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The Hardest Hit

Kearnan Myall – Caring Man Interview

Masculinity

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LAB Series

A word with former Wasps rugby star Kearnan Myall about his move into academia and mental health campaigning.

1. What have been the highlights of your year?

Personal highlight was getting accepted into Oxford to start a PhD. The reaction to the article in the Guardian was also a big thing for me. It was bitter sweet though, as I’m aware it only made such an impact because so many others are suffering in silence.

2. What are you gearing up to do next year?

The research for my PhD is really starting to take shape. I’ll be travelling to the US to meet some collegiate athletes to better understand the psychological stressors specific to young athletes in that system, which is very different to the rest of the world in how professional athletes develop. Then I’ll hopefully be working more closely with the RFU to develop my research with young elite rugby players.

3. What does caring mean to you?

For me, caring has two elements. There’s the traditional notion of caring – where you look after the interests of others, often above and beyond your own interests. Then the second element, which is often forgotten, is caring for ourselves. Developing self-compassion is one of the most powerful tools we can have as an individual. You’ll probably be more content internally with higher self-compassion, but then you’re also far more likely to be able to care for others better if you start with yourself.

4. Do you have any self-care tips for our ‘self-care at Christmas’ guide?

Be kind to yourself. Put aside some time just for yourself each day. Read a book, go for a run, meditate. Make whatever it is that you enjoy and makes you feel good a priority.

Follow Kearnan on Twitter. 

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