Michelle Obama Reveals How She Copes With Her Depression

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Former First Lady Michelle Obama has been an open book since leaving the White House in 2016. After publishing her memoir, Becoming, in 2018, where she gave Americans insight into her childhood, her fertility struggles, and stories about her family, she released the accompanying Netflix documentary in May 2020. Mrs. Obama branched out into the podcast world in July 2020 with The Michelle Obama Podcast on Spotify.

The podcast features none other than Michelle herself in deep conversations with various guests, including former President Barack Obama. In the show's first episode, Michelle and Barack discussed how they fell in love, shared stories about their two daughters, and dished out other memorable anecdotes.

Things took a more serious turn in the Aug. 5, 2020, episode, when Michelle Obama chatted with NPR journalist Michele Norris about COVID-19's impact on the world, as well as the racial unrest in America. And at one point during the conversation, Michelle revealed she has been dealing with "low-grade depression."

"There have been periods throughout this quarantine where I just have felt too low," the activist shared, per People. "I've gone through those emotional highs and lows that I think everybody feels where you just don't feel yourself."

Of course, that wasn't all Michelle had to say about her struggle — let's take a look below at what else she shared during the candid chat.

Michelle Obama got real about her mental health

During the conversation between former First Lady Michelle Obama and journalist Michele Norris, Michelle related to many Americans when she shared that, despite trying to stick to a schedule, she has had to give in to her emotions and cut herself some slack. "There's been a week or so where I've had to surrender to that and not be so hard on myself and say 'you know what? You're just not feeling that treadmill right now," she noted, per The Hill, adding that it is out of character for her to skip a workout.

"It is unusual. It is a direct result of just being out of body, out of mind, and spiritually, these are not fulfilling times spiritually," Michelle explained. "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. So I've had to kind of give myself that, those days, those moments."

Summing up her feelings, Michelle candidly continued, "It is exhausting and it has led to a weight that I haven't felt in my life in a while."

How is Michelle Obama coping?

Similarly to many Americans in quarantine, former First Lady Michelle Obama is finding strength in small activities, like puzzles, as she revealed in the Aug. 5, 2020, episode of her podcast. Michelle then elaborated on how she's trying to get outside and stick to her routine the best she can. "Schedule has been key," she noted, according to Vanity Fair.

Despite spending most the day inside, with former President Barack Obama working in his office, and their daughters, Sasha and Malia Obama, escaping to their bedrooms, the fam has been able to grow closer during dinner time. Michelle noted how they all sit down together at a set hour and then work on 1000-piece puzzles together. Mrs. Obama also shared that Barack has even taught their daughters how to play spades.

Aside from creating family memories, Michelle Obama learned that "there's a beauty of being reminded of our own self-sufficiency during this time." Mrs. Obama has embraced this self-sufficiency teaching herself how to wax her body hair and paint her nails.

All in all, the episode revealed the former First Lady struggles just like anyone else.