“I remember thinking, ‘I have no time to even check in with myself.’ I didn’t have any time to be human."

By Maggie O'Neill
December 15, 2020
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Welcome to Deep Dives, a new Health video series where inspiring people talk about a health topic that’s meaningful to them and share relatable stories around health and wellness. Watch Lilly Singh’s Deep Dive above!

Canadian YouTube star and talk show host Lilly Singh, 32, found a (really helpful) silver lining to the past several months of pandemic life: It taught her how to have a better work-life balance. Like so many other people, she was used to working in an office, and that helped separate her professional and personal life. Suddenly she had to transition into working from home, and it was a difficult adjustment.

Without an office to go to and help divide her life, Singh found herself working constantly. She stopped taking the time to practice self-care and prioritize her mental and emotional health. “From a professional standpoint, it was the lack of separation between personal and professional—there was no more going into an office. There were just no divisions,” Singh tells Health.

This left Singh making the mistake of working all the time, even in the middle of the night. “I remember thinking, ‘I have no time to even check in with myself.’ I didn’t have any time to be human,” Singh, who partners with plant-based food company Lightlife, explains. “That was just super hard—to just learn when to turn off and when to turn on in terms of work,” she says.

Eventually, she fell into a groove that allowed her to slow down, wall off her career from her personal life, and find the time to regularly process her mental health. “I felt very validated by a busy schedule, [but] when the pandemic hit, things slowed down,” Singh says, adding that the experience taught her that “I cannot give if I am not whole.”

Watch the rest of Singh's deep dive in the video above.

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