During this year of continued change and struggle, Demi Lovato opened up about the ways she's looked after her mental health. Writing a letter for Vogue, Lovato confessed that she once felt, and was made to feel ashamed, about having mental health struggles. However, she revealed how she's moved beyond that, and how she's continued to prioritize herself, even in a time of stress often exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic.
Opening her letter, the singer acknowledged that she's long dealt with "depression and mental illness," and she credited a recent increase in anxiety to the "uncertainty surrounding the pandemic." She pointed out how because of the pandemic, so many things are now out of our control, and she wanted to use this time to find a way to improve her emotional and mental wellbeing for the future.
As part of her new relaxing rituals, the singer said that she's started practicing yoga and meditation. She also journals, takes time to stretch, and relies on a nighttime ritual to help ease her into sleep.
She credits the pandemic with putting increased attention on mental health, writing, "It has shone a spotlight on mental health in a way like never before. For so many years, mental illness was seen as shameful. I certainly felt ashamed; I was made to feel ashamed. This comes from ignorance."
She continued, sharing her belief that people previously didn't understand what it meant to have anxiety or depression. "The more we’re learning about it now, however, the better we’re able to manage it as a public health crisis. Education and the language we use around mental wellness is crucial," she wrote.
Lovato called 2020 a year of change, and encouraged those reading to further spread awareness about the issues that matter to them. "Having so much downtime during quarantine has given me the space to realise there’s so much more I could be doing to help other people. I’m in the ‘at risk’ category for Covid-19 because of my asthma and other health issues, so I wasn’t able to attend any of the Black Lives Matter protests. But there were things I was able to do from home, just from using my platform," she said.
The former Disney Channel star admitted that even with a recent engagement, her 2020 has been filled with good and bad moments. But, from this moment forward, she wants to find a way to be hopeful, and that begins with her plans for the future. "I want to put my energy into my music and my advocacy work. I want to continue to strive to be a better person. I want to inspire people in many different ways to do the same. Above all, I want to leave the world a better place than when I got here. There are a lot of things that need to be done before that, but together I believe we can make it happen," she wrote.
If you or someone you know is seeking help for mental health concerns, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website, or call 1-800-950-NAMI(6264). For confidential treatment referrals, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website, or call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357). In an emergency, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or call 911.