Michelle Obama: 'Depression is understandable during these times'
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Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaJill Biden, Kate Middleton to meet this week Jill Biden to focus on military families on foreign trip Book claims Trump believed Democrats would replace Biden with Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama in 2020 election MORE is opening up more about the "low-grade depression" she says she has faced during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Depression is understandable during these times," Obama, 57, said in an interview with People published Wednesday.

Citing the death of George Floyd — a Black man killed in May by a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes — Obama said of 2020, "That was during a time when a lot of hard stuff was going on."


"We had the continued killing of Black men at the hands of police. Just seeing the video of George Floyd, experiencing that eight minutes," the former first lady said.

"That's a lot to take on, not to mention being in the middle of a quarantine."

Obama, who first publicly spoke about suffering from mild depression last year, said, "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."

"This is what mental health is. You have highs and lows," she told the magazine.

"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."

But Obama, promoting her new Netflix series, "Waffles + Mochi," said there were some benefits to being stuck at home with former President Obama and their two college-age daughters, Sasha and Malia.


"This time has allowed us to get some stolen moments back with our girls," said Obama, who revealed she's received the COVID-19 vaccine. "Those recaptured moments have meant the world to us, and I think they've made our relationships with our children even stronger."

She said she's also been able to dive into two of her hobbies during the pandemic: knitting and swimming.

"You don't master knitting, because once you make a scarf, there's the blanket," the ex-executive mansion resident said. "And once you do the blanket, you've got to do the hat, the socks."

Obama said she also taught herself how to improve her lap swimming "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," Obama 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."