Kesha has opened up about how the festive period can negatively impact our emotional well-being, and how to prevent this during the holidays.
Whether it’s loved ones returning home for the holidays, a surplus of party invites or festive catch-ups with friends, our calendars are filled to the brim during the Christmas period – which is a source of happiness for many people.
However, the same is often not true for those who suffer from depression, anxiety or other issues, especially if they feel isolated. Which is why Kesha has penned an honest open letter to all those struggling with their mental health during the festive season.
Commissioned to write the letter by Option B – an initiative created by Sheryl Sandberg which promotes the awareness of mental health – the musician begins by saying that this time of year can be “stressful” and “emotional”, especially if you suffer from “depression, anxiety, addiction or any other challenges”.
“The holidays break your routine. Sometimes, you’re forced to spend time with family you rarely see and don’t always get along with. Or maybe you’re alone when everyone else is with family,” Kesha writes for Time.
The singer, who has long been open about her own struggles with her mental health, recalls that it was during Christmas that she addressed her eating disorder.
“It was during the holidays when I hit a low moment and with the help of my mother decided to seek help for my eating disorder,” she says.
Kesha goes on to address the feeling of sometimes needing to please everyone around this time of year (which we can all relate to), instead of taking some much-required time for yourself.
“Around the holidays, I often feel like I’m supposed to be everywhere, with everyone — all with the added guilt that it’s the season of giving,” she writes. “To fight this, I’ve developed a mantra: It’s not selfish to take time for yourself.”
From going for a walk, to listening to apps that help with mental health or chatting with a friend, it’s important to find a calm place during the festivities.
“It’s not your responsibility to try to make the whole world happy.
“Especially since sometimes it’s not that easy to make yourself happy, either — even with all the celebrations and gifts and seasonal decorations, foods and drinks, which can only do so much… it’s just another day — don’t put unrealistic expectations on it, and don’t beat yourself up.”
Kesha finishes by saying that it’s essential to find thanks for what you do have.
“This holiday season, I will be missing a beloved member of my family who passed away recently, but I have to remember to be thankful for the family that I do have and careful not to fall into an existential crisis downward spiral,” she said.
“And most importantly just remember to give yourself a break!”
Images: Rex Features / Instagram