Your mental health is as important as your physical fitness
27 March 2020
In these challenging times caused by the COVID-19 virus, the Professional Footballers Association Scotland is one of the national player associations with a support service for players that includes free and confidential advice from counsellors.
PFA Scotland have a clear message for their members: your mental health is at least as important as your physical fitness.
With players stuck at home in Scotland, as practices and matches are cancelled, some are struggling with boredom, loneliness or fears about the future.
Michelle Evans, Wellbeing Officer of PFA Scotland, said some have financial worries at a time when clubs are seeking to defer their pay, or release them.
“Players could be stressed about money as clubs want to reduce salaries.
“That affects their family, their household and financial commitments such as a mortgage or a car loan.
“They are also worried about their future: will I still have a job?’
Such worries combined with round-the-clock news about the coronavirus pandemic can have an effect on your behaviour, Evans said.
“With all this uncertainty and negativity it can get pretty lonely being between these same four walls each day.”
“If you are feeling worried it is so important that you talk to someone about how you are feeling, whether that is simply a chat with a friend or seeking out clinical help”
PFA Scotland have sent players information including the following tips:
Keep in touch with your teammates via WhatsApp chat groups
If someone appears quieter than normal or isn’t contributing much to the chat then check on them and ask them if they’re okay
It’s good to chat. Instead of messaging, pick up the phone and talk to each other about what’s happening.
Evans says technology is a valuable tool during a lockdown. PFA Scotland also has an app with self-help advice for members.
“Our phones have probably never been more important as they will allow us to still have human and social interaction,” Evans said.
“If you are feeling worried it is so important that you talk to someone about how you are feeling, whether that is simply a chat with a friend or seeking out clinical help.”