where to begin? Play Squash Academy offers group clinics, match plays, camps, tournaments and private lessons for players of all ages and skill levels. If you’re new to squash, no worries. We provide all the gear, and your first private lesson is always free. If you’re an experienced player, enjoy a day pass for you and your friends to use any of our facilities in the #DMV. Contact Us today, [email protected] to start improving your mental health and living your best life.