Pinterest has become an unexpected resource for users to discover new ways to relieve stress and anxiety and cope with mental health struggles. In the past two years, searches about learning and improving mental health started to rise during the pandemic and have continued to skyrocket throughout the past year. In an effort to meet the increasing need for emotional support content, the platform launched “Mind your Wellness”, a campaign which aims to raise awareness and inspire action during Mental Health Awareness Month. The initiative elevates the visual social media platform with resources, expert tips, and personal insight from of inspirational brand partners, like powerhouse actor and producer Marsai Martin.
“Black-ish” star, Martin has previously been vocal about her own mental health using her platform to show others they are not alone. In a 2019 Instagram post, she bravely opened up about battling depression. “Moments from this year, I was in a dark place,” she wrote. “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.” Through prayer and family support she was able to work through these emotions and get back to a positive headspace.
Through Pinterest TV, Martin will draw on her experiences and share her best practices for cultivating emotional well-being and speak with experts to experiment with new methods. Today, she speaks exclusively with EBONY about her role in the campaign and the importance of asking for help.
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.