Aly Raisman Talks About Her Mental Health Strategies

Closeup of Aly Raisman with long straight hair
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Fatima Araos

Aly Raisman may be a sports superstar and one of the most decorated gymnasts in the US, but it's no secret that she's also been through the lowest of lows.

The 28-year-old Olympic gold medalist was one of hundreds of gymnasts who were sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. Per, Raisman said in an interview with Hoda Kotb on Today, "It's hard to put into words how much it's impacted me, the trauma and the PTSD of it, where it's really translated into different parts of my life."

How has she been coping with her mental health challenges? Read below.


Aly Raisman wearing long wavy hair and white cowl-neck dress
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In an interview with Shape in December last year, the retired athlete talked about her strategies for managing her issues. One of them is seeing a mental health professional.

"I've been a big fan of therapy for a long time," she said. "I've been in therapy for years."

She explained that talking to a professional has been such a big help that she'd do it every day if she could. However, she tries not to rely on it too much. Instead, she uses the techniques she's learned from therapy in her daily life.

Support System

Aly Raisman posing in black floral dress
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Besides her therapist, Raisman gets support from a tight circle of family and friends. "I'm very lucky that I have a good support system," she said. "Sometimes it might take multiple [tries] to find that good support system, but I believe family doesn't have to be blood-related."

One of her main sources of strength is her dog, Mylo. "He has been so amazing for my mental health, and I love him so much," the former gymnast noted.

Follow A Routine

Establishing everyday rituals is a big help as well. Raisman said, "I am someone who does really well with routine so I've found the importance of — even when I'm traveling — trying to have some familiarity throughout my day."

Her regimen includes journaling, mental check-ins, listening to music, and exercising – although her workouts have drastically changed from seven-hour-a-day gymnastics training to just going for walks. "[G]etting fresh air makes me feel really good," she said.

Be Kind To Yourself

Finally, Raisman knows the importance of having compassion for herself. "[T}he way we talk to ourselves really matters and to be kind to ourselves and to remember that we're just human we are all doing the best we can to navigate life," she explained. "When I'm hard on myself, I feel worse, and then I feel more anxious, and it's a bad cycle."