YAY Candle Feature: Alex Evjen

YAY Candle Feature: Alex Evjen

Standard Wax recently launched a new product that gives $5 from every candle sold directly to Bring Change to Mind, a non-profit on a mission to end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness. Designed by Brooklyn-based design studio Yay Foundry, the candle uses the science of scent to bring just a little more happiness into this world. As part of the launch campaign, I wanted to chat with a few inspiring women about why mental health is important to them, and how it can help make our communities better.
You can shop the candle here. Stock is very limited.
Today's feature: Alex Evjen
Who are you? I'm Alex Evjen. I'm 33 years old. I'm a gritty, creative, hard working woman that wishes she could spend her days meeting with people over coffee all day long and hearing their stories. I'm a single mom of two littles five an under, and I am so thankful I get to do the things I love for the ones I love.

What do you do? I do many things. By day, I work as an account manager at an influencer marketing agency, August United, empowering people to tell cool stories in creative ways. By night, I'm a content creator telling stories through words and images about life. 

What makes you so amazing and cool? Well, most people would say what makes someone amazing is all of the stuff they have done. So, if that's the case I'm a Pinterest expert and influencer with almost one million followers. I've worked with some of the best brands like Madewell, Anthropologie, Revlon and Home Depot. I've held one of Beyonce's grammies, and I've been in a TV commercial among some other fun things...But, honestly, what I think makes me cool is that I just really enjoy getting to know people and hearing the stories that have shaped and hearing the things that they want to do in life.  I love encouraging people, and I love using my influencer to do just that.

Why is mental health important to you? It's important to me because life, though beautiful, is really hard sometimes. There are a lot of bad things that can cause depression, anxiety and other disorders that are outside of your control, but you can take control but caring about your mental health.

Why is mental health something that should be important to more people? It should be important to ALL people because we are all greatly impacted by one another. When we take care of our health we help take care of others, especially if you are a parent. 

How has focusing on your own mental health changed your life? It has changed my life because I probably wouldn't even have a life if I didn't get counseling and make my mental health a priority. The trauma I have experienced in life impacted me in the worst way, but focusing on my health has turned ashes in to beauty. Now I'm thankful for my trauma, and I never would be able to say that without counseling. 

Do you think mental health is discussed enough? Not at all. I think the conversations about mental health have gotten better, but most people I know still don't share they have had counseling or depression or anxiety until after things are all better. I think we need to be free to have conversations about things while we are still in process. 

In what ways do you think talking about mental health more could benefit your community? I think it could help normalize that getting help is okay. I think it could also bring awareness that many people are affected by depression, trauma, anxiety, addiction, etc.

What can we do to get rid of the stigma surrounding mental health? Is there a way we can help people feel comfortable talking about it more? I think the only way people are going to get more vulnerable and transparent about mental health is if some people start leading the way and being brave and open about their experiences. That's what I try to do a lot on my instagram in talking about divorce. 

If you struggle with any mental health related issues - what are they? How do you manage them? I have struggled with anxiety, depression, abuse and codependency. I'm really proud to say that I have recovered from them all, but that's not to say the struggle isn't hard. Scars of trauma and abuse are still there, and my tendencies to cope with the depression and anxiety that came from those things are still something I fight. I still am in counseling monthly, and I still have a prescription for anxiety that I can take as needed if I feel a panic attack coming on. I haven't had to deal with those in almost a year though, which is super encouraging. 
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