Headspace has once again joined forces with Riot Games and the Oceanic Pro League as part of Men’s Health Week, engaging with veteran Chiefs Esports Club top laner Brandon “Swip3rR” Holland to help educate young men on how to create and maintain a healthy headspace.
Headspace asks professional athletes to promote the importance of looking after their mental health as well as their physical. Whilst this is normally left to traditional athletes stars from the AFL, NRL, and other major sporting disciplines, with the ever-increasing popularity of video games amongst young men, Headspace has turned to esports to highlight ways of maintaining a healthy balance of physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing whilst pursuing the hobbies or career they love.
“A passion for gaming doesn’t have to be at the exclusion of all other pastimes, interests and relationships”
Brandon ‘Swip3rR’ Holland
“Professional gamers take their combined physical and mental wellbeing just as seriously as professional athletes. Like any hobby or interest, gaming should be treated as just one element of a balanced lifestyle,” Brandon said.
“In order to sustain the mental alertness required to master the complex strategies behind many video games, it is critical for me to look after my physical and mental health. “I prioritise sleep, exercise, healthy eating and positive relationships with family and friends in order to not only do my job, but enjoy a well-balanced, happy, healthy lifestyle and state-of-mind.
Headspace’s clinical advisor, Simon Dodd, is also a major advocate for keeping mental health positive, and healthy, when playing games.
“Games are an integral part of human behaviour and it is very normal for young people to engage in gaming as a part of their everyday lives. Gaming provides connectedness to others, which enables young people to feel a sense of social inclusion” Dodd said.
“At healthy levels, it can increase self-esteem and social acceptance. It can also provide an opportunity for a structured daily routine and is a viable form of leisure activity. Unfortunately our research shows that young men are not seeking help to manage their mental health.
“With the help of Brandon, we want to encourage all young men to follow some of our seven healthy headspace tips, as a means of ensuring a balanced lifestyle and positive headspace.”
It’s a great opportunity to be apart of this, I really hope that me sharing my ways to keep a healthy headspace, will rub off on others.
Because its so importannt ??? https://t.co/M42UcgvnfI
— Swip3rR (@Swip3rR) June 12, 2019
With one in seven young men aged between 16 and 24 having experienced depression or anxiety in the past year, yet only 13% of those affected seeking help, it is critical that organisations such as headspace joins forces with athletes and other influencers from all walks of life to explain how to keep yourself in a positive headspace and where to go to find help achieving that positive headspace.
The Tips for a Healthy Headspace
- Close and connected relationships
Feeling connected to others is an essential part of being human. Spending time with friends, family and people in your community can really strengthen your mental health and wellbeing.
- Eat Well
A poor diet can make you feel sluggish, low and increase symptoms of depression and anxiety. But staying hydrated and having a healthy diet with a variety of fruit, veggies, nuts and wholegrains can actually improve mental health.
- Stay active
Staying active can help you to sleep better, manage stress and boost your mood. Find a way to keep active that you enjoy and incorporate this into your regular routine.
- Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is good for your brain and body. It improves your mood, sharpens your concentration and increases resilience.
- Cut back an alcohol and other drugs
Curbing the amount of alcohol and other drugs that you use (or avoiding alcohol and drugs altogether) will help you manage your emotions better and improve your wellbeing.
- Learn new ways to handle tough times
There are a lot of different strategies that can help you to manage difficult thoughts and feelings. Things like meditation, taking a digital detox, listening to music, spending time outdoors or writing things down are just a few ways that can help you handle challenging times.
- Get into life and do stuff that’s important to you
Keep doing the stuff you love to do and the things that are important to you. It can help keep the fun in your life, give you a sense of accomplishment and purpose, boost your confidence and help to connect with others.
Courtesy of Headspace.
This partnership joins the ever-growing list of partnerships and activations between Headspace and Riot Games Oceania, which saw the creation of headspace round in 2018 and the Recall and Restore round in 2019 to promote the steps on achieving a healthy headspace. Gravitas General Manager Brandon “Juves” Defina is also partnered with Headspace.
More information can be found at headspace.org.au/headcoach.
Photo courtesy of Riot Games/OPL.