Mental Health Takes Center Stage

July 30, 2021

What Do You Do When You’re Physically Tired?

You take a break, right? It’s a natural reaction when your muscles tell you that they’re fatigued and need time to recover. But what if you’re mentally tired? Are there obvious signs that you should stop and take a break? Although mental health and physical health both need equal care, mental health is often overlooked. Well, things are changing and mental health is being highlighted more and more as something that needs to be cared for similarly to someone’s physical health. What mental health experts have been saying all along is being echoed by celebrities around the world, especially in the world of sports recently.

How Are Professional Athletes Putting Their Mental Health First?

Simone Biles By Agência Brasil Fotografias – EUA levam ouro na ginástica artística feminina; Brasil fica em 8º lugar, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50584791

Prior to the Olympics, Naomi Osaka pulled out of two grand slam events to take care of her mental health. She said that the rest that she gave herself made her happier and love tennis again. At the Olympics, gymnast Simone Biles, otherwise known as the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), pulled out of the team and individual all-around competitions because of the overwhelming stress of the games. When asked why she pulled out of the competitions, she said, “We have to protect our mind and our body, rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do.” Fellow Olympians supported her decision and American swimmer Katie Ledecky even empathized with how Biles might have felt before withdrawing from the competition.

Photo Credit: IOC
What Now?

Professional athletes are trained to be strong, both physically and mentally, but Simone Biles put it best when she said, “We’re human too.” As the largest sporting stage showcases the ability of athletes from around the world, it’s also showcasing something important: the strength of human beings and how being strong can mean saying no, even if it means missing out on an opportunity to win an Olympic medal.

How do you take care of your mental health?