Dwayne Johnson stresses importance of maintaining mental health amid pandemic
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Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson on Friday opened up about dealing with depression during the coronavirus in a chat with California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomCalifornia: Dual threats of wildfire and COVID-19 underscore need for prevention The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Progress slow on coronavirus bill Trump vows challenge to Nevada bill expanding mail-in voting MORE (D).

"I think when we're dealing with a global grief, there's a heaviness there in the air and we recognize that," the "Jumanji" star told Newsom during a COVID-19-focused Instagram Live talk on Friday.

The 47-year-old WWE wrestler-turned-Hollywood heavyweight said he speaks “from experience” and has "had bouts of depression before."


"When we are self-distancing, there's the immediate, sudden changes that happen, then there are the deaths that are happening all around us," Johnson said. "There's the unemployment, then there's the fear of the unknown."

Saying someone can be "the most optimistic guy in the world or optimistic woman in the world" but still experience the "heaviness," Johnson told Newsom that typically, before the days of social distancing, when he was down, he would call up friends to hang out.

"It's been about 50/50," Johnson said of his ups and downs during the pandemic. "I've had some really good days, where I feel anchored, and balanced, and I feel optimistic and hopeful, and then the opposite side of that: honestly days where I'm wobbling because you don't know what's going to happen tomorrow."

Newsom praised Johnson for publicly discussing his therapy sessions, saying he loves that the entertainer is "so open and honest."

The coronavirus, Johnson said, "causes anxiety, it causes depression, it causes insomnia."

But, he advised fans, to "hold onto that fundamental quality of faith — not necessarily a religious faith — but just a faith that things are going to be OK."

Focus on what you can control, Johnson said, "and things will be OK. And you're not alone. And we're all experiencing this thing together."