Michelle Obama is a former first lady, an author, a philanthropist, and an all-around positive role model, but she’s also highly relatable to you and me. She told Stephen Colbert on The Late Show that during the pandemic, she experienced low-grade depression (who didn’t?). At age 57, she wants to let young people know that life is full of ups and downs.
“You’re not going to feel great all the time,” she said. “There are moments in all of our lives, particularly in the middle of a pandemic and . . . racial unrest, you’re going to feel a kind of way about it. So give yourself a break.”
Obama went on to explain that part of taking care of her mental health is having tools that help her feel better, which include spending time with family and friends, going for walks, and exercising. She also stays off social media and is selective with the news she consumes, making sure not to read articles and posts that fuel her anxieties.
She reminds her daughters, Sasha, 19, and Malia, 22, that the valleys of your emotions are temporary, but so are the peaks, and they have to be prepared to handle the highs and lows. “I’m trying to get them and other young people to start thinking about, what are your tools, the things that bring you joy, the things that bring you calm and peace,” she said, “I know those things for myself now, but it’s taken decades to develop those tools. So we have to be patient with ourselves, particularly in times that are hard.”