What Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka Are Teaching Us About Mental Health and Well-Being.

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Today the G.O.A.T. herself, Simone Biles withdrew from competing with her team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This comes after a frustrating lackluster beginning in her performance. Biles was highly favorited to win gold and was basically expected to carry her team to victory. But is that fair? Is any of it fair?

There’s speculation that the Olympic Committee is not giving her full difficulty points to discourage other gymnasts from trying to do the same moves and risking injury. Was she being punished by being “too good”?

Naomi Osaka generated mass criticism for taking time off for her mental health during the French Open. This was a response to being fined for not fulfilling her media commitments by doing stressful interviews.

Two young women at the top of their games are choosing to pause and take care of themselves, rather than cater to pressures of high performance sports. Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles are the perfect example of putting your own needs before anything else. They both have an intense passion for their sport, but they recognize that there is more to life than sports alone and need time take care of themselves.

Mental health and wellbeing is important. Although most of us aren't professional athletes, we can still feel like society's expectations on young women can rob us of our joy. The stress of educational attainment, finding a high-paying career and a spouse can feel overwhelming.

Mental health is not just a luxury for the privileged. Although all people have different access to mental resources, we can each still practice more agency and self-autonomy in our lives. Women especially need safe spaces where they talk about their problems and find strategies on how to cope with stressors that may come into play during their life journey.

Studies have shown that the time we spend on self-care is not just about indulgences like bubble baths and massages. Although these are great, true selfcare is much more. It's important to take care of your mental health, which means making time for yourself! By scheduling “me time” you are creating space a VIP, you! You deserve time for yourself! That is the best way to keep your mental health in check. When you make a point of setting aside some "me" time every day, it will be easier to find peace and calm amidst all that life throws at us on its daily quest for chaos.

It can be hard to express yourself and your feelings but it's important because there are so many benefits. You don't have to worry about being judged, you'll feel better after talking with someone else who understands how you're feeling, and it may help get over some of the obstacles that are preventing progress in life. Check with your employer’s healthcare plan for resources. Talk therapy is one tool for self-expression that has been proven effective in treating a variety of mental illnesses like depression or anxiety. There's apps like Calm which offers guided meditation as well as Talkspace where they connect therapists through text messages on their smartphones.

I's well-known that mental health is not just a luxury for the privileged. In fact, it affects all of us in some way or another. Recently, women have been speaking up about how they are struggling with their mental health and wellness more than ever before. Simone Biles has come forward talking openly about her struggles with depression and Naomi Osaka admitted to having suicidal thoughts during Grand Slam tennis matches. Their stories are important because these two athletes show us what we can do to take care of our own minds even when life gets tough—and both use something as simple as taking time off from training to make sure they're staying healthy mentally on top of physical fitness goals. Both also remind us why it’s so important to support others and make space for others to share their stories.

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