May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Kristen Bell revealed details of her journey with anxiety and depression and how the pandemic impacted her mental health. The actress opened up for Self’s May issue about her experiences.
“I know that I present someone who is very bubbly and happy all the time, and a lot of the time I am because I have really good tools,” she said. ”But there are definitely days when the alarm goes off, and I go, ‘No, I’m staying right here. Nothing’s worth it. I’m just going to stay in this cocoon because I need to; because I feel very, very, very vulnerable.’”
According to Bell, sometimes she has “trouble distinguishing between my emotions and someone else’s emotions, and that’s not a compliment to myself. That’s a very dangerous thing to toy with,” she said, adding that this took her to a “mental zone that wasn’t healthy for my family to be around.”
The actress recalled how her husband, Dax Shepard, reacted to her behavior. “‘Hey, real quick, are you helping anyone right now by sitting and crying in your bed, or are you just being self-indulgent?’” Bell remembers. “‘Either get up and donate money or donate your time or do something to help, or take that story in, give it some love, and come out here and be a good mom and a good wife and a good friend and live your life in honor of the suffering that happens in the world.’”
According to the publication, Bell later decided to donate blood to the UCLA Blood & Platelet Center and donate to No Kid Hungry.
Bell has been dealing with anxiety and depression since she was 18. “Why do I feel terrible and exhausted every day?” she asked herself. “I wasn’t suicidal…. It was just a generalized dark cloud over me. I felt like my real personality was in a tiny cage inside my body.”
Luckily, Bell is taking advantage of “good tools” such as knitting, puzzling, exercise, and meditation. “I puzzle a lot because I find it to be the best way to get people to stop talking to you,” she says.