Emma Hill
emmahill

Emma left an impression this year by using her YouTube channel to address her own challenges with depression and anxiety, ultimately initiating conversations around mental health in the new age of media.

Q+A with Emma:

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You recently opened up about personal struggles with mental health. What prompted you to share something so personal on your platform?

I come across as a very upbeat and positive character, which I am for the most part but social media can give the illusion that life is perfect when it’s not and I wanted to share that. I was quite ashamed that I had certain feelings and because of that I never spoke about it or got help, I just pushed it to the back of my mind, so I thought it might resonate with anyone else who was going through something similar and hopefully encourage them to deal with it. It was also for slightly selfish reasons. Being online can be quite demanding when you have a lot of people who follow/watch you on a regular basis. You become part of their lives and their routine which is lovely but it can also be overwhelming when people ask things like “when will the next video be up?!” after taking some time off. It almost feels like a pressure to please everyone by constantly putting out this content but sometimes I need time for myself and I thought the video would explain, in one go, why I might occasionally miss a video or Instagram post. It was almost my way of saying “if there’s some radio silence, this is why”.

Emma Hil 2018 LIKEtoKNOW.it Voices of Influence Honoree UK
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You recently opened up about personal struggles with mental health. What prompted you to share something so personal on your platform?

Emma Hil 2018 LIKEtoKNOW.it Voices of Influence Honoree UK

I come across as a very upbeat and positive character, which I am for the most part but social media can give the illusion that life is perfect when it’s not and I wanted to share that. I was quite ashamed that I had certain feelings and because of that I never spoke about it or got help, I just pushed it to the back of my mind, so I thought it might resonate with anyone else who was going through something similar and hopefully encourage them to deal with it. It was also for slightly selfish reasons. Being online can be quite demanding when you have a lot of people who follow/watch you on a regular basis. You become part of their lives and their routine which is lovely but it can also be overwhelming when people ask things like “when will the next video be up?!” after taking some time off. It almost feels like a pressure to please everyone by constantly putting out this content but sometimes I need time for myself and I thought the video would explain, in one go, why I might occasionally miss a video or Instagram post. It was almost my way of saying “if there’s some radio silence, this is why”.

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How did opening up in your YouTube video, “I’m Not OK”, have an impact?

I received lots of support after publishing that video but I also received messages from other women who had or were experiencing similar feelings to me saying that it encouraged them to talk about it and not just bury their heads in the sand, which is something I did. To know that a simple and raw video talking about my feelings helped others who might have been struggling with certain feelings is just amazing.

Emma Hil 2018 LIKEtoKNOW.it Voices of Influence Honoree UK
LIKEtoKNOW.it_Icon

How did opening up in your YouTube video, “I’m Not OK”, have an impact?

Emma Hil 2018 LIKEtoKNOW.it Voices of Influence Honoree UK

I received lots of support after publishing that video but I also received messages from other women who had or were experiencing similar feelings to me saying that it encouraged them to talk about it and not just bury their heads in the sand, which is something I did. To know that a simple and raw video talking about my feelings helped others who might have been struggling with certain feelings is just amazing.

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What more can we do to encourage positive discussion and transparency around the importance of mental health and self care, particularly in the social media realm?

I think it’s important for influencers to talk about their experiences because it definitely encourages others to address their mental health when they see that their favourite YouTuber, blogger or instagrammer is going through something that perhaps they can relate to. It’s also important for us and by that I mean ALL of us not to judge or put others down for discussing mental health because it takes a lot of bravery to share that kind of thing online. Social media shows only a snippet, mainly the highlights, of our lives so you never see the full picture and someone might be going through something pretty crappy that you don’t know about. So before passing judgement or writing something not so positive, just stop and remember that you do not know everything about that person whether it be an influencer, a family member, work colleague or friend.

Emma Hil 2018 LIKEtoKNOW.it Voices of Influence Honoree UK
LIKEtoKNOW.it_Icon

What more can we do to encourage positive discussion and transparency around the importance of mental health and self care, particularly in the social media realm?

Emma Hil 2018 LIKEtoKNOW.it Voices of Influence Honoree UK

I think it’s important for influencers to talk about their experiences because it definitely encourages others to address their mental health when they see that their favourite YouTuber, blogger or instagrammer is going through something that perhaps they can relate to. It’s also important for us and by that I mean ALL of us not to judge or put others down for discussing mental health because it takes a lot of bravery to share that kind of thing online. Social media shows only a snippet, mainly the highlights, of our lives so you never see the full picture and someone might be going through something pretty crappy that you don’t know about. So before passing judgement or writing something not so positive, just stop and remember that you do not know everything about that person whether it be an influencer, a family member, work colleague or friend.

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What tips do you find beneficial for improving mental wellbeing and practicing self care?

Firstly a good nights sleep is essential for me. We live in a digital age but I do have a rule for myself where I don’t use social media before bed as it often gets my mind working overtime. Instead I listen to a sleep story or a nature soundscape as I drift off. Secondly talking to someone, whether it be my husband, my friends or my therapist really helps, even if it’s only something small that’s bothering me. I find it diffuses the conflict in my head and hearing someone else’s take on it is often refreshing.

Emma Hil 2018 LIKEtoKNOW.it Voices of Influence Honoree UK
LIKEtoKNOW.it_Icon

What tips do you find beneficial for improving mental wellbeing and practicing self care?

Emma Hil 2018 LIKEtoKNOW.it Voices of Influence Honoree UK

Firstly a good nights sleep is essential for me. We live in a digital age but I do have a rule for myself where I don’t use social media before bed as it often gets my mind working overtime. Instead I listen to a sleep story or a nature soundscape as I drift off. Secondly talking to someone, whether it be my husband, my friends or my therapist really helps, even if it’s only something small that’s bothering me. I find it diffuses the conflict in my head and hearing someone else’s take on it is often refreshing.

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You wrote about falling back in love with content creation recently. What do you love most about being an influencer, and the platform you've built?

I love the fact that I get to connect with so many different people all around the world, people who I may not have otherwise had the pleasure to talk to. We share experiences, jokes, style tips and just have a general chat. It does feel like I’m never alone because I’m the palm of my hand I have hundreds of thousands of supportive friends.

Emma Hil 2018 LIKEtoKNOW.it Voices of Influence Honoree UK

“Before passing judgement or writing something not so positive, just stop and remember that you do not know everything about that person whether it be an influencer, a family member, work colleague or friend.”

Emma Hill, Emma Hill
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You wrote about falling back in love with content creation recently. What do you love most about being an influencer, and the platform you've built?

Emma Hil 2018 LIKEtoKNOW.it Voices of Influence Honoree UK

I love the fact that I get to connect with so many different people all around the world, people who I may not have otherwise had the pleasure to talk to. We share experiences, jokes, style tips and just have a general chat. It does feel like I’m never alone because I’m the palm of my hand I have hundreds of thousands of supportive friends.

“Before passing judgement or writing something not so positive, just stop and remember that you do not know everything about that person whether it be an influencer, a family member, work colleague or friend.”

Emma Hill, Emma Hill

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