I felt high anxiety for 10-12 years, couldn’t sleep at night: Sachin Tendulkar

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Published by Tapasya Iyer on 17 May 2021

The God of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday shared his experience of dealing with anxiety in the early years of his cricketing career in an interaction organized by Unacademy. He said that he had battled it for a major part of his 24 year old career.

Mental health awareness has increased considerably with the advent of the pandemic. In the last one year, the people have faced  low points, depression, anxiety and have become broad minded about the discussion of mental health and its necessary care. Mental health affects not just the personal life but also social and professional fronts.

Narrating his story, Tendulkar said, “Over the months, I realized that besides preparing physically for your game, you have to prepare mentally as well. In my mind, the match used to start long before entering the ground. The anxiety was very high. I felt anxiety for 10-12 years, and had many sleepless nights before a game. Later, I made peace with the times I was not able to sleep at night. I would start doing something to keep my mind relaxed. The something could be shadow batting, watching TV, playing video games or even making a cup of tea.”

Tendulkar said that acceptability is the key to mental health. When you feel that your mental health is affected, take immediate steps to bring it back in health. “When there is an injury, physios and doctors examine you and diagnose what is wrong. Same is the case with mental health, it is normal for anyone to go through ups and downs. When you hit lows, you need people around.  Once you have accepted you start looking around for solutions.”

He also said that one can learn from anyone, like he did from a hotel staff in Chennai. “That person got me Dosa in the room and after keeping it on the table he said that my elbow guard was restricting my bat swing, which was true. That advice helped me to address the issue in reality,” said Tendulkar emphasizing on the importance of life-long learning.

Tendulkar said that till his last match he battled anxiety and used different mechanisms to engage his mind. The 48-year-old retired after playing his 200th Test match in 2013. In the end, he thanked all the frontline workers for their relentless efforts throughout the pandemic to bring back the situation to normalcy. He urged people to take care of mental health during this tough times and lockdown.

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