Napoleon Dynamite 's Tina Majorino on Her Mental Health: 'It's Hard to Be a Human'

Tina Majorino
Tina Majorino

Tina Majorino/Instagram

Tina Majorino is getting candid about the changes she's made to see improvements in her mental health.

In the "My Good Day Face" series for Mental, which launches today, the Napoleon Dynamite star, 37, opened up about the progress made in her mental health journey as someone who's dealt with anxiety her entire life.

Majorino admitted that COVID was a turning point in understanding how to better manage any struggles she faces.

"People's mental health has really suffered, and seeing as we don't have a lot of care for such things in this country, the effects of lockdown and the collateral damage of COVID has been really devastating," she told Mental founder Amy Keller Laird.

"Even though things are going back to 'normal,' I don't really think our definition of that word will ever be the same again. [My brother and I have] both said how we feel so done living through unprecedented events. Everyone is. Between the news, and social media, and our day-to-day responsibilities, our relationships … It can all be so overwhelming. I've definitely had to make adjustments to cope."

The pandemic is one of the reasons Majorino and her brother Kevin started a podcast, No Pressure, to discuss issues of wellness and mental health.

"Thinking of topics we're both passionate about, talking about mental health and things we've learned about how we can better take care of our minds and ourselves … I'm really grateful for it," she said.

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"Because we're living in the age of information, it can feel incredibly overwhelming when everyone everywhere is telling you what to do to feel better or look better," Majorino added. "And sometimes that can morph into feeling helpless, because you start thinking, 'I won't feel better about myself or snap out of this funk until I do something drastic and huge.'"

The former Grey's Anatomy star said weekly therapy sessions have been a "game changer" in helping better understand herself and how to protect her mental health. She also credited her doctor for her ability to discover the meaning of self-love.

"I don't think I ever truly understood what that actually meant. But I feel like I have been able to grasp what that looks and feels like to me," the actress said. "It's hard to be a human. And I've struggled a lot. The difference now is that I have a deep knowingness that I'm learning tools that will carry me throughout the rest of my life. Hard times will always come. But I know now I can handle them, whatever they may look like."

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Some of those tools Majorino has learned include daily meditation, exercising in the outdoors, setting boundaries, practicing gratitude, saying "no" when needed, and keeping in touch with her friends. She added that acceptance is at the top of her list of mental health tools.

"Accepting that when I take care of myself, I will at some point inevitably disappoint someone, and that's okay," Majorino added. "That certain decisions I have to make for my well-being will make me a villain in someone else's story, and that's okay, too."