Naomi Osaka feels at peace prior to her Paris return.
The former world No. 1 withdrew from this week’s Rome tournament to recover from a strained Achilles she sustained in Madrid last week.
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Osaka is still a page-turning presence gracing the cover of Self Magazine.
In a new interview with Self writer Morgan Jerkins, Osaka discusses her positive state of mind—and that steps she’s taking to sustain it.
Osaka has founder inner peace through therapy, journaling and embracing dog days—sharing the love with her French Bulldog Butta.
“I have seen therapists in the past but not consistently until now,” Osaka said. “I’m super happy that I found the right person who really understands me and has been incredibly helpful.
“It’s kind of a scary first step to take…but I think it can be helpful to everyone in some shape or form and especially so to a large section of people. It doesn’t mean you are broken.”
The 2021 Roland Garros was a game-changer for the issue of mental health. Osaka pulled out of Roland-Garros after her first-round victory, ending a controversial week in Paris. She originally stated that she planned to boycott the press at Paris, and when the four Grand Slams reacted with strong disapproval, levying fines and threatening a suspension, she decided to withdraw from the tournament, citing mental health concerns.
Afterward, Osaka shared she’s been suffering bouts of depression since 2018 and admitted to feeling high anxiety about fulfilling her press duties in the past.
Osaka said she’s been journaling since the 2021 US Open and credits the practice with both helping her set up and summarize her day.
“I found it really helpful to reflect on the day or…write down what I want to achieve in the day,” Osaka said.
Bonding with Butta has helped Osaka share the love.
“He’s a big source of comfort for me,” Osaka said of her bulldog. “Whenever you pick him up, he just becomes a big baby.
“He’s really good at cuddling. I really love that about him.”
Photo credit: Getty