Relaxation is Yahoo Life’s wellness series in which experts, influencers and celebrities share their approaches to wellness and Mental Health, from self-care rituals to setting healthy boundaries to mantras that keep them afloat.
Lindsey Vonn may no longer compete in her sport, but the retired Olympic skier continues to use her voice to support professional athletes as she talks about her struggles with mental health.
“I think there is a common misconception among athletes that because we are strong and we get on the podium we are kind of immune to mental health issues,” said the runner. downhill ski and World Cup gold medalist at Yahoo Life. “I think on the contrary, it makes us more susceptible to things like that because we are isolated and we often do not have a support system for our mental health.”
Vonn explains that although she once felt she was not “normal” for her feelings, she later admitted that she had reason to experience loneliness amid the chaos of her career.
“I have been skiing since the age of two and a half, I have been racing since the age of seven. It has really been the center of my life for as long as I can remember, ”she says. “After winning the Olympics in 2010, I kind of got bombarded with a lot of negativity that I wasn’t quite equipped to handle, so I really struggled with that and struggled with just confidence and body image for a long time. “
Upon her retirement in 2019, she struggled to come to terms with what her life was like without sports. “You wake up one day and you don’t do what you always did anymore. So even though I had prepared for it, it was still very difficult to deal with emotionally,” she shares.
When it came to taking care of herself – physically and mentally – Vonn also faced a change.
“My body is my body and it has helped me be successful in so many ways in life. I have always trained, but I have always worked for one purpose, which is to compete. And now I am training. for my mental health, ”she admits. “Honestly, I feel like it helps me more mentally than physically and it’s a great way for me to start my day and feel really empowered and confident.”
As for Vonn’s support system, she explains that she has been dependent on her dogs for a long time. “When you travel and compete and you’re always on the go you don’t really have much stability and my dogs have really given me a sense of belonging and a sense of grounding that I don’t get from anything. other. I wish there was a human who would do that, but so far they’re just my dogs. We’re quite the pack. ”
And although she won’t make her own Olympics appearance, Vonn assures that she still does the job to keep herself in the best shape possible.
“I feel like you are still working on your mental health like everything else in life. I am still learning and growing and every day you are becoming a better person and I am learning more about myself. But I’m at a very advanced stage, happy stage of life, ”she explains.“ I’m very present right now and I’m not looking too far into the future. I just enjoy, I work hard and mentally, physically, emotionally, I feel great. “
Video produced by Stacy Jackman
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