Self-Care Q&A with Jarred Denzel Keller

Who are you, what do you do, and what do you love?

My name is Jarred Denzel Keller, and I’m a mental health advocate using my social media to share my journey and normalize the conversation surrounding mental health. Following the suicide of my friend, I decided to become more vocal about my struggles with anxiety, depression, and suicide ideation to help those suffering in silence. Using my story to shine a light on what mental health looks like, I share my triumphs and failures regarding my mental health to remind others that “it’s ok not to be ok.”

What is your experience with self-care?

Truthfully, my experience with self-care has been somewhat difficult. If I’m not being productive or working towards a goal, I feel like I cannot relax, and my anxiety flares up. However, learning your triggers and how to navigate them is part of the mental health journey, so I’m working towards allowing more self-care into my daily life.

What do you do to take care of yourself?

I hit pause on everything! I literally step away from it all and just relax. Relaxing should be easy but can be difficult for me. I force myself to relax though because burnout is far worse.

Do any of the 6 types of self-care stand out to you and do you have any examples of care in these areas specifically?

Emotional / Mental – I try my best to be present and acknowledge my feelings because if you don’t, they will manifest in your life in ways you might not want. However, acknowledging your emotional state can be tough because it means saying, “I have a problem,” or “No, I’m not ok right now,” and that can make you feel weak. But it takes strength to admit I feel a little weak right now.

Physical – Working out is the best way to rid yourself of anxiety in the physical form. When I’m lifting, the anxious energy is forced out because you cannot lift and allow your muscles to remain tensed up. Somedays I hate going to the gym but it’s always worth it.

How would you encourage others to care for themselves?

You must prioritize self-care or you will go crazy! Whatever self care looks like for you, you must enact it in your life, because if you don’t you’ll burn out and that’s not cute.