Mental Health And Mountain Biking

Mental Health And Mountain Biking

In these incredibly tough times we find ourselves in, it is more important than ever to look after ourselves not only physically, but mentally as we are sealed yet again, in lockdown. Below, I will provide advice and tips to stay mentally motivated to get through this crisis.

Maintain daily exercise

As most, if not all of you reading this are avid mountain bikers, daily exercise will mean riding your bikes, which I recommend more than ever. The very word ‘lockdown’ can have underlying detrimental effects towards your mental health and getting out of the house can help in ways you never imagined. This can ensure you stay healthy, further improve your riding skills as well as ensuring your mental health remains stable. As a side note, due to the strain on our healthcare currently, stay well within your riding capabilities so patients suffering from the virus can access life-saving healthcare promptly.

Keep in Contact with Family

Maintaining relationships with people you trust is 
important for your mental wellbeing. If you can’t meet in person, think about how you can stay in touch with friends and family via telephone, video calls or social media instead – whether it’s people you normally see often or connecting with old friends. Depending on where you are situated, try your best to maintain family relationships to ward off feelings of loneliness and potentially, depression.

Talk about your worries

It is quite common to feel worried, scared or helpless about the current situation. Remember that this is a difficult time for everyone and sharing with family and friends how you are feeling and the things you are doing to cope can help them too. Expressing how you feel will help you feel mentally lighter and help you communicate more openly with others.

Try to manage difficult feelings

Many people find the news about COVID-19 concerning. However, some people may experience such intense anxiety that it becomes a problem. Try to focus on the things you can 
control, such as managing your media and information intake – 24-hour news and constant social media updates can make you more worried. If it is affecting you, try to limit the time you spend watching, reading, or listening to media coverage of the outbreak. It may help to only check the news at set times or limiting yourself to checking a couple of times a day.

Keep your mind active

This can help you feel in control and less low or worried. Read, write, play games, do crossword puzzles, sudokus, jigsaws or drawing and painting, whatever works best for you. In addition, setting goals and achieving them gives a sense of control and purpose. Think about things you want or need to do that you can still do at home, such as watching a film, reading a book or learning something online.

Spend time in nature

If you can, get outside. If you can’t, bring nature in. Spending time in green spaces can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. If you can’t go outside, you can try to 
still get these positive effects by spending time with the windows open to let in fresh air, arranging space to sit and see a nice view (if possible) and get some natural sunlight, or get out into the garden if you can.

If you, at any point, require immediate attention and live in the UK, dial +111 to speak to a trained Samaritan about mental health or any issues that may be plaguing you. I don’t want anyone to feel alone so I don’t mind volunteering my personal Instagram inbox towards anything you may need to talk about @makdamtb_

Ayub Makda - TrailWhips Blog Editor
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