This athlete’s self-care tool kit includes bath bombs, straws, and therapy.
For the past two years, Olympian Chloe Kim’s been prioritizing her mental health, even if it means taking a day off. Sure, the snowboarder will burst into tears every now and then when she doesn’t land a trick, but according to the 22-year-old, that comes with the gold medal territory.
“Everyone feels pressure. Everyone is stressed, but in my sport, we train for four years for a total of three minutes. It’s insane, but that’s what we do,” she tells Elite Daily. For Kim, who stepped away from snowboarding for the 2022-2023 season to focus on her mental health, the only way to power through is by zeroing in on self-care. “Everyone should practice self-care, but for a really long time, I didn't,” she says of her choice to take a yearlong break from competition. “I was always giving myself an excuse to feel terrible.”
Now, Kim is trying something new: designing activewear. She collaborated with Roxy for The Chloe Kim Signature Collection, a line of snowboarding apparel in dreamy pastels. “The thing I was most excited about was just being able to design exactly what I wanted to wear,” she says. “Roxy has been slaying the outerwear game, so I knew tech-wise, it was going to be perfect, and I got to have fun with the design.” The line dropped on Nov. 9 and is available now on roxy.com and in select stores worldwide.
Just because Kim hasn’t been smashing world records on her snowboard lately, doesn’t mean she hasn’t been busy. Below, the athlete shares what she does to wind down, how she handles pressure, and the aesthetic she’s vibing with right now.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Elite Daily: As an Olympian, how do you balance taking care of yourself with maintaining your level of athleticism?
Chole Kim: I destroy my body for a living. I'm falling from 20 feet to my butt. That's my job. Every athlete wants to just push themselves to the max, that's what makes you a great athlete, but there are moments when you need to chill, maybe have a stretch day, or don't try the hardest trick that you know. It took me a long time to realize that just because I sit a practice out or take the day off doesn’t mean I'm falling behind. It means that I'm preparing myself to be as productive as possible the following day.
ED: What does prioritizing your mental health look like for you right now? What tools are you using?
CK: I think my biggest tool is just being honest with my team, my friends, and my family. Being able to be that person that stands up for myself has been very healing and comforting.
ED: Do you have any advice for someone who’s just starting out on their mental health journey and wants to take better care of themselves, but doesn't know how to take that first step?
CK: First, be so incredibly proud of yourself. Step 1 is wanting to start taking care of your mental health. That's a huge step. I started therapy in 2020, it was the best decision of my life, and I think that's always a really good start. It’s also really challenging in a lot of ways because there's no handbook that tells you how to take care of your mental health. It looks different for everybody. You have to find what works for you, but good job, everyone. We can work on our mental health together.
ED: Has your identity as a first-generation Korean American impacted the way that you face challenges or pressure?
CK: Absolutely. I remember growing up snowboarding and not really having anyone to look up to or relate to. I realized that I needed to be that person for the next generation of Korean American and Asian American girls out there. My parents raised me to be strong and independent and fearless, and I'm so grateful for that because I don't think I would be able to be at this point in my life if it weren't for those things ingrained in me at a young age.
ED: Is there a difference between pressure and the pressure to be perfect for you?
CK: 100%. In my personal life, there’s always some pressure whether it be getting the right job, doing the right things, or making the right decisions. That's a form of pressure in everyday life, but when it comes to my sport, I’m a perfectionist. I'll try a trick and my coach is like, "Oh my God, that was great." And I'm like, "No, that was awful. I'm going to do that again. I don't like that."
ED: You’ve talked about that nasty Instagram DM that almost made you quit your record-breaking career. Did that experience change your relationship with social media?
CK: I was late to the social media party, so I didn't really know what social media was like. When I started getting those types of messages, it definitely changed my perspective. I realized I needed to have thick skin.
ED: Do you relate to it differently in your 20s than you did as a teenager?
CK: You won't really catch me scrolling through Instagram. I definitely was addicted at one point in my life. Now, I just see it as a way to connect with fans.
ED: How long does it take you to wind down in the evening?
CK: Girl, I could be asleep in 30 minutes. I can walk in the door, brush my teeth, wash my face, and pass out. Sometimes I'll just get in bed and I never get up. Then the next day, I wake up, and I still have my makeup and clothes on from the night before.
ED: Are there any self-care rituals or traditions from your Korean heritage that you like to turn to when it comes to practicing self-care?
CK: There's this Korean hack for when you have indigestion. Tie a rubber band around your finger, prick it right near the nailbed and squeeze the blood out. It’s supposed to help reset your gut and help with the pain. The blood comes out super, super dark. I use lancets (small needles). My mom used to do it to me all the time and now I go around stabbing all my friend's fingers. Whenever they have stomach aches, I'm like, "Come here."
ED: How do you pamper yourself?
CK: I’ll run a bath, throw a bath bomb in, and read or watch Game of Thrones. I’ll do retail therapy. I crave certain things at certain times.
ED: Do you have a favorite brand of bath bomb? Are you a Lushy?
CK: I am a Lushy. Guilty as charged. I love their Intergalactic one. It's a pain to clean the tub after, but the colors and the glitter are so worth it. I also like their Butterball bath bomb. It smells like baby powder and I love it.
Chloe Kim’s Skin Care Faves
ED: I imagine that wind and cold weather can really do a number on your skin. Can you drop some of your fave skin care products, especially for winter?
CK: Oh my God, I love the Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream. I put a lot of my friends on it too, because it's just so hydrating and it saves me every single day.
ED: What other skin care secret weapons do you have?
CK: Probably just water. Honestly, I feel like everyone thinks I have this elaborate skin care routine, but I'm just lazy. If I’m feeling super dry, I’ll do a sheet mask and Tatcha’s Indigo Overnight Repair Serum Cream. Laneige has this amazing Water Sleeping Mask and their lip mask is the best. I genuinely think it's mostly genetic too. Both of my parents have super glowy skin.
ED: Are you super-hydrated all the time?
CK: I'm so hydrated. I drink so much water. I go through maybe one and a half of the big Hydro Flasks every day. I put a straw in it and I think maybe that's why I'm able to drink more. Before the straw, I would never drink water. My pee would be orange.
ED: I know you like to mix up your style. What aesthetics are you really into right now?
CK: I'm really into the whole oversized vibe right now. All my pants are super baggy. Everything's super, super baggy. I've been shopping in the men's section, just looking for the baggiest things and I love it.
ED: Do you have any tips for shopping in the menswear section?
CK: Honestly, just grab what you want and know that you can get it tailored.