How’s Your Mental Health Doing?
I initially sent this out as an email to the Lax Goalie Rat email subscribers (join here!) however the response I received was so amazing I want to make it public via the blog.
How’s Your Mental Health Doing?
May is mental health awareness month.
And what I’m about to say might be painfully obvious to most of you:
Being the goalie can challenge your mental health.
Maybe you’ve got intense nerves from fighting to hold onto the starting spot.
Maybe you feel the heavy pressure that comes with being in the spotlight.
Maybe you’re mentally taxed trying to juggle a full school workload with the demands of lacrosse.
Maybe you feel like a particular loss was your fault.
Maybe you’re stressed about getting into a good college.
Maybe your coach pulled you with zero explanation.
Maybe you’ve got some teammates you don’t get along with.
Maybe you feel intense pressure from not wanting to let down your friends, teammates, or family.
Listen – I know what you’re going through. I went through ALL of those personally. And it’s tough.
I’m not an expert on battling mental health by any means, but I do know this…
If you’re struggling, finding someone to talk to is so important.
You can’t keep things bottled in. The mental battle goalies face is hard and it isn’t one you can fight alone!
Here’s the cool part! Most people in the lacrosse goalie community will help you if you only just ask.
Coach Gigliotti will help.
Coach Mac will help.
Your coach will help. Your parents will help.
I will help.
Finally I want to leave you with an except of an email I read recently. The author isn’t a lacrosse goalie (or a lacrosse player for that matter) but I think what he talks about might help some of you out there.
Back to the Plan: A Simple Question to Start With
A critical part of modern self-care is understanding what you need.
You can do this right now.
Just ask yourself: what would make me feel better?
Because you can always be better than you are now, you don’t have to be feeling bad to answer this question.
Still, most likely you’ll find yourself reflecting on self-care when you’re not feeling great for one reason or another.
When that happens, sometimes the best answer is an action:
- Go for a walk
- Do a set of 10 pull ups
- Clean up your calendar or to-do list, removing unnecessary items
- Do something fun (whatever “fun” is for you)
- Make a short gratitude list
Other times the answer is to reflect outward:
- What’s a simple thing you can do to help someone else? Amazingly, this often contributes to you feeling better.
- Who might need something that you can provide?
- Who can you check in on?
Finally, sometimes the answer is just to sit with it.
Acknowledge that these things happen and it’s normal and that nothing lasts forever.
That last point is worth repeating: nothing lasts forever, everything is temporary.
This too shall pass.
Remembering that fact has helped me to navigate several dark seasons over the past 5-7 years. I’m not sure I always BELIEVED it during some of those seasons.
But perhaps that’s part of what made some of those things so difficult—the fact that I didn’t understand that whatever I was feeling wasn’t permanent.
So let me ask again – how’s your mental health doing?