Top takeaways from Simone Biles’ keynote
Alongside its opportunities, the modern world is filled with challenges and worries. Larger issues like global health, the economy, and climate change, plus everyday individual stressors at home and work, can take a heavy toll on our mental health and overall well-being. Finding balance and protecting your equilibrium can be tough, especially in our always-on, high-performance culture. But we can do so many things to support our mental health, as I was reminded at Dreamforce a few weeks ago.
At Dreamforce, Simone Biles, the most decorated gymnast in history, gave a keynote on mental health in the workplace. For those unfamiliar with Simone Biles’s journey, she withdrew from the 2020 Olympics due to mental health concerns. Her decision to prioritize her mental health and her openness about it has galvanized conversations about the importance of mental health in professional sports.
During her keynote, Biles shared her experiences and advice on how to protect your mental health and build a supportive working environment for everyone. Here are the highlights that we’re taking to heart at NuAge Experts to build stronger, more supportive teams and better health:
Vulnerability is critical to building trust and a strong sense of psychological safety. By being open about your challenges and struggles—which could be things like feeling overwhelmed by a project deadline or stressing out about moving to a new city—you set a foundation for support and honesty that fosters trust. When people feel like they can be open and honest, that alone can be a stress reliever.
Emotional resilience is the ability to face and work through difficult emotions, emerging from the experience with healthy control and perspective. You can build resilience by cultivating interests and hobbies that fuel your tank outside work. If you only have one priority—work—it’s easier to become stressed and overworked.
You have to find ways to replenish your energy, whether that’s spending time with family, traveling, taking a class, or taking up a new hobby. Remember, you are more than what you do for a living. When you engage in diverse activities, you’ll feel like a more balanced and whole person, which will positively impact your work.
Asking for Help
It’s ok to ask for help. This one is so important that I’ll repeat it: It’s ok to ask for help.
Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s an act of bravery and strength. It’s ok not to know the answer or to need extra support. When you ask for help, you help create an environment of trust and space for people to “not know,” which leads to better collaboration and deeper team bonds.
Outside the Comfort Zone
This may sound counterintuitive, but doing something that scares you can help strengthen your mental health and well-being. Facing your fears and stretching yourself can build strength and resilience that you can call on when things are tough. Find ways to step outside of your comfort zone. You can start small. For example, if calling someone on the phone makes you nervous, try it in a low-stakes scenario, like calling a restaurant to make a dinner reservation instead of defaulting to an app.
Another challenge that seems small but can have a considerable impact is learning to say no. Know your limits and get comfortable declining a project or commitment that pushes you over the edge. Protect your time and, through that, your mental well-being.
The Power of Positivity
A positive mindset can have a huge impact on mental health. Every day is a new opportunity. Take some time at the beginning and end of each day to think or write about what you’re grateful for. When you practice gratitude and positivity, you can help retrain your brain to make optimism your default, which can help you overcome challenging situations.
Did you attend Simone Biles’s keynote? Share your takeaways and tips in the comments!