Nothing has felt normal in 2020. Lockdowns have forced us to stay at home away from friends and family, the economic crisis has left millions without jobs and the threat of catching COVID-19 has left us all in a constant, quiet state of panic. That alone would be enough, but of course, we’ve had wildfires, intense political situations and a global civil rights movement to boot.
But because everyone’s going through the big parts together, it feels as though you have to keep calm, carry on and adjust to the incredibly not normal ‘new normal’: The world seems like it’s being flipped on its head and we’re all meant to act like 9-5 Zoom meetings aren’t zapping us of the last bit of sanity we have left. But feeling anxious, depressed and stressed right now is completely natural – and we should talk a whole lot more about it.
In an Instagram Live broadcast over the weekend, Selena Gomez said that quarantine was detrimental to her mental health, saying she went through “a bit of depression” at the start. Speaking with Dr. Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general under President Barack Obama, about chronic loneliness as part of Rare Beauty’s Mental Health Social Summit for World Mental Health Day, the singer said, “I’d say I’m a big-time extrovert, so I get that it’s a bit harder. In the beginning, I couldn’t deal with [quarantine] that well. I kind of went into a bit of a depression.”
Gomez told Murthy that having creative outlets and doing physical activity helped her mental state, as well as spending time with her family. “I started going into a place where I was really writing and being active. And then I guess it just forced me to have that time,” she said. “And again, I’ve been able to spend time with those quality people a lot more than I ever have. And spending a lot more time with my family, and I almost feel like I’ve become normalized in this situation that’s not normal.”
“I think I even posted on my Instagram where I was crying, explaining to all the people who were following me how much I miss them,” she said. “It’s OK [that it’s been difficult].”
Gomez finished by saying that she feels like she’s managed to get through the depression, but that she did so by ensuring she was spending time with the right people, doing the right things and taking the right steps.
“I would say right now I’m fully coming out again,” she said. “I just think I had handled it the way I needed to handle it, and I got through that with the right people and doing the right things and doing the right steps to not make me go crazy.”