Why Simone Biles is Our New Hero for Self-Care
There were many highlights when it came to the Tokyo Olympics. None were more controversial than Simone Biles deciding to drop out of the vault & uneven bars event in the name of self-care. The resulting decision brought about many interesting, mixed results.
While Biles had the support of her coach, her fans and her teammates, many were less than understanding, calling her everything from spoiled and entitled to lazy.
Regardless of the criticism, Biles - an already decorated, record-breaking Olympian - came back and took home the bronze medal in the balance beam.
For someone in the public eye, it’s brave for Biles to not only advocate for herself, but put herself first. Especially when she had others stacked against this decision.
The takeaway here?
If Simone Biles can take a break during a major worldwide event, you can take a break for yourself too.
We know we’re more than capable of doing so many incredible things. From work, to school, to extracurricular activities.
But sometimes it gets to be too much. Especially when the world feels like it’s demanding too much from you during tough times.
Too many projects? Feel pulled in a million different directions? And on top of that, did your period start?
If this sounds familiar, it’s time to take a step back. Take a moment to breathe and take care of yourself.
If the thought of taking time out of your day makes you cringe, think of it this way: Overworking can lead to stress-related illnesses.
If you’re overworked and stressed out, you can’t expect to pour into others if your own cup is empty.
Here are some ways to unwind so you can come back refreshed and feeling your best.
The benefits behind meditation are numerous. It’s proven to help people sleep better, manage pain, boost confidence, and give an all-around feeling of well-being. If you’re brand new to the practice, there are many guided meditations you can find on YouTube for free.
If that’s not your style, you can set a timer for fifteen minutes, find a comfortable, quiet place to sit and focus on your breathing. If you find that your mind wanders, bring it back to your breathing.
It’s that simple and that difficult. But with sustained practice, it becomes easier and you’ll have a brand new tool to manage your stress.
The National Sleep Foundation guidelines say that healthy adults should get anywhere between 7 - 9 hours of sleep each night. But babies, young children and teenagers need even more to enable healthy growth and development.
If you’re on the go too much and find that all you want to do is stay in bed when the weekend comes around, then take it easy! Your body needs the rest and that’s perfectly okay.
When it comes to your day-to-day life and you’re having trouble sleeping, make sure to cut off caffeine intake by the afternoon. And put the screens away an hour before you know you’re going to sleep.
You don’t have to do the absolute most to feel the benefits of a good workout. Just get up and get moving. Go for a walk or a quick run. Lean into your favorite sport. Even gentle yoga is a great stress reliever.
It gets your endorphins flowing. Those are the feel-good neurotransmitters in your brain, often referred to as a ‘runner’s high’. But you don’t have to run to feel the effects.
No matter what exercise you choose to do, 20 minutes is the daily recommended amount to reap the benefits.
Time with those close to you is never a bad idea. If you feel like you’re alone in your stress, chances are you’re not. Having a good emotional support system is so important to your well-being.
Hanging out with friends to have a day of fun will get your mind off of whatever is stressing you out.
Go hiking. Go swimming. Go for a walk. Have a night on the town. Have a sleepover. Go see a movie.
Your friends may be going through something similar to you. They’ll be happy for the night out and a chance to share. It’s always a relief knowing someone has your back at the end of the day and that you don’t have to go through life alone.
Remember, with these tools on your side, a little bit goes a long way. You’ll be able to beat stress before it has a chance to take over your life. Just like Simone Biles, you’ll know when to take a break, regroup, and come back stronger than before.