How do you deal with your own mental health?
I find taking breaks to be extremely helpful especially when I’m stressed or tired after school. I try my best to make time to relax and focus on my mental health. Even if it’s just for 20 minutes or something, everyday I try to take a break. Usually, I just play guitar or work on music but sometimes a break could mean watching Netflix.
What self-care practices would you recommend? Why do you think it is important to make time for yourself during the day?
I recommend journaling! At first, I was skeptical about it because I didn’t think it would benefit me the way it did. During quarantine, I started taking a moment out of my day to just write down my thoughts and reflect on the day. It helped me unpack my thoughts and emotions in a healthy way instead of bottling them up.
Do you believe that the stigma around mental health has decreased to a notable extent in your community? What may be the reason for this?
I would say that we’ve come a long way in terms of destigmatizing mental health and recognizing the mental health crisis within the Black community. Not only does society strip Black kids of their youth but also their ability to be vulnerable. Black children are taught at a young age that they have to be strong all the time because vulnerability is a weakness which isn’t true at all. Because of this, a lot of black youth suffer from undiagnosed mental illnesses and have to battle that alone. More people are speaking out and advocating for destigmatization which has allowed people to access the resources they need to take care of their mental health.
Why do you think prioritizing mental health is so important?
The state of your mental health can affect so many things especially our behavior and our physical well-being. It’s so easy for us to not pay attention to how we’re feeling throughout the day because we might be occupied with other things. It’s crucial that we take time during the day to de-stress and take care of ourselves.
How has the pandemic affected you mentally?
Spending time inside during quarantine actually helped me in a way. It was hard to adjust to everything, especially because so many changes were happening at once. But I had a lot of time to think and reflect and I began to learn a lot more about myself and how I react in certain situations. It was nice to finally pause and be able to really feel my emotions.
What would you want the Revive audiences to know about you?
I would say that I’m obviously not perfect and sometimes I forget to prioritize my own mental health. But taking care of yourself is a journey that requires you to be patient. Trying to take breaks every day has helped me so much and hopefully, it will help someone else.
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