The UK's Mental Health Foundation hosts Mental Health Awareness Week every May with the goal of driving conversations about mental health on social media and beyond. This year's theme is Kindness.
As a community-focused brand, this theme is one that's very important to us. Kindness is something that is so key to growing all of the sports that we love. We believe in inclusivity, encouragement, and giving people who are new to our sport the warmest welcomes, and we foster this within our ambassador community, encouraging women and girls from all over the world to come together for friendship, support, and connection, especially in difficult times like these.
As avid outdoorswomen, we love that our sports have a positive impact on issues including anxiety and depression, and we encourage all of you to get out there and shred with us!
I think a lot of people dealing with mental health issues feel like they are the only ones doing so. But you would be surprised if you would ask around and hear how many people are struggling on a daily basis. All the social media platforms make people show the best of themselves, it is not a true reflection of someone's life.
It makes me so proud we have a community of girls who are so strong and feel so safe with each other that they actually dare to talk about how they feel and what they are going through. The ongoing support and kindness towards each other is truly beautiful to see and feel. Action sports are not just a way of life, not just a way of expressing yourself, not just a way of dealing with challenges and pushing yourself to be a better version. Sports are what connect us and give us a strong bond. A connection so strong that no matter where you are in the world, no matter what you are going through, there is no judgment. Only kindness and love.
Skateboarding saved my life when I first started. I was getting clean and sober and I started to learn skateboarding. It filled my time and kept me busy. It occupied my mind so I wouldn't think about using drugs. It literally saved my life. I had bumps along the road but skating was something to look forward too and kept me going. Even today all my sports keep me doing something positive with my time. They are an energy release and when I'm skating, snowboarding or riding my dirt bike it clears my head. It helps me to live in the moment and keeps my mind focused solely on what I am doing. While I am doing a sport I love it helps all other problems stay out of my mind. It's when I feel truly free and completely loving the moment. That's why I get so stoked on helping others learn one of these sports because if it can help me this much then I know it can help others too.
In my autocross region, I see a lot of the experienced drivers put time and energy into helping our newer drivers so they love the sport as much as us. I personally volunteer my time to make sure the event happens and runs smoothly, but I have so many people who step up and help out, even when not asked. One of my favorite people may show up with extra gas for the timing trailer generator or he may offer to set up, tear down, and work a corner (we require everyone works 1 position, so that's three right there). Not to mention I have had multiple drivers let me race their cars when mine's broken, or they offer to fix a part I have no experience with, or they send me gently-used tires for free because I'm a little short on cash for the season. It may look like an "Old Boys Club" from the outside, but it genuinely is one of the most supportive, kind groups of people out there.
Snowboarding, skating and now the addition of wakeboarding/wakeskate has been a huge blessing. These sports keep me motivated to go to the gym, and push myself to be a healthier person. These sports help remind me to be mindful and allow for some serious stress relief. These sports are an amazing outlet! I couldn’t imagine life without them. They are so important!
I see kindness in this sport through communities like she shreds..... there is support for people just starting to learn, or someone who wants to progress. The kindness and support I have felt from my shred sisters is like no other!
I struggled with depression for many years and even went to therapy for it but I found that NOTHING helped me with it more than snowboarding and action sports. It got my mind off everything and helped me see the beauty in life. I am so lucky to have gotten over this disease and I never take any day or thing for granted.
My inspiration comes from within, I have fought depression and anxiety over the past couple years and snowboarding/mountain biking and paddle boarding has really helped overcome a lot of those days. Being outside, fresh air around me and no one in sight on the mountain. Paddling all the way out into the middle of the lake just to take a great look around you. Peddling through the forest, on a single track trail..just me and my bike. All those feelings and opportunities I get, keeps me motivated and inspired to spread the love and feels given to me whilst doing sports!
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