Mental Health

Self-care Lessons From Athletes Around The World

With increasing awareness about the importance of self-care, many celebrities have shared their own self-care lessons. Athletes like Neeraj Chopra and Naomi Osaka have prioritised their mental health and motivated all of us. Here are some self-care lessons from athletes.

By Ameya Arora
08 Aug 2022

All of us are aware about the strict diets and fitness regimens of athletes all over the world. They undergo intense workout routines and diet plans to perform at their best ability. But how do they keep their mental health in shape? The non-profit organisation, Athletes For Hope estimated that 35 per cent of athletes experience struggles with their mental health. This estimate justifies the increasing number of athletes speaking up about their mental health issues.


Athletes need a break, they get overworked and as a result, burnt out. Just like athletes, every other person feels overworked sometimes. While athletes face the fear of failure, pressure to perform, and expectations of the world, every other human too faces these fears in their daily lives.


Related Story: Finding Joy Through Exercise


Train The Mind and The Body

Former head of strength and conditioning for the Indian cricket team, Ramji Srinivasan, reported in an article that “it may be easy to be in total control of the body, but to be able to truly control the mind for success is a different ball game”. As there is increasing awareness on the importance of mindset and mental well-being, people are beginning to realise that success is a result of good mental health along with physical health. Taking a break and interacting with other people can be relaxing for the mind. Unless the mind is relaxed, and is in a stress-free, healthy state, we lose ground to our opponent even before the game starts. All must build routines which allow them to strike a balance in work, and keep them in touch with family and friends.


Let’s Take Mental Health Lessons From Athletes


1. Opportunities may come and go, but our mental health should come first.

Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from a tournament owing to taking care of her mental health shows that no matter how big of an opportunity lies in front of us, prioritising your own mental health is the way to go.


2. Take a break to relax, rejuvenate, and relax.

Olympic champion from India, Neeraj Chopra, created history in the Tokyo olympics. His coach gives much credit to the champion’s mental health and positive mindset. Neeraj Chopra has often opened up about the importance of staying positive, tackling a situation stress-free, and not caring about competing with others.


3. Embrace your strengths and flaws—they make you unique.

Each person is different in terms of their strengths, weaknesses, experiences, traumas, and triumphs. Kevin Love, the NBA star’s statement, “mental health and mental illness takes many shapes and forms; it goes with every demographic” has gained popularity since he opened up about his mental health struggles in 2018. His statement brings out the fact that our experience with mental health is unique to us, and shouldn’t be compared with anyone else’s.


4. Communicating and being open about your struggles can lower their intensity.

Dak Prescott, the American football player believes that when you share your feelings with others around you, you are doing yourself a favour. He encouraged others to be open about their struggles as putting your feelings in words can make you feel better when you’re feeling low.


Related Story: How to Get Your Fitness Groove Back – Tips From Celebrities


5. Going to therapy is an investment in yourself.

Olympic gold medalist, Laurie Hernandez, finds comfort in going to therapy. She thinks that it is wonderful how you can talk to a stranger, who knows nothing about you, your life, or what you’ve been through, and leave all that in a particular room. No judgements at all. While music, writing, reading, and therapy has helped Laurie deal with her mental health issues, she encourages others to seek therapy and find solace in things that interest you, like dance.


Related Story: 8 Benefits of Cycling For A Healthy Mind And Body


6. Failure is a part of life. Stepping up stronger after failure is true success.

Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh beautifully opens up about his fear of failure ahead of a match. It is common to feel the pressure to perform and succeed before an important event. He addresses the fact that failure is a part of life, and the feeling that ‘What if you fail’, is as common in life, as it is in any sport. “If you are not in the best (healthy) state of your mind, you begin by conceding ground to your opponent much before the game has begun,” says Yuvraj Singh.


7. People will have their opinions but don’t let them shade your vision.

Aaron Rodgers points out that opinions that other people hold have nothing to do with us. “Whatever they think or say shouldn’t bother us, as it is their own inability to deal with their own life experiences,” says Rodgers.


8. Societal expectations shouldn’t stop you from doing what is right for you.

Simon Biles' exit from the Olympics concerning her mental health explains that no matter how prominent or famed you might become, there will always be people bringing you down. But it is highly important to focus on what your body needs, rather than what the society expects you to do.


Related Story: Ask the Expert : Everything You Want To Know About Mental Health


9. Yoga can have magical healing properties. It can help fight psychological problems.

Abhinav Bindra, an olympic shooter, fought depression for years. To him, Vipassana, and reconnecting with family and friends helped him overcome his struggles.


10. Losing track of our normal routine can give rise to a sense of discomfort.

Ace Indian wrestler and Olympic medalist, Bajrang Punia, opens up about his struggles during the COVID-19 lockdown. Restrictions, uncertainty, and sudden disruption in routine made him face mental discomfort.


Related Story: Home Workout From Celebrity Fitness Trainer, Vinod Channa






Follow Us On Instagram