Life as a student athlete is similar to holding two full-time jobs: one as a student and the other as an athlete. Both jobs take an enormous amount of time and energy. It’s hard to find balance.
Sometimes, taking care of yourself gets shoved to the back burner or forgotten about completely.
Picture this: You are up late at night trying to finish up homework, and you have a big game tomorrow. The day arrives, and you hand in your assignment with your best work. Then, later that day, after you finish the rest of your classes, you head to your game giving it your all. You get home late that night and get to sleep late. The next day comes quickly, and the work starts all over again. Sound familiar?
As time flies past, you learn how to deal with the time commitments and the workload. However, most of the time, you forget to listen to your body or give yourself a break. When you get tired and overwhelmed, your body and mind usually tell you.
I’m sure you have experienced one or two on the list and could probably add a few of your own.
Your mind and body are not lying to you. It’s time to take a break.
When you know things are building up and life is getting crazy, just take a step back and try one of these 5 things:
Put sports, homework, and the phone down. “What?” you ask. “I have no time to put these things down.” Yes, you can put them down at some point every day, even if it is for a short period of time. If you are short on time, some of these will work:
These are things you can do in a short amount of time.
Did you know that the average person is on social media for roughly 2 hours and 18 minutes a day? Check yourself and see if you can use some of those minutes just for you. Take back some of your time.
What makes you tick? What gives you peace of mind? It could be a thought, place, person, or event. When you have a little more time, these are some things you can try:
Self-talk is one of the best ways to quickly refocus on yourself and let go of the moment that just passed. This technique can be used with or without time. You can even do some of these during competition:
No, really. Have you ever taken a complete day off? Not just the afternoon or evening, but an entire day. I know, it’s hard, but it is also very healthy. You may not get days off too often, depending on the time of year, but, when you do, you should take them. The body and mind need recovery. Here are some suggestions:
You can do all of the things listed above and still forget to breathe, especially when you get going fast. Breathing takes practice and work.
Pick the things that work best for you and try them. If you already engage in some of these activities, good for you.
The good thing is you can take control of your health and wellness. Make it important. Your body and your mind will thank you.
Taking a break is good for your mind, body, and soul, and it will probably increase your success around school and your sport. Find ways to take care of yourself. You are worth it.
The benefits of playing sports go way beyond your competitions. Take care of yourself while you build the athlete you were meant to be!
A group of teammates talk about how being an athlete empowered them for life beyond sports.