Due to recent heartbreaking events, including the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, mental illness and self-care have come to the forefront of everyone’s minds. As it usually (unfortunately) goes, our personal afflictions and emotions often get pushed under the rug because of the way our culture stigmatizes mental illness and those who struggle with it. But as more and more people, particularly leaders and celebrities, open up about their own struggles—and as we’re faced with harsh realities and losses as a result of untreated illnesses—the importance of sharing and getting support with these issues is becoming more widely understood.
Most recently, “Closer” singer, Halsey, took her thoughts to Instagram on June 10, on what is generally known as “self-care Sunday.” However, instead of posting her skin-care routine or a photo of herself in the bath, Halsey took time to recount her “ongoing battle” with mental illness and what she does to combat the “hazy fog of dysphoria.”
I’ve been working very hard trying to commit to a better routine of self care. It’s easy to get frustrated and tired and feel like everything is mundane and hopeless. I sat myself down and reflected and realized I needed to spend my free time finding better ways to climb higher, rather than sit around in a hazy fog of dysphoria. Mental illness is an ongoing battle. And it ebbs and flows like an ocean. I know this blissful feeling isn’t permanent, but at least I’m figuring out what’s effective for me and can apply it when things start to slide downhill again. Therapy, massage, stretching, exercise, diet, writing, taking 5 minutes to soak up some sun. 5 minutes to remind myself how fortunate I am to be a tiny human with big dreams and weighted shoulders with the privilege to carry that weight for myself and those I love. It’s a small start, but she’s happy. And I’m here for you too. 💛
In the caption, the 23-year-old shared that when she feels down and despondent, she’s starting to turn to new outlets to vent her stress and treat her blues, including a mix of physical and emotional releases like therapy, massage, working out, eating healthy, writing, or getting outside. But most importantly, she reminds herself of her blessings: “5 minutes to remind myself how fortunate I am to be a tiny human with big dreams and weighted shoulders with the privilege to carry that weight for myself and those I love.”
Halsey’s definitely on the right track. Research summarized on Harvard Medical School’s publishing site indicates that focusing on gratitude and positivity is “strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness,” helping people “feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
Halsey ended her post by reaching out to anyone else struggling: “And I’m here for you too.” Although there’s not a one-size-fits-all way to treat mental illness, it helps when high-profile people remind us that no life is perfect—no matter what it looks like on social media. Plus, seeing the multiple realities of mental illness helps us to understand that it’s never something to be ashamed of, but rather, something to cope with and talk about.
We applaud celebrities for being so candid about their experiences because, TBH, caring for yourself is hard. Take some time today to think about what truly makes you happy— even if it’s just sitting in the sun for five minutes, like Halsey.