How Kevin Love Is Handling His Coronavirus-Related Anxiety

The 5-Time NBA All Star shares how he's dealing with anxiety and prioritizing his mental health

By Elizabeth Yuko, Ph.D.
April 21, 2020

For people living with anxiety — like NBA player Kevin Love — spending weeks in quarantine thanks to the coronavirus outbreak has been a major challenge. As one of the 40 million American adults who live with some form of anxiety, Love is once again speaking out about the importance of destigmatizing mental health. Fortunately, as the Cleveland Cavalier told the Wall Street Journal Magazine, he has a few solid coping strategies that are helping him prioritize his mental health during the pandemic, which, he says, has changed his perspective on life. 

Love’s mental health advocacy started in 2018, when he wrote an essay for The Players’ Tribune in which he described in vivid detail the symptoms he experienced while having a panic attack during an NBA game, as well as the fact that it prompted him to start seeing a therapist for anxiety and depression. At that time, he also launched the Kevin Love Fund, a trust dedicated to helping people improve their physical and mental well-being. Since then, he has joined other athletes like Michael Phelps and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in speaking out about living with depression and anxiety, and changing the way we view people living with mental health illnesses.

In his recent interview with the WSJ Magazine, Love shares a few ways that he gets some relief from his anxiety. First, he stresses the importance of staying in touch with people: “Make sure you’re staying connected. Keep getting on the Zooms, the Instagram Lives, the FaceTime… I’m missing some here, I’ve been on every single one at this point, there’s like half a dozen. I think coming out of this, there’s going to be a number of tools that are going to help people stay connected and combat times like these.”

Love says that the time away from the NBA has given him the time to work on other projects, like the Kevin Love Fund and doing more reading. In addition, Love recommends using Headspace, a meditation and sleep app. “That’s a great tool that I gifted Cavs workers, our day-to-day staff as well as people who work in the arena and the organization,” he explains. 

Finally, Love is using this time in isolation to reflect and gain new perspectives. “If 2020 alone has taught me anything, it’s to enjoy the moment…It taught us and it taught me that life can be taken away from you so fast. It’s something that I already knew but it hits you so hard. COVID-19 has taken our everyday lives as we know them away,” he says. “I think the worst thing that can happen from this time is if we come out of it unchanged.”

Outlier Disclaimer

This site is for educational purposes and not a substitute for professional medical care by a doctor or otherwise qualified medical professional. The information provided by Outlier Magazine is on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services.

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