Kristen Bell’s most important piece of advice for dealing with mental health related issues is to not let things fester. She has spent the past two decades working in one of the most stressful environments on the planet.
“I don’t wait for those things to find me,” Bell says in an interview with CNBC Make It. “I have a preoperative list to combat them because I know they’re coming.”
The Good Place star has fought with anxiety and depression since college, both at home and at work.
According to Self Magazine, she began taking medicine to treat her anxiety and depression as a student at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Bell then published an op-ed for Time in 2016 headlined “I’m Over Staying Silent About Depression,” in which she highlighted her difficulties with “dark clouds” hovering over her head.
More than 264 million individuals of all ages worldwide suffer from depression, with women being affected more than men. And Bell is no exception. Depression, according to the Veronica Mars actress, is not sadness or having a bad day. It’s more of a “complete and utter sense of isolation and loneliness.”
“Anxiety and depression [are] off the charts right now, especially for girls.” Bell says, citing the Covid-19 pandemic as a contributing factor.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders impact more than 40 million adults in the United States, and roughly one in every five persons has a mental illness of some kind. Sleep, appetite, energy level, and focus can all be affected by mental health issues, making it difficult to be effective at work and completely engaged at home.
Kristen Bell says she works out a couple of days a week, primarily for her mental health, and that she does a combination of cardio, circuit training, and Pilates.
Last year, she said on Instagram, “I notice a big difference when I do and when I don’t. When I don’t, I’m sad, irritable, anxious and lethargic. When I do, I’m content, motivated, peaceful and energetic.”
Bell’s claim is supported by science: Exercise can be an effective treatment for depression, according to research from Harvard Medical School.