We’ve mentioned a couple of times that the past few years have been difficult on all of us, in one or another (million ways). From bushfires to pandemics, to floods and even war. It seemingly never ends. We of course can’t carry the weight of every issue on our shoulders every minute of every day. But, there’s something somewhat unique about what’s happening today… All of these things have crawled into our everyday lives, affecting business, supply chain, financial stability, social connection and our general wellbeing. There has been no choice but to think about it all because our lives and livelihoods seem constantly at stake. With that, we wanted to offer some information to help support mental health in our industry (and anyone who needs it), as the struggle in manufacturing and delivery issues continues to cause strain. So, let’s get working on improving mood, wellbeing and taking care of each other!
Being in the business of selling motorcycles and powersports, we often talk about the rides themselves: how much we rate this KTM or that GasGas, and the spec benefits of a Sea-Doo or a Can-Am. It’s all true, of course. But, something that can get missed is the benefit of community these activities bring us. From purposefully organised groups and clubs to organically finding yourself on the water, dirt or road with the same people regularly, there’s a comradery that can’t be denied.
In these hard times, it’s time to lean on each other for added support. Even if you’re not one to reach out and spill your feelings, there’s a lot that can be said by saying nothing at all… Organise an extra ride, send a check in text to a group chat, and take notice if you see someone isn’t turning up like they once did. Maybe they just need a little nudge to remind them people have their back. Also, come in and check in your supplier. Even if you aren’t in the market for anything new, it can be a huge mood boost for everyone to both see what’s new in ranges, and for us to talk about them.
There’s a lot we do while we’re on our bike, Sea-Doo or Can-Am (Toro, even), but the most important thing is what we’re not doing… The true glory of getting into these activities is not having a phone to distract you from living life! We’re not anti-tech by any means, but who can deny that mood, concentration and general wellbeing gets a huge boost when we’re switched off? Having access to so much information on our phones can be nifty, but it can also be depressing, anxiety-ridden and overwhelming, just by having it in front of us. A randomised study showed that just having the phone close-by made people less engaged in social interactions (even enjoying them less) and be more distracted than those who didn’t have their phones in view. Even when we drive our car, we have our phones hooked up and ready for use.
On powersports, though, all you have to connect into is riding and the enjoyment of it. No calls, no texts… it’s one of the few activities that forces you (though welcome) into mindfulness and just being. It’s basically a double whammy of mood boost: doing something you love and not using your phone. How good is that?!
So, when the news gets too much and the phone doesn’t stop, grab your gear and ride for the better life.
Negative feelings are really personal for a lot of us. It’s not easy to reach out to mates and family, let alone someone we don’t know. But, if your mental health is really taking a dive with all that’s going on in the world, it can be extremely beneficial to find support from people who are qualified and can really help. We are no experts, but we have popped a list of places that we have found to be well equipped to work through mental health decline and offer ongoing support.
Our list is not exhaustive and we strongly encourage you to find the right support network for your specific needs and circumstances.
Psychs on Bikes - A team of qualified mental health professionals with a passion for riding doing a top job of bringing their services to rural and remote communities.
Headspace - Offering health care services, support and info to young people (12-25), plus their family and friends.
Beyond Blue - A nationally recognised and respected organisation dedicated to supporting Australians through mental health issues by offering a range of resources including a chat line.
Lifeline on 13 11 14
Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
QLife on 1800 184 527