Tell us about yourself!
Hi friends! My name is Nero, and I’m a primary/junior certified teacher in Ontario! If I’m not busy running around with the smartest bunch of kindies, I’m either looking for picnic inspirations on Pinterest or editing photos for my blog space! I love 21st century education, my mom’s delicious Sri Lankan meals, shopping at thrift stores, and uncovering new parts of the world! My wanderlust is real. I’m constantly in awe of all the amazing strangers who have now turned into friends thanks to the WYL community! If you ever want another friend in some safe little corner of the internet, please visit my blog space www.nerokrishna.com, I’d love to hear from you. Together we can figure this whole life thing out, and lift each other up when we need it the most!
Why is ending the stigma important to you?
Having grown up in a Sri Lankan household, I really got to witness the stigma surrounding mental health. Mental Health isn’t something that is talked about in my culture. For some it’s an “out of sight out of mind” thing. For other’s, it’s refused to be recognized as a real thing. Physical illnesses are acknowledged, but mental illnesses are hardly ever talked about. Sometimes I get so frustrated by this, but I quickly realize it’s the lack of knowledge that has helped play a part in all the stigma in the Sri Lankan community. Mental illness, just like physical illnesses, should be made a priority. Yet, it’s legitimacy is always in question. Ending the stigma is important to me because I never want others to feel as though they have nowhere else to turn. I want people to know that safe spaces DO exist. I want people to know that communities like Wear Your Label WILL help you through your darkest days. I want people to know they are worthy and important. I want people to know that prioritizing their mental health isn’t selfish. I want others to feel safe enough to ask for help. I want everyone in the world to be able to talk about mental health as freely as we do here and that is why ending the stigma is so important to me.
If you could describe your mental health journey in one word, what would it be and why?
Ongoing. I would describe my mental health journey as ongoing. Just when I think my anxiety has completely vanished, it’ll resurface and have me feeling like I’ve taken a million steps back. I’m learning that there is no one size fits all solution to any of the things we experience. What works for me, might not work for you. What works now, might not work later. Realizing that my mental health journey is ongoing has shifted my entire perspective. I’m learning not to beat myself down when challenges resurface. As individuals we evolve through the experiences in our life. Just like that, our mental health journey will evolve too.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s okay to challenge other people’s misconceptions in a positive and productive manner. I see the way kids in my class advocate for what they believe, and I wish I did more of that growing up. If something doesn’t make sense to them, or they don’t like what they’ve heard, they’re not afraid to speak up. It’s so easy to have mental health conversations within the WYL community because everyone gets it. It’s such a feel good experience because everyone is so inclusive. As a kid, I wish I was less afraid to stand up for the things I believed in. As an adult, this is a piece of advice I carry with me today. I’m learning that it’s never too late to start asking questions that can help create a positive environment for those around us.
What does your self-care Sunday look like?
Now that I work full-time, Sundays have become a little more overwhelming for me. I try to ensure that my Sundays are open as possible to get ready for the week ahead. Simply cleaning my laptop screen and changing the wallpaper makes me more productive for the upcoming week. I use Sunday as a time to plan out my blogging schedule, as well as the things I’ve placed in the back burner like cleaning my room or doing the laundry. I’ve come to learn that self- care isn’t just about the “pretty” things. Don’t worry, I still add some LUSH bath bombs, coconut hair masks, and snuggles with my German Shepherd pup into the mix!