Michelle Obama says the “hypocrisy” of Donald Trump’s government and racial tensions in the US have contributed to her suffering “low-grade depression”.
Speaking on her new podcast, the former first lady opened up about lacking motivation and feeling low during the coronavirus lockdown.
She said she had been feeling “out of body, out of mind” and that her sleep had been “off”.
“I know that I am dealing with some form of low-grade depression,” said Mrs Obama.
“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.”
Speaking on the podcast to journalist Michele Norris, she said she’d tried to improve her mood by exercising but that often she felt “too low” to do it.
“Spiritually, these are not… fulfilling times,” added Mrs Obama.
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She said a regular routine – such as for family meal times – and getting outside had been vital in helping improve her mood.
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The 56-year-old also gave a glimpse into how the Obamas have been dealing with being cooped up together, including tackling 1000-piece jigsaws together and setting up a “vicious” card tournament.
Mrs Obama said usually they all go off into their own spaces during the day: “Barack’s in his office, making calls, working on his book. I’m in my room, the girls are on their computers…
“But right around five o’clock, everybody comes out of their nooks, and, we like, do an activity, like, puzzles have become big, just just sitting and doing these thousand piece puzzles.
“The girls are just like into ’em, and we’re all sitting on the floor, around a table where the puzzle is now permanently set up.”
After dinner, she said they get out the playing cards.
“The girls and Barack, and, another friend there, they’ve got a spades tournament. So Barack has taught the girls spades, so now there’s this vicious competition,” said Mrs Obama.
“They wouldn’t have sat down, but for this quarantine, to learn how to play a card game with their dad. They wouldn’t.”
The Michelle Obama Podcast began on Spotify last week, with the first episode featuring her husband and former president Barack Obama.