Internationally renowned and Grammy-nominated pop star Kesha has penned an open letter about mental illness during the Christmas season.
The 30-year-old, who is best known for her hit songs TiK ToK and Praying, wrote the letter for Time.
She was commissioned to write the letter by Option B, an initiative that aims to raise awareness of mental health issues during the festive period.
Christmas is supposed to be a fun period of celebration and union.
That can often be the opposite for people who suffer from depression, anxiety or other issues, especially if they feel isolated.
Kesha, who is open about her struggles with mental health, understands this.
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.
Or you are off from work, with more time to think troubling thoughts. Or you are at work and can’t be with those you love.
Or you are thrust into party situations that tempt your demons. Or you aren’t invited to those tempting parties.
As Kesha explains, Christmas has the ability to throw sufferers out of their routine and it can be hard to seek help.
To be able to deal with her eating disorder Kesha had to seek help from her mother during the holidays but as we all know Christmas can be very stressful and time consuming for multiple reasons.
All those people to see, family to visit and presents to wrap/feign excitement over can be exhausting.
Therefore, Kesha has developed a simple mantra that anyone can abide by:
It's not selfish to take time for yourself.
This could include going for a walk, talking to a friend or therapist, skipping a few gatherings or maybe give a meditation app a go.
Also, try not to put too much expectation on the day itself.
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.
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.
This doesn't mean that you should be a complete stranger to your friends and family but if you take some time for yourself you will be in an overall better mood.
Kesha concludes the letter by writing:
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.
And most importantly just remember to give yourself a break!
The article has since gone viral on social media with fans thanking Kesha for her honesty on the subject.