Kesha Explains Why The Holidays Are So Draining For People With Mental Illness

Kesha knows just how difficult the holiday season can be for people dealing with mental health challenges. 

The singer-songwriter wrote an essay published in Time on Thursday as part of the magazine’s partnership with Sheryl Sandberg’s mental health initiative, #OptionBThere. In the piece, Kesha discussed how the holidays often throw people out of their routines and can set them back emotionally. 

“When you have a routine, it’s easier to manage whatever mental struggles you may be faced with, and when that routine is broken, it can trigger things you may not be ready to face,” she wrote. “I know it has for me. 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 gave a few tips to ease the inevitable anxiety: Take a walk, talk to a friend, don’t be afraid to take some personal time away from family or download a meditation app. 

Kesha’s personal mantra? “It’s not selfish to take time for yourself,” she wrote.

“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,” she wrote. “So don’t ask yourself things like ‘It’s almost Christmas, why am I not happy?’ That can turn into a shame cycle. It’s just another day — don’t put unrealistic expectations on it, and don’t beat yourself up.”

Head over to Time magazine to read Kesha’s full essay. 

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