Kristen Bell admits to ‘struggling’ amid the pandemic: ‘To anyone who's been feeling the same, you can do it’

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Elise Solé
·3 min read
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Kristen Bell admits to struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: Jim Spellman/Getty Images)
Kristen Bell admits to struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: Jim Spellman/Getty Images)

The pandemic’s toll on mental health is not lost on Kristen Bell, who admits to “struggling” in a new Instagram post.

“I've been struggling the last 2 weeks, for who-knows-why-slash-ALL-the-reasons,” the Gossip Girl star wrote Wednesday night. “Today I finally got back on the [treadmill], figuratively and literally. And I'm proud. ‘Good job, kb,’ I said to myself. To anyone who's been feeling the same, you can do it. Just do the next right thing. I love u. Xo.” Bell, depicted makeup-free and in workout mode, topped her post with #mentalhealth and #mentalhealthawareness.

The post welcomed 10,000 empathetic comments, including, “Same here” and “I’m with you.” As someone added, “One day, one sweat at a time.”

Although President Joe Biden is poised to sign a slew of executive orders targeting the coronavirus pandemic (including asking Americans to wear face masks and administering 100 million vaccinations, both within the next 100 days), the psychological and economic effects of the past year remain evident: According to October findings issued by the American Psychological Association and the Harris Poll, 78 percent of people source the coronavirus pandemic as a serious stress trigger, with 19 percent reporting worsened mental health compared to 2019.

In 2016, Bell revealed her depression diagnosis in a 2016 Time essay, arguing, “Mental health check-ins should be as routine as going to the doctor or the dentist.” And she’s since crusaded for the de-stigmatization of such topics, including couples therapy which she attends with Dax Shepard, 46, her husband of seven years, and father of their two daughters: Delta, 6, and Lincoln, 7.

"We've learned everything about each other because we haven't been able to leave!" Bell recently told People of marriage during quarantine, praising thought leader and Untamed author Glennon Doyle for guidance. “We just need to give each other grace under circumstances."

Bell also admitted to needing a mindful reboot: "Everyone's proclivities are kind of bubbling over because we're all caged in with each other," she told the outlet. "Dax and I, when we started this pandemic, were at a point in our marriage where we definitely needed a little therapy brush-up."

She added, "Every couple of years, we're like, 'We're being very antagonistic towards each other,' and we don't want that. We go back to therapy and figure out what I'm not doing that's best for you and what you're not doing that's best for me, and how we can serve this team goal better. It's been incredibly helpful."

The couple and co-founders of baby product line Hello Bello, are proponents of couples therapy. "There's such a negative connotation," Dax once told Good Housekeeping. "In my previous relationship, we went to couples' therapy at the end, and that's often too late. You can't go after nine years and start figuring out what patterns you're in."

Last year, when Shepard suffered a relapse after kicking a drug addition 16 years prior (which he revealed on his podcast Armchair Expert), the couple leaned on therapy. Bell supported her husband because, as she told Ellen DeGeneres, “He’s very, very worth it.”

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