It can be challenging to keep your regular routines going through travel, time-zone changes and the new environment of a multi-sport Games. High-level competition also comes with potential stresses and can have an impact on mental health and wellbeing. Below are some ways of making sure you are as rested as possible and ready to compete at your best.
Travelling can often make people feel tired and cause travel fatigue which is different to jet lag. Jet lag is caused by crossing a number of different time zones meaning your normal body clock is disturbed. The combination of travel fatigue and jet lag may mean that you are tired when you arrive in Trinidad and Tobago. There are a number of ways which we can try and manage this to ensure you recover well and feel rested and prepared for your competition. Preparation can even start prior to departure.
Think about your normal sleep patterns and habits prior to you leaving and, if possible, you may wish to be paired with someone with similar sleeping pattern to you as a room mate at the Games.
You can utilise applications such as jet lag rooster https://sleepopolis.com/calculators/jet-lag/ prior to departure. This will give you advice on how to manage travel and jet lag based on your normal sleep habits.
You should set your watch to local time in Trinidad and Tobago prior to getting on the plane.
You may wish to go to bed slightly later for the few nights before departure to begin setting your body clock towards the time in Trinidad and Tobago.
The flight leaves at 11:35am which would be early morning in Trinidad and Tobago.
In order to help set your body clock you might wish to sleep at the beginning of the flight to help mimic waking up in Trinidad.
However, this may be difficult due to and it will be a long travel day, so you should sleep as you feel you need on the flight.
You will arrive to Trinidad and Tobago around tea time and you may want to go straight to sleep as you will feel tired.
We would encourage you to try and stay awake until your normal bed time to help reset your body clock, but you may wish to go to bed slightly earlier due to travel fatigue.
Just like other areas of performance, well-being activities should be undertaken regularly and purposefully, in order to gain maximum benefits and be fully effective. By thinking about how you may react in a new environment and what measures you can put in place to take care of yourself, you will be giving yourself every opportunity to perform at your best during the Youth Games.
Being mindful and staying in the present moment can help us to manage the demanding and stressful nature of high-performance sport. There will be things during the Youth Games that may affect you and lead to you over thinking the past or future, which may impact well-being and performance
Focus all your attention on a specific task (e.g. this may be focusing on what you’re eating, your breathing or your surroundings.
The term “digital well-being” refers to how technology and digital services affect our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. For example, what impact does social media have on your self-esteem.
While digital devices and associated platforms can have beneficial effects on our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing, excessive use may have a detrimental effect.
Prolonged use can cause eye strain, headaches, and fatigue and in some cases play a role in the development of low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety.
Set boundaries (e.g. when and for how long you will be on digital devices/social media – avoiding use on a night time/in bed)
Identify and avoid periods of heightened emotions
(e.g. immediately after you compete)
Not placing digital devices on the bedside table/using
alarm clock instead?
Healthy routines can help us to develop good habits that positive influence our mental, emotional, and physical well-being, even when we aren’t motivated to do so. They can also help us to avoid bad habits which we know don’t help our well-being.
Routines are normally done on a daily basis; this may include a morning or evening routine. These may help you feel energised and invigorated for the day ahead, or help you relax and get better sleep. Some athletes also develop pre performance routines which helps them prepare effectively for competition and optimises performance.
Routines can be disrupted during tournaments as schedules change at short notice. Think about how you might adapt your daily routines if you have more or less time than usual.
Staying connected with others is important for people to maintain and promote positive mental health and wellbeing. It helps reduce potential feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Recognise that socialising may be a helpful coping strategy for some, while others may also find this stressful, everyone will need different levels of social connectedness and time alone.
Plan for time to connect with friends and family, perhaps by call or text
Recognise when you might need time away from the group and identify appropriate times for this