Kesha Understands How a Break in Routine During the Holidays Affects Your Mental Health

The holidays are stressful for most people. There’s travel, coordination of gatherings, shopping for loved ones, time off work and so much more that strays away from a normal day’s routine. Routines help your day run smoothly and add a level of predicability. But when you have a mental illness, routines can also be vital to your wellbeing.

Grammy-nominated singer Kesha gets the importance of routines when you have a mental illness, and how detrimental it can be when the holidays disrupt them.

A break in routine can mean more time off work and, in return, more time to sit with negative thoughts, Kesha explained in an essay published by Time. You could experience loneliness if you aren’t with family, or you could be around family you don’t get along with. Holidays also bring parties that can tempt someone recovering from an addiction.

“In so many ways, the holidays can throw you off your game — and that can shake you,” she wrote. “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.”

Kesha received help for an eating disorder around the holidays with the help of her mother in 2014. It all came to a head at a dinner party when she became anxious about how to dispose of her uneaten food without people noticing, she told Rolling Stone.

“And I remember just shaking because I was so fed up, so anxious, and I was just mad that I had let myself get to that point,” she said.

In her Time essay, Kesha also writes about the importance of self-care during the holidays — and that it’s OK to take time for yourself away from family and friends.

“Around the holidays, I often feel like I’m supposed to be everywhere, with everyone — all with the added guilt that it’s the season of giving,” she wrote. “To fight this, I’ve developed a mantra: It’s not selfish to take time for yourself.”

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