Son Izhaan a boost for Sania Mirza's mental health

For the Indian tennis player, the birth of her son with cricketer Shoaib Malik has come at the right time.

By Utathya Nag ·

Indian tennis star Sania Mirza has opened up about how she has suffered from anxiety at points in her life.

But for the first-time mother, her 20-month-old son Izhaan has helped her overcome the challenge.

“It’s normal to feel anxious, nervous, not being able to sleep. Saying this from my personal experience. When recently I faced anxiety, there was nothing that actually triggered it.

“It was something that was probably going on and we mask it so well that we don’t even recognise it,” Mirza shared about her own mental health in an interview with Hindustan Times.

Accepting that an issue exists and addressing it head on, Sania Mirza feels, is the first step towards helping yourself overcome these situations.

The Rio Olympics 2016 mixed doubles semi-finalist also warned against suppressing emotions during these tough times and noted it’s perfectly fine to let them show.

“Throughout our lives, we’re so busy with other things that we ignore our mental health. It’s absolutely fine to feel depressed and even cry,” the tennis star opined.

Turn to family and close ones for help

Her personal fix, according to the six-time Grand Slam winner, is talking about it with close friends and family or just being close to them during difficult times.

“Whenever that happens, talk to someone who’s close to you. I also do that,” she says.

The Indian tennis star and her husband, former Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik, welcomed their first child, Izhaan Mirza Malik, in October 2018 and for Sania Mirza, her son has been a positive influence in her life keeping her mental health in a good place.

“I drive strength from my family, especially my son Izhaan. No matter how bad my day is, his smile makes everything better,” Sania Mirza stated. “I’m sure we all have that one person who makes us feel that way. Keep them closer.”

After becoming a mother, Sania Mirza came back on the tennis court after a two-year-long maternity break and marked a triumphant return to the WTA arena, winning the Hobart Open doubles title alongside Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok in January.

With her 18-month-old son looking on from the stands, she also played an integral role in guiding the Indian women’s team to their maiden Fed Cup playoffs.