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Tennis champion Bianca Andreescu gives her tips on staying positive during a pandemic
TORONTO -- Teenage tennis champion Bianca Andreescu has a message for people her age: stay inside, but stay positive.
The reigning U.S. Open champion is no longer spending her days constantly training, or jetting around for competitions -- instead, like many Canadian 19-year-olds right now, she’s been at home with her parents.
With sports cancelled for the foreseeable future and the world on hold, how is she staying upbeat during the uncertainty of COVID-19? Andreescu told CTV’s Chief Anchor and Senior Editor Lisa LaFlamme that she is trying to “be as productive as I can right now during this tough time.”
Andreescu said she’s started making music, and meditates a lot in her spare time.
“That’s how I stay as grounded as possible, and as positive as I can, because it helps me stay in the present moment,” she said, “and it helps me stay in touch with my mind and whole body.”
She said that although we’re all in a frightening situation, she’s trying to make an active choice to see the bright side.
Being afraid right now is unavoidable, Andreescu believes. But she feels that we can make the choice to let that fear break us down, or “use that fear to our advantage,” whether that means spurring yourself to be more mindful of helping those who are in need right now, or improving yourself and expanding your horizons during your time in self-isolation.
“I choose to have a growth mindset,” she said. “I ask myself a bunch of questions. ‘What can I do during this time to be of help? What can I do for myself? What are things that I can learn that maybe I don’t know?’”
The tennis star is known for her bubbly personality, and for being a person who speaks through touch -- her hug with Serena Williams after Williams had to bow out of the Rogers Cup due to an injury has been seen across the world.
She acknowledged that it’s been hard to not have that in-person social interaction.
“It’s definitely not easy,” Andreescu said. “I’m an only child so I love socializing with my friends, but now, thanks to Facetime, thanks to technology, we have the luxury to FaceTime and talk to our friends, so that definitely helps.”
Although she’s focused on spreading positivity, she wants other young people to understand how serious the situation is.
“They have to realize that this virus is spreading very, very quickly, and it’s super heart-breaking to see what’s going on in this world right now,” she said. “They have to know that it can affect everybody, whether they’re rich, they’re poor, it shows us that we are all equal, no matter our background, our religion.
“And the one thing that they can do that will eventually stop this pandemic -- not only (young people) but literally everybody -- is to stay home as much as possible,” she said, adding that people should keep a safe distance from others on essential outings such as grocery shopping.
She feels lucky to be isolating with her parents, who she shares a close relationship to, and says that they are getting most essential things delivered, and haven’t left the house.
“Just be as compassionate as you can,” she said. “I know it’s not easy in a time like this, but it just shows us how we’re all connected, because if something affects someone it eventually affects another person.”