When the best gymnast from US decided to focus on her mental health and withdraw from the team competition in the ongoing Olympic games, she opened herself out to a lot of criticism. The tennis star, Naomi Osaka too recently pulled out of a tournament. But it was very heartening to read all the voices that came out to support Simone Biles’ brave act of self-care.
Yes, that’s what it was. An act of self-care.
Simone Biles’ Brave Act Of Self-Care
Olympic performance coach Steve Magness told the New York Times,
“We have a fundamental misconception of what it means to be tough. It’s not gritting our teeth through everything; it’s having the space to make the right choice despite pressure, stress and fatigue.”
In opting out Simone Biles has truly not only done something for herself, but for all other athletes. Essentially, she was saying that I can’t push myself to do something at the cost of my well-being.
Leland Michael, a math teacher, said it best on his post on Facebook (now viral):
“Simone Biles is strong.
Strength is being able to say you can’t.
Strength is working your whole life for something, dedicating yourself entirely for two decades, and being able to step back and cheer on your teammates.
Strength is feeling the weight of a country on your shoulders, and being able to see clearly that it’s not your duty to carry it if it will break you.
Strength is being able to see through the oppressive cloud of other people’s expectations, and doing what your body and mind are saying you need to do.
If Simone Biles convinces even one young kid watching her that it’s ok to say, ‘I can’t,’ and prioritize their mental health, that will be more valuable to this country than any gold medals she could earn.
America has enough Gold medals.
We need more Simone Biles.”
What about us?
Often we think self-care is only a physical thing. Sleep. Rest. Massages. Aromatherapy. And yes, they are important and necessary. But are they enough?
- How often to do we say ‘no’ to the demands and expectations of others?
- At work, when you already have your hands full, do you turn down a new project?
- Do you turn down any orders when you’re a business and are already over-loaded?
- Do you say ‘no’ to social invitations – when you really don’t want to go?
- Have you got someone/ some way of unburdening yourself if you are emotionally overwhelmed?
- Do you feel unduly guilty about not achieving your goals? Are your goals realistic, in the first place?
- When did you last take time to just do something for yourself, guilt-free – read for pleasure, go on a drive, watch a movie? I know this may not be advisable during the pandemic, but in better times did you ever take yourself out for a meal?
Remember self-care is
“Any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.”
Let’s be inspired by Simone Biles today!