How Michelle Obama learned to cope with her anxiety

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How Michelle Obama learned to cope with anxietyMARTIN SYLVEST - Getty Images

During the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol, former First Lady Michelle Obama found herself dealing with "a crushing sense of hopelessness".

"We were all at home watching what felt like our country and our world unravelling. The death tolls mounting, violence, the insurrection, healthcare system crushed, all of it," Obama tells People. "I was in a low place."

In response to that "low place"? She learned how to knit, and started writing her second book. (Her first, Becoming, came out in November 2018, and was adapted into a documentary on Netflix.)

Obama shares that the book emerged out of the uncertainty of the pandemic and political unrest in 2020 and 2021.

"Everyone was searching for some answers of how to cope. And for some reason they were asking me, 'What do you do?' I had to start thinking about that," Obama explains. "Over the 58 years that I've lived, I can look back and I can say, this is how I deal with fear. These are the things I say to myself when I need to pick myself up. This is how I stay visible in a world that doesn't necessarily see a tall Black woman. This is how I stay armoured up when I'm attacked. The book is that offering."

There are also little details of her life with Barack Obama throughout, who she writes judges her for her taste in "lowbrow TV".

"You name it, I watch it," she jokes. "HGTV. Anything on the Food Channel. It's not all lowbrow. I love the dating shows, Married at First Sight. Oh my God, yeah, I can do it all. TV is an escape for me. I am a fully informed citizen. I read the paper, I get briefs, I sit with Barack Obama every night. I know what's happening in the world. When I'm by myself, I need to be able to turn my head off and think about wallpaper."

Michelle Obama's newest book, The Light We Carry, comes out on November 15, 2022.


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