Are you excited for 12th April or are you feeling anxious about returning to the gym?
If you are feeling symptoms of anxiety either physically and/or psychologically here are a few coping skills you can implement to help put you at ease. These skills are beneficial for athletes ranging from novices to professional and elite performers:
1. Control for the controllable
Think of any barriers you may experience in a post-pandemic sporting environment.
The more information you can obtain the better your decision making will be, for example arriving early to a training slot.
2. Be prepared
Create a smoother transition back into sport by having all your equipment ready. Is your bike in need of some attention after being in the shed over the winter?
3. Be realistic in the initial return
If you are new to sport and exercise or have been unable to train during the pandemic you will not be the same athlete, you previously were. By listening to your body it will tell you when to stop or slow down. Athletes are at higher risk of experiencing injury in the initial return to sport after taking time out.
4. Butterflies aren’t always a bad thing
Anxiety can be as helpful as it is unhelpful, it is your perception of it will affect your performance. If you do experience symptoms of anxiety such as butterflies in your stomach or sweating, it is a result of the body preparing for action. Having these responses can be a good thing as we could be excited but apprehensive. It has been a while since walking into a gym so we could just be excited to be back.
If you struggle to cope with anxiety, there are further tools available to ensure when we do experience anxiety it can be facilitative to performance rather than a detriment. For further information and support on coping with anxiety please get in contact with our Applied Sport and Exercise Psychologist Hope.