With stressers that seem to be an ever constant in this “new normal,” everyone is seeking ways to take care of self not only physically, but mentally as well. Seventeen-year-old Marsai Martin is no different. The teen recently opened up about maintaining her mental health and how she avoids burnout in a recent exclusive interview with Ebony Magazine.
This is a topic that is near and dear to Martin’s heart. If you remember, back in 2019, she posted on Instagram that she too had been suffering from depression, letting fans know that they were not alone.
“Moments from this year, I was in a dark place,” she wrote on the popular social media site. “A place that I didn’t think I was going to get out of. I thought I wasn’t good enough and I thought I needed to present myself in a way that was ‘perfect’ when I didn’t need to. Putting so much pressure on myself. Fighting with myself. The more I kept how I was feeling hidden, the more this dark emotion got bigger.”
Take a look at what Martin had to share below.
EBONY: What are some tools you can share about how you manage stress and anxiety in your everyday life, especially while being a public figure?
Marsai Martin: I do a lot of quiet breathing exercises. I take walks, I journal, decadent baths with good music, essential oils and candles always help as well. Whatever helps you feel less weight on your shoulders will help ease that tension and pressure.
You have accomplished so much at such a young age. With all of your success, do you ever feel pressure to over-perform? Is it difficult to slow down when you need a break or maintain boundaries?
Yes, it’s difficult mostly because sometimes it’s hard to turn down great opportunities, but I have to remind myself that I am only one person, and the things that are for me will not miss me. Even if I have to postpone or pass it up when it initially presents itself.
You’ve been so brave and open about your struggle with depression and dealing with it in silence. How important is it for you to show other young people that it is important to voice how they are feeling and seek help when needed?
Well, what I learned is the only way to truly get help with an issue is to make folks aware when you need help. I try to remember that sometimes when I keep things to myself I won’t get an outside perspective that may help me realize things are that bad or help.
You posted such a beautiful tribute about “Black-ish” coming to an end. Now that this era of your life is complete, what are you looking forward to next?
I’m looking forward to a little more diversity in my projects. I am producing some great things that I don’t star in, filming things I am in, and get the opportunity to bring some new characters to life as well. Blackish was the best journey I’ve had to this day and I’m excited about what’s next.
Please detail what you are hoping comes from your involvement in the Pinterest campaign.
I hope that people of all ages discover some effective tools to help alleviate mental stress. I learned some things in this process and I love to always share what I’ve learned when it may be helpful to others.
If you are unfamiliar with the Pintrest campaign that Martin has partnered with to bring awareness to mental health, we have the details.
According to the Pintrest newsroom,
Pinterest is committed to advancing emotional wellbeing and deliberately engineering a more inspiring internet for all. To raise awareness and inspire during Mental Health Awareness Month, Pinterest is elevating the voice and work of our inspirational Creators, Purpose Partners, and launching our newest Pinterest Havens, “A Whole Mood,” inviting everyone to “Mind Your Wellness” both online and in real life.
“We see emotional wellbeing as core to everything we do at Pinterest, and essential to our mission of bringing people inspiration to live a life they love. That’s true not just during Mental Health Awareness Month, but year round – both on-platform and offline,” Ari Simon, Head of Social Impact and Philanthropy at Pinterest, said in a statement.
Simon continued, “And that commitment cuts across so many parts of our company and platform – including not only the remarkable efforts of nonprofits and NGOs through our Purpose Partnerships, but also the incredible work of Creators and Pinners to promote nourishing content that supports emotional health and wellness across communities.”
Know that the next time you pin, you can view messages, tips, and more to help with mental health awareness from those like Martin, letting you know that you are not alone.
For more information on mental health or mental health awareness month, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness here.