Michelle Obama revealed she’s dealing with a low-grade form of depression on an episode of her podcast on Wednesday.
In an episode of The Michelle Obama Podcast, the Chicago native tapped celebrated radio journalist Michele Norris for a conversation on mental wellness during the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest. Obama said the current state of the country isn’t very fulfilling on a spiritual level and the “hypocrisy” of the Trump administration has been a detriment to her mental health, The Hill reports.
"Spiritually, these are not, they are not fulfilling times,” she said. “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.”
Obama added that her struggles have been related to seeing the dehumanization of Black bodies and seeing how the country’s leaders have responded to that injustice.
"I'd be remiss to say that 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,” she said.
“I have to say that 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. And it has led to a weight that I haven't felt in my life in a while," the mother of two added.
With many people and businesses still working through the effects of COVID-19 and the rising death toll, Obama said she is fighting her depression by working out, adhering to her routine and building her self-sufficiency.
“So I have had to kind of give myself that, those days, those moments, but for the most part, staying in a routine, getting a workout in, trying to get outside. Um, but schedule has been key, and having a regular dinner time. And, I'm finding that in quarantine, we look forward to that,” she said.
The Harvard Law alumna shared with Norris, a former NPR host, that in her downtime she’s learning how to pamper herself.
“You're waxing? You're waxing!” Norris asked of Obama.
“I did, but it's like, there's a lot of stuff I'm figuring out,” she responded. “If I want it done, I gotta figure out how to do it, but that's how we were raised, right.”
The Becoming author said she also tries to give herself grace in those moments when she’s feeling too down to be motivated.
“You know, I've gone through those emotional highs and lows that I think everybody feels, where you just don't feel yourself, and sometimes there's been a week or so where I 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,’” Obama said.
The former first lady said the Obamas have found success by sticking together and relying on each other for strength during trying times. She said her spirit is lifted by “good people” in her life.
"I reach out to my family, and to my friends, even in this time of quarantine. You know, 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,” she said.
On the first episode of her podcast, which aired on July 29, the former FLOTUS brought her husband, Barack, on as a guest. She said she fell in love with the 44th president because of his guiding principle that we are “each other’s brothers’ and sisters’ keepers," according to E News.
On Tuesday, she shared a throwback photo of their family for Barack’s birthday and sent her “favorite guy” some love.
"Happy birthday to my favorite guy. Here's to all the good days, blue skies, and new adventures to come,” she wrote.