Since coming forward with her own story of sexual abuse at the hands of disgraced former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar (who was subsequently convicted on several counts of sexual assaul), Aly Raisman has become a very vocal advocate for her fellow survivors.
She first detailed her allegations against Nassar in her book Fierce, which was released last November. And in the ensuing months she joined more than 150 survivors in speaking at Nassar’s sentencing hearing, publicly called out USA Gymnastics for allegedly allowing the abuse to continue for decades, and filed a lawsuit against the organization and the U.S. Olympic Committee to launch an investigation into how Nassar’s behavior was able to go on for so long.
Now, in a new interview for InStyle‘s August 2018 “Badass Women” issue, Raisman explained how she’s had to learn to prioritize her own physical and mental health as she continues her fight to make the world a better, safer place.
Though her work is incredibly important, it’s also undoubtedly emotionally and mentally taxing.
“The last few months I wasn’t putting myself first at all,” she told the magazine. “I was so obsessed with trying to make change and do everything that I could. Now I’m realizing that this is not going to get fixed overnight, so I still have to make time for my family and friends and, of course, myself.”
Raisman said she regularly meets with a therapist, gets acupuncture, and meditates multiple times a day. “I was getting a lot of headaches from traveling, but since I’ve started meditating, I rarely get them,” she said. “Overall, I’ve been trying to listen to my body more.”
She also said that she’s making it a priority to spend this summer traveling, relax at her parents’ house in Cape Cod, catch up with her friends, and practice self-care. “I focus on things that help me relax and take my mind off all that has happened,” she said, giving the examples of swimming, reading, watching documentaries, and cooking.
These techniques have become more crucial the more outspoken against sexual abuse Raisman has become.
“When I go shopping or out to dinner, people want to share their stories about abuse, which is something I never expected,” she said, adding that although she’s “honored” to have these conversations, they’re also often difficult for her to hear. “I am very triggered, sometimes for a few days. I want to support them, but I make sure that I take good care of myself after.”
Still, Raisman has no intention of backing away from her platform. In fact, she told InStyle that she’ll probably be too busy advocating for survivors to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
“I’m not training right now,” she said. “I always want to be involved in gymnastics, but I can make more change outside the sport.”
Resposted from: https://www.self.com/story/aly-raisman-self-care-while-continuing-to-advocate-for-survivors