Walk n' Talk with Anabelle Smith

It's important that we stay connected with friends, family and members of the community, now more than ever.

Victorian Institute of Sport Performance Lifestyle team caught up with Olympic diver Anabelle Smith, to check in and see how she has been coping. 

Anabelle, How are you? & what have you been doing recently during lockdown 2.0?

I am doing relatively well. I have been trying to stay positive and keep busy to help myself feel motivated and energetic. I have been engaging in quite a lot of virtual presentations with school students, corporate groups and other organisations, which has been really rewarding. We have had minimal access to training in the pool which has enabled me to maintain purpose and keep doing my best to stay ready for when training can resume full time.        

What have you done to prioritise your own wellbeing and mental health?  What are you key self-care activities? 

I have been focusing on getting lots of sleep and ensuring I get outside for a walk or a coffee during our 1 hour of daily exercise. I have also been mindful to reduce my screen time on my phone as I was getting pretty discouraged seeing lots of people interstate living much more normally than us down here in Melbourne. Another key self care activity for me is my morning and night time skin care routine, as well as taking time to just relax and watch the footy and switch off from the stress of the current circumstances.

How have you kept connected to your family & friends?  

FaceTime has been a blessing! I call my sister daily and talk to my parents every other day. I have loved staying connected with my grandparents over FaceTime too, and they absolutely light up being able to see each other through the phone! I can’t wait to hug them. 

How have you reached out to support others during this time?  

I have been really conscious to check in on my friends and make sure everyone feels supported. My friends and I do a weekly zoom / Netflix night on the weekends, so that has been something to look forward to. Everyone is struggling in different ways over this pandemic, so sending a simple message or a surprise gift can really make someones day!

If you have a tough day what helps you to re-set and re-focus for the next day? 

I just allow myself to feel all my emotions, and realise it is ok to have tough days. But then I let it go and focus on a new day. I also have utilised my support team to lean on if I need some extra support. They have been so amazing!

What message might you have for the wider VIS community about RU OK? Day and Mental Health awareness? 

It is so normal to feel like you are on a rollercoaster during this time. Everyone is feeling a range of emotions, so reaching out and talking about it to your friends and family can be so beneficial for everyone. Keep reminding yourself that this too shall pass, and in the mean time just focus on things you can control to try and ride the wave as best as you can!


This Thursday is 'R U OK? Day' and our Performance Lifestyle Team is encouraging everyone to make some time to prioritise your own wellbeing, to reach out and connect with family and friends via phone or virtual communication and ask the question - are you OK? 

The simple question could be very important or vital for someone you know. For tips and resources on how to start and have a conversation, click here.

Olympic champions, Tokyo 2020 hopefuls and a global music star will help empower athletes' mental health this September, as The Australian Olympic Committee released the official lineup of 12 athletes and experts for Wellbeing Week, presented by Allianz. With daily live streamed shows from 7-11 September, Wellbeing Week will showcase how Australians can improve their mental health and wellbeing. Click here and tune into today at 1pm.

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