Mental Wellbeing and UCC Sports join forces.

By Ciara Murphy

In an era when mental health is at the forefront of people’s mind, and close to home to so many of us, more and more clubs and role models are speaking out and highlight its importance.

Across the university campus last week, it was the themed ‘Mental Wellbeing Week’ in UCC. As its’ name suggests, UCC along with UCC Sports clubs spent the week campaigning and raising awareness about the importance of taking care of one’s own mental health and wellbeing. A fantastic number of events were held last week, UCC Sports clubs and societies getting involved and promoting a wonderful message to students, just as it’s coming into exam-prep time.

Our sports clubs became highly involved, with numerous wellbeing-themed training sessions and special events on campus. Badminton, Aussie Rules and Squash had their special wellbeing-oriented training sessions; Trampoline had organised an outdoor ‘Jump for Joy’ event on main campus.  Meanwhile, Archery teamed up with SÁMH Society to have an open shooting session; all of the martial arts clubs teamed up with the Psychological Society and Niteline to hold an open mixed martial arts event where people were invited to drop in and learn some basic techniques and the surf Club went on a de-stress beach trip to Kinsale on Friday.

It is incredibly important to pay attention to and take care of your mental health. Just as if you get a cold or a chest infection, if your mental wellness begins to decline, you become sick; you become tired, it is hard to pay attention to anything, and you just don’t want to have to do anything. Daily life can be full of work and stressors and sometimes it becomes difficult to let yourself relax, give yourself time to sit down and let your mind be quiet. Tiredness and feeling of being run down can create feelings of anxiety, fatigue, sadness or general bad mood. A prolonged exposure to these feelings can lead to ‘burn-out’, and perhaps in time a more long-term issue. If you had a chest infection or a bad cough you would be told to go home, go to the doctor’s and rest. This should be no different when your mind starts to feel a little stuffy. You need to put work on the backburner and take a break.

UCC Sport is an absolutely fantastic way of giving your mind that ‘break’ it needs from daily life. There are many reasons involvement in a club is a positive movement for one’s overall wellbeing; exercise is good for your physical health, but also encourages the release of endorphins in your brain, chemicals that promote good mood and a more positive mindset. Clubs are also a fantastic way of meeting new people and creating a unique bond between people as they spend time, play and train together. Sport is a time for fun and fitness, a place to de-stress and build positivity. Take some time out, and give yourself the opportunity to mind your mental health – join a club!