By Angelica Gavaldon

Having played professional tennis, I always had to keep on top of my physical health, but my mental health was just as important. I worked with some of the leading sports psychologists in the world and learned tools that I use in my everyday life to keep me mentally healthy and strong. I would like to share the tips that have worked for me and that I believe everyone can benefit from:

  1. Sleep

When we don’t get enough sleep, not only do we feel physically drained the next day, but we also don’t manage stress as well. Good sleep helps put us in a better mood and allows us to face the day with more energy and less stress. It is highly recommended that those who suffer from anxiety or depression get plenty of sleep.

  1. Positive Self-Talk

We are so critical of ourselves. Usually, we do not realize the damage we do when our thought process is negative and self-defeating. In the beginning, shifting your thoughts can feel strange and uncomfortable but if you practice it enough, it becomes a reality, boosts your self-esteem, and brings you more joy and confidence into your life. So, make sure your inner voice is always encouraging you.

  1. Never Compare Yourself to Others

One of my favorite books was written by John Wooden. He is one of the best coaches in basketball and a great tip he would always give his players is to never make comparisons. There will always be someone stronger, taller, fitter, prettier, more successful, or vice versa, but it is important to remember that we are all unique and we should always strive to be the best we can be.

  1. Do Not Rush

With busy lives, rushing kids to school, making appointments, and daily activities, it seems like we are always in a hurry which can trigger anxiety. When you stress, you also stress your family members. Remember to slow down and breathe deep. Another thing that can also help waking yourself and your family up earlier, so you make it to your obligations on time.

  1. Gratitude

Count your blessings. For me, losing my dad has been the biggest heartbreak I have ever experienced, but every day I thank him. I am grateful for how much I was blessed, and his light will guide me always. He lives within me, because of him I am here and, in the pain of missing him, I find peace and joy to know that I am lucky to have had a father like him.

I hope these tips help you lead a healthier, happier life as they have for me.