Annandale athletes balance their physical and emotional wellness

Being an athlete this school year has been quite an adjustment for most students. Last year with online classes, an athlete’s school day would normally consist of being home all day and then making the drive to Annandale for practices or games. This year, students spend their day at school and then go home or stay after depending on their practice/game schedules. This has also been the schools first fall sports season in the fall since quarantine, since last year’s fall sports season was held in the spring.
Being an athlete can sometimes be mentally stressful, with struggling to find time for homework in the midst of games and practices, some even find themselves having to do their work on bus rides, and in the gym or on the field. This just goes to show the dedication students have to getting their work done and on time.
“As a student athlete, I really have to focus on time management so that I can be physically and emotionally healthy. I am an IB diploma candidate, so that means there are lots of essays and hard classes that I am in this year. I can keep my emotional and physical wellness up, “ said senior Madisyn Dixon.
Being active in sports is good because it allows students to exercise with their friends in friendly competition. Being a part of a sports team helps form new friendships and bonds that may last a lifetime. Having an emotional support system like a sports team is great for the emotional development of teens. Being on a sports team has many emotional benefits aside from the social aspect. When you exercise, your body naturally reduces stress levels, improves mood, as well as relieves feelings of depression and anxiety.
Balancing physical wellness is just as important as balancing emotional wellness, your mind controls the actions of your body which is why it is equally as important. Some ways to balance the two would be after a lengthy workout, take a second to reflect, relax, and unwind. This can help bring you to a calmer state of mind by slowing down brain waves. When you relax hormones called endorphins are released throughout the body that relieve muscle tension in extreme exercise.
“Working out helps me feel looser and relaxed on my day to day problems in school and in classes. I usually have a lot of work due and working out helps distract me from all of the school related stress.” said freshman masjid
At Annandale, many of our athletes are IB Diploma students and honor students who take their studies very seriously. For them time management is key to finding time for themselves while simultaneously getting all of their schoolwork completed on time. At times, it may be difficult to find the motivation to work hard with sports and extracurriculars such as clubs and other out of school commitments. One thing to keep in mind would be how at the end of each season there is an award banquet, all students who maintained a 3.5 GPA or above receive an award. Student athletes can use this for motivation to push themselves through the stressful times.
“My emotional and physical wellness affect each other heavily. If I am emotionally unwell, it seeps into other aspects of my life. Luckily, being physically healthy improves my emotional well-being. I received an award a few years ago for being able to maintain a high GPA while playing a sport. That award is what motivates me to continue to balance my physical and mental well-being to this day” said junior Ruftana Beyene.
The balancing of both physical and emotional wellness is important to maintain in order to be an overall healthy individual. The two affect each other significantly. A decrease in emotional wellness can affect your physical wellness and vice versa. There are many factors that can determine your physical and emotional wellness such as sleep, diet, and more.