Reggae songstress Sevana is reminding people, especially her colleagues in music, that it is OK to not be OK.
In a recent interview with The Gleaner, the Mango singer revealed that she had to seek therapy last year as the challenges of 2020 took a toll on her mental health. Pointing out that 2020 should have been the year she went globe-trotting as she sought to spread her music far and wide, Sevana said like many others in her line of work, plans had to be placed on the back burner because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Last year should have been the year weh me and Lila and Jaz Elise shoulda do road and a mash up stage. We shoulda tour Europe and all these things, and we were really looking forward to it because we started calling ourselves the ‘Reggae Rubies’ and we a say wait till we touch stage. COVID tek weh a whole heap from we and so mi never a handle it very well at all,” she said.
Touring has been a big part of the singer’s life over the years. Being unable to do that took an unexpected toll. “I am somebody who is used to being by myself, yuh understand. You can say that I am very reclusive in many ways, but over the past five years, I have been touring every single year, so that became a part of me. Travelling, being inspired by new places, meeting different talented individuals, connecting with them, networking, experiencing new adventures and then to unexpectedly be forced to be with myself, by myself in a way I have never been by myself before, was tough. It took a toll on my mental health, and last year I even started therapy because I needed it,” shared Sevana.
She is urging people having difficulties coping with increased pressure to find healthy outlets, adding that it could be the difference between coping and having a total mental breakdown. “People see mi, dem think say chu mi cute, and mi look so good, everything alright, but a nuh so it go all the time. I am still human, and I still feel the things everyone else feels,” she said. “Find a way to express your feelings. Trust me, it will do a world of good. If it means leaning on your friends a likkle bit more than you would, do that. I know for me, I pray, I meditate, I do deep breathing. As fool-fool as that might sound to some people, that has been very crucial for me. When I take just a second to take like a deep breath, immediately I feel little calmer inna mi self, and it prepares mi for the next moment at least.”
Sevana shared that there should be no shame in not having everything together or needing help. “It’s tough times so if yah feel a way, yah feel a way and don’t feel ashamed about it. Don’t feel say yuh affi a keep up appearances because real life is going to reach everybody. Just do the best that you can every day even if yuh best look like you just lie down fi di whole day and bawl,” said the singer. “I know it gets tough to be vulnerable as a public figure because people are brutal, but I believe that in this life yuh affi just live out your full self and then if people wah judge it, then so be it. Just know say you are who you are and that will strengthen you, too.”