Wellness Wednesday: 4 Ways To Look Out For a Teammate’s Or Friend’s Mental Health


4 Ways To Look Out For a Teammate’s Mental Health

By Mauro Pacsi

Athletes, no matter the sport, all face individual challenges. However, these challenges eclipse more than just their bodies. They affect their minds, too. Mental health is an ever-growing topic of concern around the sports world. Although it may not be new, it is now widely accepted and recognized among spectators and other athletes alike. Michael Phelps is perhaps the biggest advocate for mental health in sports. Other athletes like Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles have gone public about their struggles, as has Olympic champion swimmer Allison Schmitt. While they possess a platform and massive audience to disclose this information, what about someone you know? What about your own teammate? Is their voice being heard or are they silently handling their own problems? No matter what the situation may be, here are a few ways to check in on your teammates and friends. It is always a good gesture to see how they are doing.

A Daily Check-In

A daily check-in can be anything from a “How are you,” to a “how are you feeling on a scale of one to 10?” It is a way to just check on the status of someone without trying to seem too invasive but staying kind. Seeing how your teammate is doing will allow you to gauge what they might need. Perhaps, maybe all they need is someone to talk to. If you can be there for them and listen, you should! Careful listening and being understanding is some of the best validation in the world.

Spend Some Time with Them

Whether you invite your teammate out or suggest staying in with them, just spending time with them is valuable enough. Especially if they have been cooped up too long in one place. Please respect their privacy, though, if they are not ready for visitors yet. Just be patient. When you do get to see them, plan something fun! Anything lighthearted or entertaining can be a good way to try and help them have a better day. Activities like watching their favorite movie, going out for a walk, or grabbing a bite at their favorite place to eat are just a few options.

Let Them Know They Are Not Alone

Remind them that there are always people going through their own situations. While these situations might not always be comparable, it is worth acknowledging that everyone is going through something. For that reason, they should always reach out to those around them, especially professionals who specialize in aiding with mental health struggles. Those professionals can not only have the most impact on them now, but they can help set them up for a great future. A future where no limits in their mind can hold them back from their utmost potential.

If Your Body Is A Temple, Then So is Your Mind

Mental health should be treated in the same way as our physical health. It is acceptable to get it checked up on occasionally. It is acceptable to rehabilitate our minds just like we can rehabilitate an injured part of our bodies. There is nothing to be ashamed about. So, if someone struggles with accepting this, please do not let them second guess themselves. Remind them to always put their mind first. If the mind is given time to prepare and heal, then any task can be accomplished.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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