The subject of mental health has been a taboo not just in India but across the world. Many thought illnesses like depression and anxiety were nothing but a hoax and that all one needed to do to “get over” a “bad mood” was to wake up early, exercise, and have home-cooked food. However, when certain celebrities started to open up about their mental health and dealing with illnesses did people started to take the subject seriously.
Speaking of which, none of than the cricket legend himself – Sachin Tendulkar – opened up about dealing with anxiety for a good 10-12 years of his life. He revealed how during his entire cricketing career, there were several nights he couldn’t sleep.
The Tribune quoted Sachin saying:
“I felt the anxiety for 10-12 years, had many sleepless nights before a game. Later on, I started accepting that it was part of my preparation. Then I made peace with times I was not able to sleep in the night. I would start doing something to keep my mind comfortable.”
He went on to highlight how before a match, one not only needs to be prepared physically but mentally too.
“Over a period of time I realised that besides preparing physically for a game, you have to prepare yourself mentally also. In my mind, the match started long before I entered the ground. The anxiety levels were very high.”
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He then went on to list the things he did when he couldn’t sleep, like shadow batting, watching TV and playing video games, reports Hindustan Times.
“Making tea, ironing my clothes also helped me prepare for the game. I would pack my bag the day before the game, my brother taught me all of it and it became a habit. I followed the same drill even in the last match I played for India.”
Finally, he stressed how it is important to acknowledge a problem one might be having. Accept the problem and seek help for it, he suggested.
“When there is an injury, physios and doctors examine you and diagnose what is wrong with you. The same is the case with mental health. It is normal for anyone to go through ups and downs and when you hit those lows you need people around. Acceptability is the key here. Not just for the player, for people around him also. Once you have accepted you start looking for solutions.”
The more influential people open up about mental health, the more will people recognise it as something crucial and will seek help when needed. Kudos to Sachin Tendulkar for opening up!