A guest post by Director and Welfare Officer, Jaimee Reeve
AFC Unity acknowledge the link between personal wellbeing and football. What we do off the pitch can have an impact on what happens on the pitch and vice versa. Today I will be sharing four tips for personal wellbeing and considering how we focus on these as a club.
The health benefits of regular exercise are vast. There is evidence that exercise improves mood, increases energy levels, improves sleep, supports risk reduction for various illnesses (e.g. diabetes, hypertension), and can reduce stress. And, what better way to incorporate regular exercise than football? AFC Unity players have the opportunity to play football up to three times each week, and women of all ages and abilities can play football each Wednesday via our Solidarity Soccer sessions.
Eating a balanced diet has been shown to make us feel more emotionally and physically healthy. AFC Unity team mates have the option to eat brunch together before playing matches; a fantastic way to spend a Sunday.
Many people rely on food banks to provide food at times of need. UK food bank use has been on the incline in recent years. AFC Unity has a Football for Food campaign which supports the local community via food bank donations.
Positivity is a key aspect of the AFC Unity football ethos. Some people are naturally optimistic and positive, but if you are not, that is ok. Positivity can be developed and worked on. Evidence has shown that noting down what you are grateful for each day can improve your mood. You could also try challenging negative thoughts. For example, if you find yourself frustrated that you missed a shot, ask yourself what you could learn from the experience and remind yourself of something you have done well. Have a go at being your own biggest supporter.
It is important to share experiences; good and bad. Friendship has many benefits. It can increase your sense of belonging, boost happiness, reduce stress, improve self-confidence, and provide encouragement. AFC Unity focus on collectivism and inclusivity; offering a sense of belonging to anybody who wishes to become involved.
If you’d like to join us in improving wellbeing through football check out the Football for Food campaign, Solidarity Soccer sessions or become an AFC Unity Ultras member where you can officially be our biggest supporters.