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Michelle Obama Admits She’s Been Battling ‘Low-Grade Depression’ Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic and Racial Uprisings

Honesty hour. Michelle Obama opened up about how facing the coronavirus pandemic and witnessing ongoing racial tension in America has impacted her mental health.

Related: Celebs Speak Up About Mental Health Amid COVID-19

“For Barack [Obama] and I — we’ve lived outside of the norm of regular life for quite some time. 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, you have to have a schedule and a routine,” the former first lady, 56, shared with journalist Michelle Norris on the second episode of her “Michelle Obama Podcast” on Wednesday, August 5. “My sleep is off too. I’ve heard this from a lot of people, it’s because we’re not moving around as much. … I’m waking up in the middle of the night because I’m worried about something or there’s a heaviness.”

Michelle Obama Ive Been Dealing With Low-Grade Depression
Michelle Obama during her book tour for ‘Becoming’ on May 10, 2019 in Florida. Larry Marano/Shutterstock

The Chicago native, who’s been dedicated to maintaining a healthy lifestyle since her time in the White House, admitted that there are some days that she doesn’t even feel up to working out.

“There have been periods throughout this quarantine where I just have felt too low. I’ve gone through those emotional highs and lows that I think everybody feels, where you just don’t feel yourself,” she added. “It is unusual and it’s a direct result of just being out of body, out of mind. … I know that I am dealing with some form of low-grade depression.”

Related: These Women Are Slaying at United States Politics

The Becoming author acknowledged that it felt “dispiriting” to watch the nation face not only a devastating health crisis, but also increased “racial strife” amid recent Black Lives Matter protests. A vocal advocate for her community, Michelle claimed that the level of “hypocrisy” put forward by the current administration has been hard on her soul.

“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 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,” she explained.

Michelle Obama Ive Been Dealing With Low-Grade Depression
Michelle Obama joins the YouTube Original learning special ‘BookTube’ to discuss her memoir ‘Becoming’ on February 28, 2019 in Austin, Texas. Suzanne Cordeiro/Shutterstock

In order to counterbalance the more challenging feelings she’s faced during this uncertain time, Michelle has been finding refuge in her family, including daughters Malia, 22, and Sasha, 19.

“It’s the small things,” she noted. “Because you have to recognize that you’re in a place — a bad place — in order to get out of it. So you kinda have to sit in it for a minute, to know, ‘Oh, I’m feeling off. So now I gotta feed myself with something better.'”

Related: Barack, Michelle, Malia and Sasha Obama's Family Album: Photos!

One day before opening up about her mental health struggles during quarantine, the lawyer celebrated her husband’s 59th birthday with a throwback family photo.

“Happy birthday to my favorite guy,” she wrote via Instagram on Tuesday, August 4. “Here’s to all the good days, blue skies, and new adventures to come. 😘.”

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