Michelle Obama’s Advice For Coping With Depression: ‘Develop Your Own Tools’ And Give Yourself A Break

During an interview with CBS' “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”, former First Lady Michelle Obama spoke candidly about the coping mechanisms that help her manage her melancholy.

"By the time you're an adult, you have assembled your own toolkit," Obama remarked at the University of Chicago on Oct. 22, 2012. For me, it means disconnecting from what is disturbing. When she's having a rough day, she takes pauses from “scanning the many feeds that exacerbate my anxiety.”

she stated that she surrounded herself with things that made her feel happy, saying, “I have family, friends, exercise, and walks.”

In August 2020, Obama mentioned in an episode of her podcast, “The Michelle Obama Podcast,” that she was suffering from “low-grade depression.”

Keeping a steady routine is especially beneficial during a pandemic, Obama noted. The phrase she used was, “I woke up, took a shower, exercised, dressed, and then went to work every day.” Every day, I did that thing, since the only way to get out of a rut is to keep on doing it.

According to Obama, it's crucial that young people are aware that highs and lows are normal throughout life, but that they are fleeting. Malia, 22, and Sasha, 19 have recently begun to learn some of the same parenting skills that she had to teach them when they were teenagers.

“It's their job to deal with both the highs and lows,” she explained. “I'm trying to persuade others, and especially young people, to think about what tools, objects, or activities offer them joy, serenity, or both.”

Patience and self-care are especially essential in chaotic times, such in the middle of a pandemic and during a period of racial strife.

On her podcast, Obama said that her melancholy was a result of only the epidemic, but she says she views the Trump administration as hypocritical because of the racial tensions and the government's unwillingness to tackle the problem.

The sense of loss of interest in everyday tasks, being overwhelmed, the lack of productivity, and lack of sleep are all considered symptoms of “low-grade depression,” known as “dysthymia,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

The U.S. Census Bureau's research shows that following the dissemination of the video of George Floyd's murder at the hands of police, Black Americans experienced an increase in both anxiety and despair. She said that when she heard stories of Black people being dehumanized, discriminated against, physically or verbally attacked, or wrongly accused, this added to the weight of her sentiments.

President Obama once again spoke of mental health on Tuesday, saying, “Depression and mental health are realities of life.” “Life on a high is no way to ride a bike."

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