Advice to stay mentally fit

How do I fill and adjust my weekdays? How do I relate to not seeing my teammates and avoid getting lonely? How do I maintain my well-being – or get back to it?

In the current COVID-19 situation it is important that you focus on your mental health. Below we have listed a series of good advice on how to maintain your well-being – or potentially get back to it.

1. Avoid focusing too much on when you can get started again

Remain positive and focus on what you can control
No one can currently say when normal training and the tournament will start again. Seek to accept, that this is out of your control. What you can control though is what you choose to do in the current situation. There’s no guarantee that you’ll feel the same satisfaction as when doing your sport, but you can actively challenge negative thoughts and negative behavior by deliberately putting in alternative and positive thoughts instead and keep repeating them. If you actively focusing on this, it will likely give you even more in the toolbox, that you can benefit from in your sports career.

Seek positive motivation in alternative goals 
You can obviously try to stay fit as best possible given the circumstances. And you’ll need to follow the instructions from your club, keeping in mind any special rules that applies to employees who are sent home on a salary-compensation-agreement. But seek to find other goals, that can motivate you positively to stay active physically and mentally. If you only focus on your goal of staying as fit as possible, and to be fit for fight, your motivation can be challenged by the uncertainty of when training and the tournament starts again. Other goals could be, that you’d like to become stronger mentally or to increase your jump-strength.


2. Use your network and help others

Have frequent contact with friends and family
It is important to maintain your contact to family, friends and other social network in general. Be proactive instead of withdrawing and find which options for non-physical contact that suits you. Remember that others also need to maintain their social contact, so they will most probably be happy to hear from you.

Be aware of your teammates
Consider if there is any of your teammates, who generally have a hard time reaching out or who is very introvert – it will be a big help if you reach out to them. Also be especially aware of (other) foreign players and players who live alone. This also applies even if you still have outdoor training activities in groups. The days are often long. A good idea could be to set up online meetings, or set up new (online) activities, so you create something to talk about.


3. Manage your concerns

Challenge your concerns and talk to somenone about them 
Try to take note of your concerns and then challenge them by putting them into perspective and relate to facts, so you instead relate to them constructively and realistic. It would also be a help to talk to someone about it – for example your partner, friends or family.

Move your focus and limit your news-consumption
The situation about the coronavirus takes up a lot of time and space in our everyday life, and it can be difficult to process all the daily news, which can drain your energy. Instead move your focus onto more encouraging content in your everyday life and limit your news-consumption to a couple of daily updates. Stick to trustworthy sources – like the national health service. Also be aware of how you are affected by social media.

Make an overview of your economy 
If you have any concerns about your economic situation following the COVID-19 situation, we recommend that you contact your bank adviser to get an overview of your economic situation. Maybe it’s time to make a new and balanced budget, so you get a better overview and control – and thereby more peace of mind.

Manage your contract conditions
If you are concerned about how the current situation affects your contract conditions, we recommend that you talk to your teammates or your players union.

Take note of your future career situation 
If you have concerns about your future career situation, we recommend, that you contact the 4player advisory team, who are ready to help and guide you – and can help you prepare as best possible.


4. Structure your everyday life

Take control and make fixed routines in your weekdays
Your weekdays and routines are no longer dictated by the sport to the same extend. It is therefore important, that you take control of your new and different weekdays. Try as best possible to make some fixed routines, that for example include how you train, eat and ensure a good sleeping rhythm, so you maintain a healthy behavior and a certain degree of regularity.

Make a plan for what you’d like to accomplish during the day 
Try as best possible to make a plan of the things that you’d like to do during the  day. This can help to give the days more content and meaning, so it feels less chaotic, and you feel less restless. Also it gives peace and energy to have a plan and stick to your daily activities.


5. Create positive content in the weekdays through new activities

Focus on yourself and your personal development
You probably have quite a lot of spare time during the days, that you’ll need to fill out with activities to avoid restlessness and boredom. Being under stimulated can ultimately lead to stress. Seek to find activities, that will make you happy and be meaningful to you. A good idea could be to immerse into yourself and explore your own interests. This could for example include doing short online courses, education and anything else that will develop you. 4player is currently working on an overview of various courses that could be relevant in this regard. More on this to come – stay tuned on and by email newsletter.

Take a breather and take stock of your situation
Enjoy the breathing room away from your otherwise stressful everyday life, where there are great demands to your daily performance. See it as an opportunity to recharge your batteries. Also the current situation is an option to take stock of your career and set up new goals for your life both on and off the pitch.

Start doing mindfulness
Consider doing mindfulness and experience the positive effects of becoming more aware of yourself, your though patterns and the signals from your body. Mindfulness is becoming more and more widespread within the world of sports and has shown to have positive effects both physically and mentally, which can help you as an athlete both on and off the pitch.

Start new projects or hobbies
You can create content to your everyday life, and something else to think about, by starting new projects or hobbies. This could for example be building or garden projects at home that you previously haven’t had time to do. It could also be yoga, cooking, reading, painting or nature activities – at a distance from other people of course – like fishing.

Avoid undesireable behavior
Being concerned, bored, restless – and missing the normal kick from the sport – there’s a risk of compensating in a negative way with undesireable behavior. Therefore, be aware of your own and others behavior when it comes to alcohol and online gambling. Reach out for help if necessary. You can always contact 4player for a confidential talk about how you or others can get help.


6. Make good circumstances for your relationship and the family

Align expectations with your partner and give each other space
When you and your partner are suddenly much more together in everyday life, frictions and frustrations can occur. Try to accommodate them by adjusting your expectations and planning what you do and when. What you do together and how you give each other space and time to be alone.

Take advantage of having more time to be together
You now have more time for your partner and children. Take the time to get closer to each other and get to know your partner better. Involve yourself even more in your children, who for sure cannot get enough of you. Create joint activities that activate everyone and build even stronger bonds.

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