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How these 3 words help Serena Williams weather tough times

The tennis great shared her favorite way to get "me-time" and told TODAY one of her mantras.
/ Source: TODAY

Whether she's having a stressful parenting day or dealing with tough circumstances, tennis legend Serena Williams says she's learned the only way through.

"You're going to go through a lot of things in life and there's no way to get through it other than to go through it," Williams said during an online event promoting the Nintendo Switch. "You can't go around it, can't go over it, can't go under it —just go through it, because it's never going to be easy, but it really builds a different character...after you go through different hardships and hard times."

Williams chatted with TODAY Parents during an online event promoting the Nintendo Switch, which she loves to use during downtime.Gao Jing / Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images

Williams' mantra may sound familiar: They're the words found in Michael Rosen's famous children's book "We're Going on a Bear Hunt."

Williams, who has a 3-year-old daughter, Olympia, with husband Alexis Ohanian, says she's realized the difficult things she's experienced have only prepared her to face different tough situations later.

"If you avoid things and avoid problems, that doesn't really work, so I really love that advice," Williams said of Rosen's iconic words.

Williams says she's currently working on carving out enough "me-time" in her busy days, something that's "a work in progress." But, the 39-year-old does have a go-to way to relax and unwind: playing video games.

And yes, she's great at Nintento's "Mario Tennis Aces" game.

“When I'm just taking some alone time I'll just sit on my couch while Olympia's at school or something and I just relax and pull out my Switch to have fun," said Williams. "My 'me-time' is usually in the afternoon because I feel like I'm going all day—I go go go and then come the afternoon, I just feel like I need to take a deep breath and just kind of relax."

And Williams, who married Ohanian in 2017, says her husband is quick to take over on parenting duties when she needs a minute.

"He's amazing," Williams told TODAY Parents. "He does a lot of takeover during the weekends and after he gets home from work...because that's when I usually need to take a deep breath and be like, 'I'll see you when it’s bath time.' He does a good job with that and (Olympia) loves that time with him."

Williams says her husband, Alexis Ohanian, often takes over in the early evening so she can relax and play her Nintendo Switch.
Williams says her husband, Alexis Ohanian, often takes over in the early evening so she can relax and play her Nintendo Switch.Nintendo

But will Williams let her daughter play video games when's she's older?

Williams says she has fond memories of playing Nintendo with her own siblings growing up, adding that favorites in her home were "Duck Hunt" and "Metroid."

As the youngest, she also recalls spending a lot of time watching them play, something she thinks may have prepared her for the days when Olympia gets into video games.

"I love watching people play video games," said Williams. "I think it's because when I was younger—oldest to the youngest—I was the lowest on the totem pole so I had to wait my turn."

"I'll have to see what games Olympia's into," Williams added, "and then play with her or just watch her."