For an Olympic-Level Athlete pressure is the norm. Being able to perform on the world’s biggest stage, in front of millions of fans is a dream come true. However, having the weight of an entire country on your shoulders comes with a huge amount of pressure. While this used to be something athletes had to just ‘deal with’ there’s a new wave of inspiring athletes who are putting Mental Health back in the spotlight. 

 

 Tokyo 2020 will have inspired thousands, if not millions of people, however this time is won’t have just been on the field. Throughout the competition, athletes have highlighted the importance of mental wellbeing and how mental health; just like physical health, should come before competing. In press conferences and interviews, athletes have shown courage and strength in speaking openly about their mental health and how it has been impacted by the pressures that come with their job 


 The fact that mental health has slowly been pushed into the spotlight has made many realize that their mental health matters. Unlike Olympic athletes, we do not have the pressure of competing for our country, but we all experience some sort of mental stress. For example, struggling at school, losing a job, or even disagreeing with someone can all take a toll on our mental health.  

 

 There’s no right or wrong way to look after our mental health and it almost always depends on the individual. In this Olympics, USA Gymnast and 4- time gold medallist, Simone Biles, pulled out of almost all of her events, despite being the favourite, to focus on her mental health. She cited the anxiousness and stress that came with competing as favourite as a major factor for her mental health to decline. This act alone has generated a much-needed conversation across the globe as to how we can do more to support each other and ourselves when it comes to our mental wellbeing. 

 

Simone’s actions have caused more athletes to open up about their own mental health, showing she not alone in her struggles. 2-time gold medal winner, Adam Peaty, has also opened up about how competing at the highest level has taken a toll on his mental health, to the point that he plans to take a much-needed extended break before beginning the next cycle of competition. Despite being elite level athletes, the fact that both Biles and Peaty have been so open about how stress can impact their own health has highlighted just how important it is for all of us to become more proactive when it comes to protecting our own mental health. Both of athletes may have ways of dealing with stress and even the stress itself may come in different forms. However, we want to share a few things that could help you get started in looking after your mental health!  


 Our Top Tips: 

  • Take time out of the week to evaluate how you feeling. 
  • Take a break and do something you enjoy.  
  • Talk to others about how you feeling (they may feel the same). 
  • Regular exercise (this will help with stress). 
  • Doing something that requires concentration. 

 

At The AIM Group, we offer a variety of free online courses that will help you to learn essential mental health support, as well as how you can identify the signs, triggers and symptoms in someone who’s mental health may be suffering. To view our mental health courses, visit: https://theaimgroup.co.uk/courses/level-2?postcode=&sector_id=11#search


If you are struggling, or know anyone that needs immediate support with their mental health, there are some helpful resources such as helplines and support services below: 


Mind UK- Mind provides advice and support to anyone experiencing a mental health problem. The campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding of mental health.  

To get in contact with Mind for help call: 0300 123 3393 or visit https://www.mind.org.uk/   

To get in touch with their helpline call 116 123 or for more information  


Young Minds- Young Minds is a mental health charity that fights for children's and young people's mental health. Their mission is to ensure young people get the support they need, whenever they need it.  To use the Crisis Messenger Service text: YM to 85258 or for more information head to: https://youngminds.org.uk/   


Samaritans- Samaritans offer confidential support for anyone experiencing feelings of distress or despair. To get in touch with their helpline call 116 123 or for more information visit: https://www.samaritans.org/   


Image Accreditation:

@adam_peaty  - https://www.instagram.com/p/CRx9zWmruum/

@simonebiles  - https://www.instagram.com/p/CRxsq_kBZrP/

Tokyo Olympic Logo  - https://www.seekpng.com/ipng/u2e6t4r5t4y3o0o0_tokyo-2020-white-png/



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