Former First Lady Michelle Obama got remarkably candid in a new interview this week in which she admitted that she fell into a “depression” last year and that she is moving towards retirement.
While promoting her new Netflix cooking show “Waffles and Mochi,” Michelle admitted to People Magazine that she fell into what she described as a “low-grade depression” in 2020.
“That was during a time when a lot of hard stuff was going on,” she explains. “We had the continued killing of Black men at the hands of police. Just seeing the video of George Floyd, experiencing that eight minutes. That’s a lot to take on, not to mention being in the middle of a quarantine.”
‘Depression is understandable during these times,” she added. “I needed to acknowledge what I was going through, because a lot of times we feel like we have to cover that part of ourselves up, that we always have to rise above and look as if we’re not paddling hard underneath the water.”
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Michelle went on to say that she firmly believes that being open about mental health struggles is very important.
“This is what mental health is. You have highs and lows,” Michelle continued. “What I have said to my daughters is that one of the things that is getting me through is that I’m old enough to know that things will get better.”
Later in the interview, Michelle talked about her hopes for retirement for herself and her husband, former President Barack Obama.
“I’ve been telling my daughters I’m moving toward retirement right now, [selectively] picking projects and chasing summer,” she said. “Barack and I never want to experience winter again. We’re building the foundation for somebody else to continue the work so we can retire and be with each other — and Barack can golf too much, and I can tease him about golfing too much because he’s got nothing else to do.”
Michelle also discussed Donald Trump losing the 2020 presidential election, saying, “We breathe for a moment, but there’s still work to be done. That’s why Barack and I are focused on developing the next generation of leaders through the Obama Foundation … so that each year we step further out of the spotlight and make room for them.”
As for the present day, Michelle has stayed busy in quarantine by mastering the art of swimming.
“Over quarantine, I actually did teach myself how to be a better lap swimmer, because what I’m finding in my old age is that the high-impact stuff that I used to do, as I’m approaching 60, it just doesn’t work. So I thought, well, swimming is one of those low-impact, good cardio things,” she said. “I worked myself up to almost a mile of swimming laps. Now, can I do that right this second? No. But this summer, I’m getting back into the pool.”