Simone Biles reminds us that focusing on mental health is crucial

August 2, 2021

Roper St. Francis Healthcare doctor explains how stress affects our bodies, minds 

Stress can have a profound impact on our bodies and minds, and no one is immune – not even gymnastics superstar Simone Biles.

The defending Olympic champion rocked the sports world twice – first when she withdrew from the team competition at the Tokyo games and again when she withdrew from the individual all-around competition – to focus on her mental well-being.

Dr. Kay Durst with Roper St. Francis Physician Partners Primary Care explains how stress can affect our minds and bodies, so we all need to be mindful and proactive in dealing with it.

I think the more we get the word out that, ‘Hey. You have this stress. Let’s work on it,’ … the better everyone will be,” Durst said.

Here are some more tips from the CDC on coping with stress

  • Take five. Take a deep breath and relax. Even five minutes to take care of yourself can help.
  • Take a walk, stretch or attend a virtual exercise class. While doing an activity you enjoy, focus on the here-and-now.
  • Maintain connections with others. Call, video chat, or reach out to friends and family. Create a daily routine that includes rest, exercise, and regular meals.
  • Seek support from friends, family, and trusted organizations. Talk about your feelings with others. Consider creating a plan together with family and friends for how you may help one another or share responsibilities. Reach out to clergy or others in your faith community
  • Seek help from a professional if your stress becomes overwhelming or feels unmanageable. Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling. Find mental health services: Mental Health America