WHY EUSTRESSIN'?: ARCHIE GREEN
Friendship is essential to the soul and it's always a pleasure to connect with a friend that shares a common interest. Archie and I are not only fraternity brothers, but we are also mental health advocates who understand how important it is for us to change the way we address the topic.
HEY ARCHIE, WHY EUSTRESSIN’?
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING/ HOW LONG?
I am a Hip-Hop Artist and Mental Health Advocate. I also serve as the Community Engagement + Programs Manager at Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland
DO YOU EVER THINK ABOUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IN YOUR PROFESSION?
Everyday. I was clinically diagnosed with depression in 2014, and I cope and live with this mental illness every day.
WHAT UNIQUE CHALLENGES DO YOU ENCOUNTER SPECIFICALLY FOR YOUR JOB THAT HAS AN IMPACT ON YOUR MENTAL HEALTH THAT OTHERS MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT?
Anxiety plays a huge part in being in any creative field. Anytime I have a performance, or I've organized one of my mental health events I sometimes get really anxious. A lot of times I try my best to breathe and keep things in perspective. What I do is not just something I love to do, or for a living. It is also therapeutic in practice.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH WHEN TAKING ON DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES?
After my diagnosis. I learned a lot about the importance of certain coping mechanisms such as physical activity, eating healthy and talking about it in order to help alleviate stress and depression. I also meditate and read and write affirmations daily. Without these tools, I may be liable to fall back into a deep depression at any given time.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE THOSE STRESSORS ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?
Breathing is big for me. Whenever I get super stressed out from work, I take a moment to take 3-5 deep breathes. It's also good to take breaks throughout the day. Although my work days sometimes exceed the normal 8 at a regular 9-5 job, I take breaks regularly in order to keep my mind fresh and to not over think or analyze what I'm doing. It helps the day go by a bit faster too.
HOW DOES BEING MENTALLY HEALTHY HELP IN YOUR FIELD OF WORK OR ON THE JOB?
I am in a position of influence as well as collaboration. I interface with people in the office, and on the street daily. I have to make sure I take care of my overall well-being in order to be the best team player I can be. I can't let my personal ills affect how I am when working on the job, at a show or event.
WHAT DOES EUSTRESS LOOK LIKE FOR YOU AT WORK? AT HOME/AWAY FROM WORK?
Eustress for me is when everything is working seamlessly!! Haha!! I try to map my day out in the morning, write the tasks I need to handle and cross them off when I have taken care of them. This gives me a sense of accomplishment, which in turn gives me great energy and overall positive vibes!
WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD TELL SOMEONE JUST STARTING IN YOUR PROFESSION OR A YOUNG PERSON WHO ASPIRES TO BE THE PROFESSIONAL THAT YOU ARE?
First and foremost, follow your dreams! Whatever it is that you want to do in life, do it with all your might and don't let nothin' stop you!! I have been doing music for almost 20 years, and I recently quit my old job to do it full time. My self-determination, work ethic and faith in God & in self is what helped to create opportunities for me to be in a position to be paid to be myself. Long as you keep the faith, and work hard it will all work itself out. That's the way the universe works.
My commitment to being mentally fit also brought me here. I have been going to my therapist for 3 years now, and don't plan on stopping....ever. Make sure you seek out mental health professionals, whether you feel fine or not. It is essential to your overall well-being and your career.
Lastly, make sure you have a GREAT support system. Distance yourself from people who don't believe in you, or your vision for your life. If it wasn't for people who truly loved and supported me (I'm talkin bout put money in my pocket, clothes on my back, and food in my stomach when I couldn't) I don't know if I would have made it where I am today.
ANY OTHER INFORMATION YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU AND WHAT YOU'RE UP TO?
My mental health movement is called "Peel Dem Layers Back." It is a hip-hop-centric program that utilizes the genre and lifestyle to spark conversation on the matter and help break the stigma.
You can check out my song about depression and mental health, "Layers,"
HOW CAN PEOPLE CONTACT YOU FOR MORE INFORMATION?