It’s the most wonderful time of the year — except when it’s not. The holidays are notoriously stressful — with the shopping frenzy, family gatherings (and difficult relatives) and constant reminders that we should be “merry and bright” even when we’re not. (Gee, thanks, 24/7 Christmas tunes!)
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And that’s under the best of circumstances: Imagine what it’s like to confront the holiday season when you’re already dealing with depression, anxiety, addiction or any other mental health issue. It would be insanely difficult. And that’s something Kesha understands.
In a new essay for Time, the singer shares her advice for making it through the next month when you’re struggling with mental illness. In the past, she’s been very open about her battles with an eating disorder, and in this essay she reveals it was actually during the holiday season that she “hit a low moment,” which was when she decided to get help.
The 30-year-old artist also writes that one of the hardest parts of the season is that it “can throw you off your game.” As she explains, “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.”
To help cope, she abides by this mantra: “It’s not selfish to take time for yourself.” She suggests taking a walk outside, talking to a trusted friend or therapist and meditating. (Try these eight easy tips for mindful meditation.)
Another bit of wisdom she shares? “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.”
We’d say that’s good advice for all of us, no matter what the time of year!
Read more: 11 Celebrities Who Struggle With Depression
What Do YOU Think?
What’s the most stressful part of the holiday season for you? Do you have any strategies for staying sane? Let us know in the comments below!