YAY Candle Spotlight: Sarah Woods

YAY Candle Spotlight: Sarah Woods

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: Sarah Woods
standard wax candles sarah woods
Who are you? What do you do? What makes you so amazing and cool?

I'm Sarah Woods, a visual storyteller with video/photo, social media manager, and taco connoisseur living my best life somewhere between Monica and Phoebe. I'm passionate about human connection and finding beauty and humor in everyday life and love that moment at concerts when you realize the person on stage is living their dream and you are a part of that.

Why is mental health important to you?

Mental health is important me because I have seen how it affects me, my family, and people I am close to.

Why is mental health something that should be important to more people?

I think mental health is something that should be important to more people because it affects all of us in some way or another, at some point. Even those who don’t struggle with clinical diagnosis, still need a mental health day from time to time. Also, more likely than not, someone you are close to struggles with their mental health and would love your support.

How has focusing on your own mental health changed your life?

I have struggled with my mental health most my adult life and I wasn’t fully aware of the impact it was having on my relationships and my everyday functioning. It wasn’t until I sought help and got some answers that things started to get better. I think the biggest change I have seen is in my relationships-which is really important to me. People are able to have healthy 2-way relationships with me and I feel that I am more dependable.

Also, life always felt very chaotic and overwhelming. Now there’s more balance and I’m not sweating the small stuff.
standard wax candles sarah woods

Do you think mental health is discussed enough?

I think we’re getting better. Just in the last several years, I have seen the dialogue open up. I still feel like there is a stigma and people aren’t as aware of educated on the topic. I think we can do better, but it’s going to take some bravery and understanding from both sides. I think it starts in our small circles with people we love. I feel like it’s easier for someone to be understanding of the struggles of someone they care about. If they understand that person’s struggles, then it might be easier for them to understand a stranger’s. It could create a ripple effect of understanding.

‪In what ways do you think talking about mental health more could benefit your community?‬

I think it could benefit the community in a few ways. I think it could benefit those who are struggling and feel alone or feel shame around their struggles. I also feel it would help cause awareness and understanding for those who don’t necessarily struggle. The less stigma around mental health, the better for everyone.
standard wax candles sarah woods

‪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 just talking about it more will help get rid of the stigma. Especially talk from those who are successful in dealing with their mental health. Everyone is going to have good days and bad days and I think normalizing that by talking openly will help with the stigma. I think as humans we are struggling to be real, especially on social media. If we could all just be a little more real, I think that would help. I know it’s scary, but I think in the end it’ll be worth it and more often than not, the response will be welcomed and applauded.

If you struggle with any mental health-related issues - what are they? How do you manage them?

I have been diagnosed with Bipolar Type II which is a mood disorder. I also have ADHD. I try to take a holistic approach to my mental health. I take medication and see my physiatrist every 3 months to check in and make sure everything is working. I also try to stick to a routine, that is huge for me. I try to get enough sleep every night, exercise, and eat healthy. I’m not perfect at it, but I do feel a difference when I do those things. For a while I saw a therapist to help me with coping skills and I will check in with him when I feel a little unstable. I also have ensembled a support team of family members and friends that I trust. So, if I need to talk or just need some help, they are there for me and I don’t spiral out of control. I think it’s important to just be self-aware and also gentle with yourself- take a day if you need it.
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