We speak to Celeste London about Anxiety, Mental Health & Creativity.
– Do you find Music Therapeutic?
Most definitely. It seems as though, by proxy, the moment I’m alone, I’ll reach out to play some music. I’m now at the stage where occasionally I’ll opt out of playing something on the way to the bus, just to actually engage with what’s going on around me. And then a siren will blast by and I’ll go back to listening to Q-Tip again.
– Why did you start All My Friends?
All My Friends started in July 2014 as a means of getting to DJ with people that I’d always wanted to hear play and hang out with. I was getting so out of touch with what was going on at the clubs I went to that I realised you have to do something rather than just complain. So I booked Reggie Mamode and Nic Tasker and threw a party.
– Tell us about Celeste London?
I’ve basically been a little obsessed with the word Celeste for a while. The way it sounds, the instrument and its meaning all just leave a nice feeling. Initially I wanted to start Celeste London as a clothing brand, but when graphic t-shirts became boring and I realised I couldn’t afford to put out a line of cut and sew stuff, I just started playing out under that name. I’d already paid for the URL!
– Do you think there is stigma towards Mental Health?
I’d like to think that people of our age group and based in the arts are more sensitive and aware of mental health, but as a society there’s certainly a lack of communication and understanding. Hopefully it could become more commonplace for people to discuss how they’re feeling, before allowing their stresses and anxieties to define them.
– How important do you think Well Being is?
Hugely important. Especially when you’re trying to get things done in the city. It’s exhausting. There needs to be more exciting reasons for young people to take their aspirations and succeed outside of London.
– Do you think The Arts can be a great tool to relieve Mental Health Illness?
I think the Arts are probably the main tool to relieve mental health illness. Having a means to express yourself and focus your energy on something outside of your day to day is really important.
– Has creativity helped you through a difficult time?
Creativity has always been something that I’ve turned to when things have been difficult. Whether it was playing guitar in my adolescence or in my adult life djing and cooking, providing yourself with something else to think about can really help you rationalise whatever the problem might be.
– What do you think managers can do in the workplace to enhances people’s day and de stress?
I think there needs to be a more recognised process for wellbeing in the working environment. Our culture at the moment seems to be ‘keep control of yourself for as long as possible’ with half an eye on your inevitable meltdown! If there was a little more time and resources allocated to help keep everyone on an even keel, it feels as though we’d all be a little more efficient, and a lot happier.
– What inspires you?
I like the idea of being involved in things that engage and entertain people.
– What would you say to someone who is suffering from anxiety or depression?
Take time out. There’s always a second opportunity. And no social arrangement is worth having a panic attack at, believe me. If you’re already feeling exhausted, stay at home and maybe cook something.
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