Lizzo is known just as much for speaking up about issues that matter to her as she is for her music, and the singer says the past two years have taught her the value of setting boundaries and prioritising her own mental health over public expectations.
During a time when a lot has happened — working on her music, the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement — the 33-year-old said one of the greatest lessons she's learnt is to not overcommit.
"It’s more or less learning every day new ways to take care of myself, and I think it’s like, in a world that doesn’t really take care of me, who’s going to do it?" she told Refinery29 Australia.
The Good As Hell hitmaker said she's noticed more people have begun prioritising self-care in recent months. While she's "still learning how to do that" and admits, "I’m not quite there yet," she's trying her best to develop the habit of saying no when she needs to.
"I think it’s been really exciting to watch how much mental health and personal health is being prioritised over public responsibilities and duties," she said. "I’m like, 'No, my answer is no.'
"I know all this pressure is put on me to do this all the time for other people, but in order to put myself first, I have to learn how to put others second."
The musician is one of several well-known Black women who have recently spoken up about putting their mental health first. After withdrawing from some Olympics event earlier this month, gymnast Simone Biles said the conversation around mental health needed to become mainstream.
"The topic of mental health, I think it should be talked about a lot more, especially with athletes," Biles said during a press conference. "Because I know some of us are going through the same things and we're always told to push through it."
Tennis player Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open in June after saying she would not be attending post-game press conferences during the tournament. The sports star cited concerns for her own mental health — specifically the stress she feels when doing interviews and speaking with the media.
The next few weeks will be busier for Lizzo. Following the August 13 release of her new single, Rumors (featuring Cardi B), she will be performing at various locations in the US in September and October. Despite the jam-packed schedule, Lizzo will have her downtime and we love her all the more for it.