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Michelle Obama Opens Up About Mental Health During Pandemic: "These Are Not Fulfilling Times"

Michelle Obama Opens Up About Mental Health During Pandemic
August 5, 2020 - 22:13 / Hayley Paskevich

In a new episode of her podcast, Michelle Obama opened up about her mental health. She talked about the "emotional highs and lows" she's experienced during quarantine, as well as what helps her get through it. See what she said!

Michelle Obama is being candid about how the pandemic has affected her emotional state! As Entertainment Tonight shares, Obama spoke on the topic in the most recent episode of The Michelle Obama Podcast, explaining why she's been feeling low at times.

Obama talks about having "emotional highs and lows" 

Obama revealed that she hasn't always been in the best headspace during the pandemic. "There have been periods throughout this quarantine where I just have felt too low," she said. "I've gone through those emotional highs and lows that I think everybody feels where you just don't feel yourself."

"Sometimes, there's been a week or so where I had to surrender to that and not be so hard on myself... It is unusual and it is a direct result of just being out of body, out of mind," she continued. "Spiritually, these are not fulfilling times." 

Obama says she has a "form of low-grade depression"

Obama went on to say that she's been "dealing with some form of low-grade depression," which is in part due to the current circumstances of the nation. "Seeing this administration, watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out, is dispiriting," she explained.

"So I've had to kind of give myself that, those days, those moments. Part of this depression is also a result of, what we're seeing in terms of the protests, the continued racial unrest, that has plagued this country, since its birth." Obama also mentioned that the continuous systemic racism in the United States has left her with a heavy feeling.

"Waking up to the news, waking up to how this administration has or has not responded, waking up to, yet another, story of a Black man or a Black person somehow being dehumanized, or hurt or killed, or falsely accused of something, it is exhausting," she said. "It has led to a weight that I haven't felt in my life in a while."

Michelle Obama shared her 2020 working out playlist

Obama feels "heartened" by seeing peaceful activism

Obama does see a bright spot in everything that's going on though! "I am heartened by the depth, the sustained vigor, the diversity, the peaceful nature of these protests," the former First Lady shared. "That helps me sleep at night. That reminds me of the truth. No matter how I feel or what my lull is, we are making progress. There is that truth."

"For the most part, staying in a routine, getting a workout in, trying to get outside [has helped]," she shared. "But schedule is key and trying to have a regular dinner time. I'm finding that in quarantine we look forward to that. My spirit is lifted when I am feeling healthy, when I am surrounded by good people."

Obama shares how she manages to stay grounded

Obama said that keeping in touch with those close to her— including husband Barack Obama and their daughters, Sasha and Malia— helps keep her grounded. "I reach out to my family and to my friends even in this time of quarantine," she shared. "I fought to continue to find a way to stay connected to the people in my life who bring me joy, my girlfriends, my husband, my kids."

"That means turning off the phone, not taking in the news... Sometimes we feel like that's irresponsible, to just cut off, and I think it is if you do it over a long term," Obama continued. "But for me, for my mental health, there's some times I cannot look," she said. "I need to just take a moment, and to just not look. For a second."

Obama also offered tips to those feeling "overwhelmed" amid the coronavirus pandemic back in March, when the world had just begun to enter lockdown. Several other celebrities have been advocates for the important issue as well. Prince William and Duchess Kate created a mental health service called Our Frontline, and Taraji P. Henson spoke out about mental health during the pandemic in an emotional interview!