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The 2021 ESSENCE Wellness House: You Are What You Think placed a specific focus on doing a temperature check to ensure we’re all taking the steps towards getting a better handle on our mental health.

The virtual experience featured a wide array of experts and thought leaders who came together to share their personal experiences and advice. Speaking from the perspective of professional athletes, Olympic Champion Sanya Richards-Ross and NFL Veteran Emmanuel Acho joined ESSENCE Lifestyle Director Charli Penn to weigh in on what strategies they’ve implemented to keep their mental health in tip top shape.

“In life, many times, we all are prepared to do great things, but it’s the person who is able to be mentally locked into that moment who is going to perform at their best,” Richards-Ross said, noting how she could relate to the highly-publicized mental health challenges shared by fellow top athletes Simone Biles & Naomi Osaka . “And so, I’m so happy that conversation has been opened up. In 2008, I started working with a sports psychologist because I realized that I had a coach who was helping me to be my best physically, but I needed that as well to be my best mentally.”

Acho later shared a story about how an unexpected phone call from Grammy-winning rapper Lil Wayne reminded him that everyone, regardless of social status or notoriety, has to prioritize their mental health and work to find peace.

“Regardless of how high someone gets, they still have low lows,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how great you are at your craft, you still have to deal with the solitude of yourself.”

Watch the video above to hear the conversation in full. Fore more of everything you missed at ESSENCE Wellness House.

The 2021 ESSENCE Wellness House is sponsored by Tropicana, TV One and WW.

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