Coronavirus and your wellbeing
You and your members might be worried about coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) and how it could affect your life. This may include not being able to train with a group, being asked to stay at home or avoid other people. This might feel difficult or stressful. But there are lots of things you and your members can try that could help your wellbeing. Click here for guidance from our friends at Mind, the Mental Health Charity about coronavirus and your wellbeing.
Keeping in touch
It’s important to stay connected and check in to see how people are doing. There are lots of different ways to stay in touch with other club and group members. Technology provides an opportunity for us all to support each other’s mental health. Share a funny picture or video, start a book club, have a virtual chat over a coffee or some cake. It also enables virtual group exercise sessions, club or group exercise challenges and so much more. We know that athletics and running clubs and groups are great at creating imaginative ways of doing things and now is the time to embrace that!
Here’s just some examples of what you could use:
- Zoom – for video conferencing and webinars – click here to find out more
- Google Hangouts – chat conversation or video call – click here to find out more
- Skype – HD voice and video calling for one to one and group conversations – click here to find out more
- WhatsApp – group chat on your smart phone with options to share images and video – click here to find out more
- Strava*- an app for your smart phone where you can create virtual challenges to help keep people motivated – visit the Strava website. England Athletics affiliated athletes can gain a free three-month trail of the Strava Summit app – click here for details.
*For safety reasons please make sure you encourage all runners not to start/finish the Strava app outside their home address when tracking runs.
For more information about how to stay connected in these difficult times click here to visit our Digital Connectivity page.
Getting some fresh air and exercise is really important to support good mental health. Take time to get outside regularly for a walk or run or why not do circuits in the house or garden? Remember to keep yourself and others safe and make sure you follow government advice which is currently that you can take exercise once a day – but alone or with those you live with, no gatherings of more than two people. Keep up to date – click here to read the England Athletics statement on Coronavirus.
For visually impaired people who usually have the support of a guide to run, and cannot therefore run on their own, the impact on mental health may be even more significant. Our friends at British Blind Sport are busy working on some resources for exercising at home. They have also shared Blind Alive which provides resources for audio work outs and routines – click here to visit the Blind Alive website.
Those at home with children can also check out our free videos of fun activities to do together, thanks to England Athletics’ funetics programme which has fast-forwarded the launch of its parent app videos in order to help parents continue physical education for their children (aged 4-11) while at home – click here to access the videos.
Mind have also provided some guidance about staying active at home – click here to read Mind: How to Stay Active at Home.
Mental health support
If you, or anyone in your club, organisation or group, are experiencing mental health problems or need support then there are lots of places you can go to for help.
Recovery College – Coping during the pandemic
Free online course for everyone in response to the recent global Coronavirus pandemic. Plus anyone anywhere can access the other 30+ courses on the site by creating a free account. Website www.recoverycollegeonline.co.uk
Headspace – Weathering the storm
Free access to some of the Headspace app. It includes meditations, sleep, and movement exercises to help you out, however you’re feeling. It’s our small way of helping you find some space and kindness for yourself and those around you. Click here for more information.
The Mental Health Foundation
Provides advice on how to look after your mental health including ten practical ideas such as keeping active, eating well and talking about your feelings.
Telephone: 116 123 (24 hours a day, free to call)
Provides confidential, non-judgmental emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those that could lead to suicide. You can phone, email, write a letter or in most cases talk to someone face to face.
Telephone: 0300 123 3393 (9am5pm Monday to Friday)
Mind provides confidential mental health information services. With support and understanding, Mind enables people to make informed choices. The Infoline gives information on types of mental distress, where to get help, drug treatments, alternative therapies and advocacy. Mind also has a network of nearly 200 local Mind associations providing local services.
Telephone: 0800 1111
ChildLine is a private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of nineteen. You can contact a ChildLine counsellor for free about anything no problem is too big or too small.
Elefriends is a supportive online community where you can be yourself. We all know what it’s like to struggle sometimes, and this is a safe place to listen, share and be heard. Our “Being active” theme helps community members easily share and find content about being active, to motivate, inspire and support each other. To sign up you need an email address, username and to input your date of birth.