simone biles brave act of self care
#MondayMusings - Self Acceptance and Self Care

Simone Biles’ Brave Act Of Self-Care

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.”

Simone Biles’ Brave Act Of Self-Care
Photo by Mental Health America (MHA) on

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!

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An inspirational writer, a creativity and writing trainer/coach, I write about life, gratitude, healing, wellness, relationships at Everyday Gyaan. I offer training/coaching to anyone looking to explore their creativity and heal through writing via The Frangipani Creative, located in Secunderabad, India. You can also find me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for my weekly newsletter, Bytes of Gyaan, on Substack.

9 Comments on “Simone Biles’ Brave Act Of Self-Care

  1. That was truly an act of courage. Something similar has been on my mind of late – the ability to say No even to people who really matter to you – that’s something, right? I’ve been trying to practice it more often.

    1. I just read your post and I see the connection, Tulika. Yes, I’ve been gradually learning to say ‘no’ and carve out more time for myself without feeling guilty. I think it’s the best thing we can do for ourselves and the other/s.

  2. We could all “see” that something was off with Simone during the preliminaries. She was flying out of bounds on floor exercises and vaults that she usually nails with ease. She was quiet and withdrawn. But as soon as she made that decision to stop, you could see the change in her and she became an enthusiastic supporter of her peers.

    Simone Biles is such a strong woman. It takes a strong woman to say no. To say that “my health is more important than a gold medal” demonstrates what a true hero she is and how far she’s come from the gymnastics ranch.

    Sadly, our US gymnasts grew up in a world of Bela Karolyi yelling at them and “making” them do things despite injuries all the while Larry Nassar was being verbally kind while sexually abusing them. Look at Kerry Strug who did that final vault on an injured leg, not because she wanted to but because Bela told her she had to. That ended her gymnastics career.

    We need more role models like Simone.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Jennifer. I’m really glad athletes are standing up for themselves and putting their safety and health before anything else.
      I always shudder to think what these young people go through – we never quite appreciate their struggles and put so much pressure on them to perform.

  3. I love this post, Corinne! I applaud Simone Biles for her decision. I wish that we all could prioritize as well as she did. I’m going through some hard things this week myself, leading me to pull back a little. If we don’t take care of our own health (physical or emotional, etc), we’re not much good to anyone else either. (Thus, I haven’t filled out my reading questions yet! I apologize. I will get to them though.)

    1. I’m sorry things are not okay at the moment, Lisa. Please take care of yourself. I always believe our health and well-being should come before anything else. Don’t worry about the form. Do when you do it.

  4. Thank you for sharing this post, Corinne! We often talk of pushing the boundaries and getting out of our comfort zone to “achieve” something but pulling back from something so huge to focus on one’s well being is another matter altogether. I do hope, that in today’s cut-throat competitive world, Simone’s act inspires more young people to think of their own mental health in a new light and learn to prioritise their own well-being over everything else.

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