63. Cliodhna Moloney
I think the majority of sports people at this level have experienced some form of mental illness, even if it relates to their sport or injuries or perhaps anxiety about future or past performances. My main piece of advice would be as follows…
If you feel like things are becoming too much, the most important step you can take is a step back. Often we are so focused on what is wrong or not working for us that we ignore all of the good and simple things about everyday life.
For me, if I’m down or anxious, and if it’s rugby or injury related, I try take some time away and appreciate the beauty of nature, or spend some time with family and friends who may not be involved in that aspect of my life.
If I don’t feel like I want to see anyone at all, I sometimes like to spend time with my dogs, and it helps me a lot. I suppose it’s very individual – work out what makes you feel most at ease or helps you clear your head.
If I think a friend is down or struggling with an issue, the most important thing you can do is to be there for them. Day or night, make them feel heard and listened to and understood.