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Sports scribes advised to avoid stress

Sports Journalists have been advised to avoid unnecessary stress while coping with the effects of COVID-19 in their workspaces.

Gathoni Mbugua, the Clinical Physiologist and Head of Digital Relations at Chiromo Hospital Group called on scribes to instead embrace “serenity prayer ” to be able to deal with challenges posed by domestic and work-related aspects of life.

Gathoni was speaking during the two-day Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) Mental Wellness and Empowerment Seminar at Hylise Hotel in Naivasha.

The Serenity Prayer is a prayer written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971), that reads as: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.”

Gathoni called on the sports scribes to embrace health coping mechanisms which revolve around the 4A’s “to Avoid unnecessary stress, Alter the Situation, Accept the Situation and indeed Accept things that you can’t change.”

“Research has it that people spend a third of their life in their workspace.

“So, it’s important to control emotions at work. We also have to develop the uncanny ability to perceive reality, think rationally, and solve problems.

“Coping with stress at work involves adjusting to or tolerating negative events or realities while you try to keep your positive self-image and emotional equilibrium,” Gathoni explained.

During the workshop, SJAK President Chris Mbaisi remarked that the Mental Wellness workshop is timely for the scribes, coming at a time when life is sort of coming back to normal after the deadly Covid period.

“We have lost jobs, taken pay cut, divorced, and pushed to the limit during the Covid period and I feel this mental health training is timely,” he said.

“Few economic sectors have fared well – apparently – during the Covid19 crisis and media were some of the sectors that were hard hit.

“Several job cuts and pay cuts have since adversely affected the mental health of journalists across the world.

“It’s with such workshops that we strive to impart valuable experience on how our members can cope with stress and remain relevant in the trade,” said Mbaisi.

He added: ‘The frequent changes we have experienced during the COVID-19 crisis are enormous. We have learned that we can actually work from home and still be productive. We have also learned that acceptance is key to stress management.”

The Mental Wellness tutorial is being presented by Chiromo Hospital Group which is a leading Level 5 private mental healthcare provider in Africa.

The hospital serves the entire African continent from Nairobi with regular referrals in and out of Kenya.

The seminar is sponsored by Safaricom and the National Olympic Committee of Kenya and is geared towards empowering the media with the requisite mental facet of coping with stress hence improving productivity at work. The event coincides with SJAK Annual General Meeting.

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