Popular YouTube vlogger Lilly Singh is temporarily stepping away from the video platform.
On Monday, Singh — who goes by “Superwoman” on YouTube — revealed to her 14.5 million subscribers that she would be taking a break from making videos to focus on her mental health. In the video announcement, the social media star explained that her decision had nothing to do with her fans or the site, but rather was something she needed for herself.
“I’ll be real with y’all. I am mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted,” she said. “I’ve been doing YouTube consistently for eight years … and for a lot of those years, I’ve been doing it twice a week, plus the daily blogs.”
“It’s been a lot,” she admitted. “I’ve enjoyed it, I love it, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it has been a lot.”
Although Singh, 30, acknowledged that she’s always been an advocate for “hustling harder” and “being productive,” she also explained that being happy — something she often preaches — was equally important.
“What kind of person would I be if I preach that, but didn’t actually practice it myself?” she said, adding that she’s been unhappy with her latest content. “I could be happier. I am not my optimal happiness right now. … I don’t feel like I’m completely mentally healthy. I think there’s a lot going on up here that I need to address that I’m not able to consistently pumping out content.”
Singh, who is also an actress and played the role of Raven in HBO’s adaption of Fahrenheit 451, went on to reassure her followers that she was not stepping away from YouTube forever, although she did not have a specific time frame to return in mind.
“I’m not making any rules, this might be a one week break, it might be a one month break … it is what it is,” she said, and added, “I hope you know that I really need this for my sanity, for my happiness, and to just be better, I wanna be better.”
Before wrapping up her video, Singh reminded her followers that “taking time for yourself and addressing mental health is positive.”
“There’s nothing to feel guilty about, there’s nothing to feel bad about. … I’m gonna come back better than ever,” she said. “You are the biggest and most important project you will ever work on. This is not goodbye, this is a see you later.”
This is not the first time that the YouTube star has opened up about her mental health. In 2013, Singh revealed in a video on her channel that she was struggling with depression. And two years later, the vlogger admitted that although it was not easy to publicly acknowledge her struggle, it was worth it in the end.
“That was definitely something super difficult and I hate to play the race card, but especially as a South Asian female, it’s really not talked about in my community at all, any type of mental illness,” Singh explained at the Entertainment Weekly and PEOPLE Interview Stage at VidCon 2015.
“So it was difficult to include it, but the reason I started making videos was because I was coming out of depression — and I thought there’s probably so many other people out there that experience the exact same thing and no one talks about it,” she continued.
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She added, “I don’t get why because it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s nothing to be ashamed about. It’s a part of life — the ups and downs — and I really wanted people to start talking about it, so I thought I’m going to lead by example. I’m going to openly talk about it.”
After millions watched the video, Singh said many fans reached out to her and explained how the video resonated with them, which the YouTube star said was her ultimate goal.
“I think it’s done a great deal because I’m at meet-and-greets, a lot of people open up to me and say, ‘I was able to get help because of you, like I was struggling. I was able to get help because of you,’ ” she said. “That’s all I can ever want while I started making YouTube videos, so I do think if you ever want to change anything about the world you have to lead by example and that’s just what I did.”