If you’re feeling anxious right now, stop what you’re doing immediately, get on YouTube, and listen to Naomi Osaka’s Meditations for Children. I don’t care how old you are. Just trust me.
On her journey to further center mental health, Osaka recently partnered with Modern Health, a mental healthcare platform, to release a series of meditations that are free and accessible to anyone with wifi. Although they’re technically crafted for children, if you’re a specific type of adult like me who gets overwhelmed by the very thought of meditating, this will do the trick.
Osaka decided to start the meditation services because of her own struggles with anxiety, as well as the growing mental health crisis among young people in general. According to Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute, from 2016 to 2019, rates of anxiety and depression among teens grew by 24%, a number that has likely increased even more since the pandemic.
Personally, I think it’s really soothing to see a young woman of color be so prominent in spreading awareness around mental health. As an immigrant living in America who is doing their best to unlearn the idea that your career should come before your well-being, seeing Osaka make mental health a priority feels like permission to do the same.
For a long time, I’ve associated practices like yoga and meditation with a certain flavor of upper-class whiteness, but the more other people of color admit that we need to take care of our mental health, the more I think we can all admit that it’s OK to not feel put together.
Also, there’s something that feels particularly tender and gentle about these meditations being made for children and teens — it’s almost like the simplicity of the language makes you remember how basic the emotions that we all share really are. “I invite you to notice the air coming in through your nose and out through your mouth,” she says. “This is what we call the breath. It gives our body life and the ability to play, dance and jump around.”
We really gotta thank Naomi for this one.