Michelle Obama Opened Up About Experiencing "Low-Grade Depression"
Quarantine hasn't been easy for anyone, not even Michelle Obama.
In a new episode of her podcast, The Michelle Obama Podcast, the former First Lady admitted to experiencing "low-grade depression" amid the coronavirus pandemic and the "racial strife" across the country, as well as the current administration's "hypocrisy."
Obama sat down with journalist Michele Norris for the second episode of the podcast, and the two discussed the importance of maintaining a routine while quarantining and socially distancing during the pandemic.
"For Barack and I, we, we've lived outside of the norm of regular life for quite some time, and what we learned early on in the White House is that in order to stay sane — and to feel like the human that you once were — is that you have to have a schedule, and a routine, that's pretty, that's pretty lock step," Obama said.
She also said she's gone through "emotional highs and lows that I think everybody feels, where you just don't feel yourself, and sometimes I've, there've been, uh, a week or so where I had to surrender to that, and not be so hard on myself."
"These are not — they are not fulfilling times, spiritually," she said. "You know, so I know that I am dealing with some form of low-grade depression. Not just because of the quarantine, but because of the racial strife, and just seeing this administration, watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out, is dispiriting."
The key to getting through quarantine for her has been to give herself time to process her emotions and to keep to a schedule — including a regular dinner time.
"In our house, what we all do is go off into our little workspaces — Barack's in his office, making calls, working on his book," she says. "I'm in my room, the girls are on their computers, and sometimes we're outside if the weather permits, but we've developed this routine, of you know, we don't really worry about seeing one another in the day. But right around five o'clock, everybody comes out of their nooks, and, we do an activity — like, puzzles have become big, just just sitting and doing these thousand piece puzzles."
Norris also asked Obama how she manages her mental health during these times, and her advice is something we can all use.
"For me, my spirit is lifted when I am feeling healthy, when I am surrounded by good people, so I reach out," she says. "I reach out to my family, and to my friends, even in this time of quarantine, I fought to continue to find a way to stay connected to the people in my life who bring me joy, and my girlfriends, my husband, my kids. It's the small things."