"It's always been a challenge of how do I manage that stress while also still getting to pursue the things that I want to?" the singer, 32, said
Hayley Kiyoko has struggled with chronic stress and depression since she was a teenager
The singer admitted that managing her stress has been difficult over the years because of her active lifestyle in the music industry
She said music has been a great tool for managing her stress levels and identifying her triggers has helped alleviate it
Hayley Kiyoko is opening up about her battle with chronic stress and how she’s learned to manage it over the years.
The singer-songwriter, 32, recently spoke to Variety and reflected on her mental health struggles and the importance of taking care of your body.
“I don’t think chronic stress is a great thing to have. I think it’s severely impacted my health. I’ve had a lot of health issues,” she told the outlet. “Being in this industry and having such a demand to constantly show up, and be going and going and going, has definitely affected my mental and physical health. It’s always been a challenge of how do I manage that stress while also still getting to pursue the things that I want to?”
“I feel like our health is our number one priority and if we can’t show up for ourselves, we can’t show up for others,” she continued.
Kiyoko admitted that a big contributing factor to her chronic stress was “being closeted” when she was a teenager, noting that she also struggled with depression at the time. The artist came out as lesbian in 2015 through her confessional song "Girls Like Girls," where she recounted the first time she fell in love.
“When you hold in your truth, that affects your stress and your health, and even though I didn’t feel safe enough to share in my environment, I was able to share and let it out through song,” she said.
The "For the Girls" songstress said that her approach to her health was put into perspective when, just a year after she was diagnosed with post-concussion disorder and depression in 2016, her father’s heart health declined and he received a transplant.
“Heart stuff is very near and dear to my heart, because someone saved my father’s life by being a donor,” Kiyoko said.
She continued, “I just learned that our health is so important and taking care of your body, checking in with yourself, seeing doctors and not neglecting the fact that we get older as each year goes by, and trying to maybe avoid alcohol and drugs and certain things that can really amplify stress and health issues down the line.”
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Kiyoko told Variety that music has been a great tool for her when it comes to managing her chronic stress, urging others to find what impacts their mental health and what helps alleviate the struggles.
“I think for any human being, the world is very hard to navigate. It can be very dark,” the "Curious" singer explained. “It’s unrealistic to say you just can have no stress in your life, but what is realistic is to be able to identify the triggers that cause stress and to be able to combat that with things that alleviate stress.”
“It’s really important to raise awareness for mental health and heart health because stress really impacts our hearts — and our hearts are the beating pulse of everything,” she said.
If you or someone you know needs mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.
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