Simone Biles Talked About How She Takes Care of Her Mental Health

At just 23-years-old, gymnast Simone Biles has had to deal with the pressures associated with being a four-time Olympic gold medalist. During a live-stream Masterclass, she discussed mental health advice and gave tips to young gymnasts.

In the live-stream, Biles spoke about how she takes her mental health just as seriously as her physical fitness and how she handles the stress prior to competing.

It turns out the gymnast is a huge fan of therapy, “Before a competition—usually a week or two [before]—I’ll go to therapy to decompress, be in a different atmosphere in a safe place, so I can say whatever I want, say how I’m feeling, [and get out] any negativity,” said Biles. “And it kind of just calms me.”

She also enjoys journaling which is a habit she started as a child after one of her coaches encouraged students to keep a journal to document how they felt their workouts went after practice was over. “I do recommend journaling because it’s a safe spot [to express yourself],” she said. “You can put your thoughts onto paper, however you’re feeling, or your goals, or whatever you want to do.”

Prior to her competitions, the Olympian runs through one last practice, eats healthy foods, gets a good nap, and listens to a playlist with her favorite songs.

Biles also turns away from social media prior to competing because she doesn’t want the pressure to win hanging over her or to disappoint fans. “I just want to make people happy with my gymnastics and bring them joy by them watching me,” she said in the Masterclass.