You’ve been there, I’ve been there. In fact, 1 in 4 adults feel lonely some or all of the time. And this is exactly what this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (9th-15th May) theme is based around – overcoming loneliness. As we said, it just happens sometimes. But doing things that improve and stabilise your mental health helps it not become so overwhelmed when the feeling comes along.
The Squash Wales team talk about the health benefits of playing squash (both mental and physical) quite often – there are lots of them. But in light of the week, we wanted to focus on the ways playing our sport can help to overcome and combat loneliness.
Meeting new, and different people
Playing Squash at your local court is an opportunity to meet new people outside of your usual bubble. Bringing people from all walks of life, with fresh ideas and stories together in a social environment.
The truth is, day to day routine can feel quite limited and lonely – spending time with the same people in the office, at home or on the school run. Squash is your chance to meet a new community that’s always growing and changing.
Finding a physical purpose
When you’re mental health has taken a hit, it can feel like a mammoth task to get out of the house, let alone out of bed. But Squash offers an empowering physical outlet for your emotions.
Making it down to a court with a friend or even by yourself will help to lift that sense of isolation a little each time – because you’ll be proud of showing up for yourself.
Gain personal confidence
Whether you play alone, with a partner or as a team – Squash is an incredible sport to build up your self-confidence. Improving your physical fitness and learning new things that your body is capable of doing.
With greater self-confidence, comes a more resilient mental health. We think the more you think of yourself as a strong, capable person, the less likely you’ll be to feel lonely – because “you’ve totally got this”.
Team spirit and comradery
Becoming a part of the squash community is much more than having people to play sports with. As our friends at Merthyr Squash Club said recently “The social side of squash is just as important as the game.”
You can’t build a brilliant team without a real connection. Making a genuine effort to understand your teammates off the court brings a better game to the court – so you’re bound to find a new support network here.
Inclusive and accessible
Squash is one of the most accessible sports, with limited equipment necessary and adaptable games depending on your age or ability – no one gets left behind here.
Being able to welcome anyone to the game cultivates a real sense of belonging, and takes the pressure off the competitive spirit if that’s not what you want to get from the game.
Life beyond the court
Most people make friendships for life through the Squash community, even when they don’t play themselves (like the passionate parents of our junior players!) All of the elements we’ve just outlined define a supportive collective of people that want to help each other out in tricky times.
Firstly, If you are struggling with your mental health or worried about someone else – find help here.
If you’d like to join the community and start experiencing the benefits of Squash, learn more about memberships here.
Finally, if you’re already a member, why not reach out and catch up with a fellow clubmate to see how they’re getting on. It’s not always easy to ask for help, but it’s easy to offer it.