Mind set

Beating the Covid-19 Blues as a Kayaker

As a kayaker and an outdoors enthusiast, I completely understand how important exercise, adventuring and being outdoors is for people’s mental health. Since starting kayaking, getting out on the water has played a fundamental role in my happiness and well being. Part of the reason I enjoy my sport is because it helps me to manage the stresses in my life. We are currently in a stressful situation and just as everybody’s personal circumstances are different, their coping mechanisms will also be different. But for those of us who use sports to regulate our emotions, the fact that we are currently unable to engage in that sport can leave us feeling particularly blue. Rather than letting it get to me, I have tried to refocus my energies during this time on other things which are helping me to stay positive. As many of these are specific to me as a a kayaker, I thought I would share some with others. Whether you are a fellow paddler, an outdoors lover or just someone who is feeling a little sad right now, please feel free to read on if you think it may help you.

Mind set Training

Goals and goal setting

When I started kayaking, my friend Lewis was obsessed with a video by Ben Marr called Dream. If you haven’t seen Dream, you should. At the start of the video, Ben poses as a newbie kayaker and says ‘I just want to be good’. I think we can all relate to this feeling when we start something new and really want to improve. However just wanting to be ‘better’ doesn’t always lead to the outcomes you might hope it does. I find that setting myself more short term goals with one or two longer goals in mind can help a lot. For this piece, I am going to talk about five of the current goals I have and why. I’ll probably write something on achieved goals another time but I wanted to keep this piece relatively short so not today!