For many women, poor mobility and mental health are closely linked. Often, the energy and time invested in looking after physical needs can mean mental health is overlooked. Low mood is generally an unseen health problem. The North Carolina Office of Disability and Health reports that individuals with disabilities are more likely to experience long-term depression.
Reasons for depression can range from lack of work, a loss of sense of identity, along with isolation, loneliness and lowered activity levels. Read on to find out how to mitigate this situation.
PLEASE NOTE: These are just a few alternative approaches to elevate your mood but if you experiencing signs of depression, it’s imperative to consult your physician or a licensed professional immediately, to determine the best treatment for you.
Mental Health and Team Sports
Studies have documented a clear connection between exercise and better mental health.
For instance, Research in Developmental Disabilities found that people who participated in wheelchair basketball scored significantly higher on various indicators for positive mental health and social skills than did non-players. Apart from the positive effects of the physical exercise, team sports, such as basketball, involve players in a supportive community which can help to avoid isolation and loneliness and create a sense of identity. Players report they find it easier to focus on their ability rather than their disability.
Adaptive sailing is another great example of a sport that can be enjoyed by those with disabilities. Sailing is an ideal challenge, as it requires a lot of mental functioning with just a few physical movements. Sailboats can be decked out with adaptive equipment, so that there is little or no need to move around the boat. As well as appreciating the serenity of cruising around a bay, or going further afield, sailors can also learn valuable social skills such as leadership and discipline.