Over the weekend, Aly Raisman observed World Mental Health Day by sharing powerful advice with her fans. The Olympic gymnast posted a short clip from a BBC Sport interview on Instagram, detailing the self-care methods that she incorporates into her daily life.
Simply captioned "#worldmentalhealthday," the video begins with Raisman advocating for "more love and self-compassion." She then goes on to offer some examples on how she prioritizes mental wellness, such as starting each day by listing three things she is grateful for and trying not to be too hard on herself.
"I think about it, and I would never talk to a loved one or my younger sister or my mom or my future daughter the way that I talk to myself," the gold medalist explains. "So I just sort of really think about that and how important it is to treat ourselves like we'd treat a loved one."
When she is suffering from stress and nausea, Raisman often turns to podcasts, books, and gardening to feel better. For her, activities that promote learning something new are the most confidence-boosting. "Whether it's about gardening, whether it's about mental health, or things that I'm passionate about, it really helps with the depression and anxiety, and it helps with the self worth of feeling like I can take on things and do different things." If you're not into gardening or reading, however, the athlete also suggests hiking, meditation, and riding a bike.
While she's figured out a self-care routine that works for her, Raisman admitted that some days are harder than others. The 26-year-old has long been candid about her mental health struggles, recently opening up about her experiences with OCD and anxiety on Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast. The interview was her first time discussing OCD publicly. In the past, Raisman has provided deeply honest updates on her therapy journey and recovery process from post-traumatic stress disorder following her abuse at the hands of convicted rapist and former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
Raisman also shared that she is teaming up with the self-care and therapy app Sanvello. In the Instagram post, she talks about how finding a community has made her feel less alone in her struggles.
She ends the World Mental Health Day video with inspiring advice to her younger self. "I would tell my younger self, trust your gut and to trust myself," Raisman says, adding with her hand over her heart, "and that whenever I am scared or unsure, that the answer is always here."