Recently, I sadly reported that beauty and lifestyle blogger, Karyn Washington had taken her own life. The details surrounding Karyn’s untimely death weren’t immediately available and it sickened me to see that many media outlets opted to fill in the blanks with false details about Karyn suffering through self-acceptance of being a darker skinned beauty, so as a result, she committed suicide. Karyn’s friend, Yumnah Najah took it upon herself to provide a video where she addresses Karyn’s death, her impact and her legacy. “Karyn loved who she was and she loved her beauty. She was very confident in her skin. I never heard her say anything negative about her dark skin,” Najah explained.
Must Read: Why ‘Suicide’ Can No Longer Be A Dirty Word
Karyn was having a rough time dealing with the death of her mother. “The main thing I decided to do was to make a video, to shed some light on Karyn, her mission and refocus people on the beauty of her life and foundation and to make sure we maintain the dignity of her legacy and we also address some of the things she was going through so there’s more clarity,” Najah offered. “She was in a place of missing her mother. She was grieving for the loss of her mother and losing her after her mother’s battle for five years was really hard for her,” Najah explained.
In the midst of Karyn’s mother’s failing health, she reached out to our Style & Beauty Editor, Ty Alexander, who had actually just gone through the same tragic ordeal–losing her mother through cancer. Ty and Karyn shared several email exchanges, often Ty offered Karyn advice on how to deal with losing her mother and things she could do that will keep her sane. The exchange between the two was haunting, as Ty admitted, “She [Karyn] said she had found a meet up in Baltimore that dealt with coping during the holidays and she was also going to church. Looking back, I should have asked if she found someone to talk to…”
Must Read: Black Men Kill Themselves Too
Evidently, Karyn did not find someone to talk to; which is often what happens to a lot of people who decide their only option is death. The importance of having a support system is something that should never be underestimated. We are not islands. We need one another.
Najah’s words from this beautiful video still linger in my heart, “The real beauty of Karyn was that she was a good person. She loved people. She wanted to help people. That’s what made her beautiful and she knew that. We have to remember that, we have to love each other. That was more of the main lessons I’ve learned from Karyn. Keep caring.”
What’s most important to know about Karyn’s story is that happiness doesn’t make you exempt from depression. According to Najah, Karyn was a happy person, who fell on very sad times. My heart goes out to Karyn and women just like her who feel as though they have no one they can turn to when life gets difficult.
Check out this gallery of 17 things to uplift you today:
17 Things To Do To Lift Your Spirits Today [GIFS]
1. 1. Play With A Puppy
It's no secret that people with pets live longer. Petting a puppy increases blood levels of the brain chemicals serotonin and oxytocin, which are both mood elevators.
2. 2. Get Less Sleep
Usually, we're told to get more sleep, but science proves that if we get less, depression lifts! Although researchers aren’t sure why it works, they speculate that one night of sleep deprivation may reset the sleep clock, enabling people who are depressed to sleep better.
3. 3. Play Peekaboo With A Kitten
As an admitted cat hater, even I can't deny the power of an adorable kitty!
4. 4. Become A Drummer
Drumming relieves stress and even allows for your aggression to be expressed in a healthy way. While it may be helpful to bang out a few notes at your desk, joining a drumming circle could be as therapeutic as, well...therapy!
5. 5. Walk It Out
Taking a walk is often used to relieve stress, but little do you know, fresh air does wonders for the brain. It energizes and uplifts!
6. 6. Smile
Turn that frown, upside down! We all know it takes more muscles in your face to frown than it does to smile. Research proves that the physiology of smiling actually makes you happy. Go ahead. Try to smile and see if notice a change in your mood.
7. 7. Feed Your Face
A dip in your blood sugar can effect your mood in a negative way. What causes your blood sugar to dip? Not eating! So make sure you get in your three square meals plus snacks, everyday! Make sure you're looking for foods rich in Omega-3 fats., as these foods have been shown to lift moods and can possibly alleviate depression. Omega-3 fats are found in oily fish like salmon or sardines, canola and olive oils, as well as flaxseeds and walnuts.
8. 8. Listen To Music
Music has a way of creating a cocoon of positivity around you. Tune out and tune into some of your favorite songs. Get lost in the melody, lyrics and soothing tunes and you'll feel better in no time.
9. 9. Volunteer
Taking yourself out of the picture and focusing on helping someone else keeps your own stress down to a minimum. Nine times out of 10, you realize that people have it worse than you, and that allows you to put your own troubles into perspective. It could always be worse.
10. 10. Get You Some
Recently a 100-year-old woman expressed that for her very special birthday, she wanted to get her some, you-know-what. But here's the thing, sex does wonders for your mood and evidently it's the fountain of youth too!
11. 11. Laugh A Little
Nothing says good mood like a healthy and hearty laugh! Making sure giggles are inserted into your day is a bonafide way of just letting it go.
12. 12. Get A Massage
By adding therapeutic massage to your routine now, you'll feel, look and simply be healthier. In fact, stress relief alone can improve your vitality and state of mind.
13. 13. Take A Deep Breath
When you're feeling frantic, you should stop, close your eyes and refocus your breathing pattern. Shift your breathing and take longer breaths. This will soothe your nerves, send oxygen to your brain and refresh your mind.
14. 14. Press Your Palms
In case you can't afford massages, give yourself one! Start with your hands, focusing on pressing the thumb from your opposite hand on the fleshiest part of your palm and firmly kneading in tiny circles and repeat.
15. 15. Let Them Eat Chocolate
Chocolate causes euphoria. No, really. The sweet treat contains alkaloids and magnesium, copper and other minerals that regulate and stabilize brain chemistry.
16. 16. Beautify Your Surroundings
Nothing says happy like looking around and catching all the beauty that's around you. Taking pride in your personal space and keeping it beautiful, makes your mood beautiful. And if that fails, surround yourself with Idris Elba.
17. 17. Stretch
Stretching a few times throughout the day stand up stretch out your arms, your back, your legs, and your neck. Be gentle and don’t over do it. Stretching should feel great and renew your energy.