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Maintaining Mental Fitness

We were all rushing to the rink, eating dinner in the car, making plans to hang out with teammates on the weekends, and then suddenly we weren’t. Rinks closed, socialization outside the household became a faux pas but – thankfully – there’s been a little more time for dinner.

With the onset of COVID-19, the sudden change in routine has been an adjustment for many busy hockey families. Socialization and keeping busy are highly recommended techniques to maintaining good mental fitness, but what happens when socialization isn’t as safely accessible and you suddenly find yourself with extra time on your hands?

“Not only do we rely on social connection as a means to stay in touch with our friends and family, but it plays a hugely important role in our mental health. Social isolation has shown to be a risk factor in increased levels of depression, anxiety and other mental health struggles, so it remains important for us to find ways to maintain our social relationships, while respecting physical distancing limitations during this time,” Says Shannon Nix, Movember’s North American Program Lead for mental health and suicide prevention in young men.

The GTHL and Movember are proud to have partnered together for Breaking the Ice, a program that aims to increase mental health literacy and resilience skills in teams around the League. With physical distancing protocols in place, Movember is encouraging players, their families and coaches to continue to prioritize mental health by visiting Movember’s website. There they can access resources aimed at helping them to keep mentally healthy while staying physically distant.

“The Movember website provides fantastic resources that help to instill the importance of a positive mental health state – all from the comfort of your own home. From learning to ‘spot the signs’ if you suspect someone you love might be struggling, to helping to guide that conversation and encourage them to open up using our A.L.E.C. acronym, Movember aims to provide tools that help strengthen and preserve our social connections, despite this unsettling and unusual time.”

Staying active with home workouts, shooting pucks in the driveway, or rollerblading are also highly beneficial ways to help maintain positive mental fitness. Many teams throughout the League have been staying social through team workouts via video conferencing or team meetings which helps to mimic social contact, while following distancing protocols.

If you are interested in participating or learning more about Movember’s Breaking the Ice program , visit their website at www.breakingtheice.ca

  • If you or someone you know are in need of immediate support, contact the Canadian Suicide Prevention Service, or call 911.
  • For information on managing stress or anxiety related to COVID-19 we encourage you to visit the Canadian Mental Health Association website for additional resources.

For additional information or mental health resources specific to youth, please visit Kids Help Phone, NEED2 or JACK.org.

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