It’s a daycare day today!
Naturally, I’m choosing to use the time to go shopping for stuff I don’t need.
On my drive to buy 7.5lb dumbbells, I tuned in to 680News radio. (Apparently I’m a
boring adult now?) The host made this stunning announcement:
“Michelle Obama admits to feeling down amidst the covid pandemic and current administration.”
Well shit. That news is going to break the internet.
My first thought: THIS is news?
If you haven’t experienced a negative impact on your mental health in the last 5 months, you’re probably a Tibetan monk…actually living in Tibet. Cut off from the rest of the world entirely.
Everyone else, though? We’re all experiencing depression or anxiety to some extent over the state of things – I mean, we’ve got crazy narcissists ruling countries and a world that is very sick with hatred. And Covid. Effing Covid.
Why would the former First Lady be immune to the effects of all the negativity swirling around us? She is human, after all.
My next thought was this: This is good.
Not that she is dealing with low-grade depression. That’s unfortunate.
What is good, though, is that admitting to and speaking openly about mental health struggles helps to normalize them. Helps others to feel less alone.
Depression and anxiety can be so isolating.
And when we’ve been literally isolating ourselves from so many of the people and activities that bring us joy, the last thing we need to feel is emotionally isolated too.
We need more strong women to admit that they are struggling, that life doesn’t feel as beautiful as their Instagram feeds make it look.
You know that if Michelle Obama is feeling depressed – with all her resources and supports – it’s a pretty safe bet that the cashier at Superstore and your next door neighbour and your former workout buddy might be feeling less-than-excellent, too.
This is just a gentle reminder to be kind. You don’t know what others are going through, or what the state of their mental health is today.
Smile at strangers (it will show in your eyes even if your mouth is covered by a mask). Say thank you to cashiers and baristas and delivery people and look them in the eyes when you say it. Wave at the garbage collectors. Show appreciation often and sincerely. Make random acts of kindness your mission, every day. Let people know you see them.