5 ways women can use leisure & recreation to boost their mental health

Connecting with others, one true friend , is another important component of mental health. Photo: Pexels

(Adrianna MacPherson/ University of Alberta) –– When women are facing challenging, stressful situations, leisure and recreation are powerful ways to boost spirits and defuse their stress, according to a recent study.

A University of Alberta-led research team conducted in-depth interviews with a dozen women in Whitehorse experiencing mental health issues to learn how leisure and recreation could support their mental health during COVID-19. 

“This research really showcased the power of leisure and recreation, specifically, in assisting with stress coping,” says Lauren Ray, first author of the study and research assistant in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation, who works as a recreation therapist in Whitehorse. 

The 12 women interviewed for the study, which Ray conducted as part of her master’s degree under the supervision of Tara-Leigh McHugh, were diverse in terms of their age, demographics, income and education, and had all accessed a mental health service.