KEEP IN TOUCH ZINE
In a time where keeping in touch has become increasingly fragmented, I’ve watched and witnessed mental health worsening all around. Mediums of information are chock-full of self care tips and notes on positivity, but one thing I know for sure is any ‘advice’ on how to feel happy when you feel you’re at rock bottom isn’t useful. Sometimes the only answer that satisfies such a dark place is that there isn’t one. My hope for Keep In Touch is that it will serve as a good resource needed in those lonely spaces but still carry the warmth of a handwritten letter. After studying how social connectedness lowers depressive symptoms, I wondered how we can maintain social practices through isolation. On one hand, social media has served as a tool for connection to virtually anything, but on the other, I often find myself stuck in an endless cycle of anxiety inducing doom scrolling. I decided that in contrast to the inevitable increase in screen time during this pandemic, KIT zine is made exclusively for print, as a means to rekindle a lost relationship with more tangible sentiments. Allowing this publication to be community driven, I’ve also created an Instagram page for readers to follow along in real time and interact with the content within an accessible, online safe space.
It would be impossible to fit every piece of what mental illness is or feels like in this zine, but I hope this project creates some space for us to share about it, and reduce the stigma. I hope it brings understanding to those feelings that are hard to describe, and assure you that you don’t have to be a “finished” human to be happy. Endless thanks to my friends and family who remind me of this everyday. Thank you to my professors who inspire me with creativity and compassion. Finally, thank you dear readers, who have checked out Keep In Touch. Your support is the best encouragement. In this year of zoom meetings and virtual catch-ups, let this be a tangible conversation between us — I’m on the other end and I’m cheering you on.