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Mayim Bialik on Covid, anxiety and her mental health podcast

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The star of Fox's Call Me Kat, Mayim Bialik, talks to Yahoo Lifestyle about her mental health during quarantine, along with her new podcast.

Video Transcript

MAYIM BIALIK: Are you done with all of your conditional statements?

- It could be. Well, we can't feature everyone. Let's just be real.


KYLIE MAR: So you did recently state that you will let your kids get the COVID vaccine. Personally, myself, I feel nervous to get the COVID vaccine. Did you do a lot of research before making this decision?

MAYIM BIALIK: What I said is that I would also get the vaccine. The amount of research required to kind of make that sort of decision for me is really based on kind of the basic science of what's going on in the world and how we protect ourselves. I live in Los Angeles, where we're essentially on a sort of lockdown, and our industry is on lockdown.

Science is real. It really does matter that people be as careful as we can be. And that means changing our lives in significant ways. It's not that I'm like pro every single vaccine that anyone talks about all the time, everywhere, every single minute. I have a lot of questions about the vaccine industry, as do a lot of people. I have a lot of questions about the profits involved.

When it comes to this virus, the insidiousness of this virus, the way this virus works, the way that it adapts, we absolutely need to see this as distinctly different from the flu. It's different from the common cold. This is something we need absolute protection from.

And vaccines do have an inherent risk with them. And there's a lot of complexity to this vaccine. I'm hoping that as we gather more information, we can influence more people to understand the mechanics of this vaccine, and the importance for our health and for our lives.

KYLIE MAR: With your background and your education, I trust you.

MAYIM BIALIK: I'm still just, I'm still just one person. You know, my kids were vaccinated late. And a lot of people were very critical of that. And I totally understand that. But this virus is different than anything that we've seen.

KYLIE MAR: I'd also like to talk to you about parenting in quarantine. How has it been? What kind of challenges have you been facing? Because I'm sure that there are some if not--

MAYIM BIALIK: They just want to play video games all the time. I just, like I don't understand.

KYLIE MAR: Are there educational video games that we can give them?

MAYIM BIALIK: They don't want those. Like, they don't want those. You know, my kids have always been home-schooled. So they're used to the notion of like mom or dad needs to actually have a life while you're home.

Whereas I know a lot of friends who have kids, or they're like, what do we do now mom? Like, this is fun. We're all home together. My kids know that like parents work, and they work sometimes from home. So they're kind of used to that.

Zoom classes are crummy for a lot of kids. If I was a kid now, I wouldn't sit in front of a screen. I'm sure I would lose my mind. They want to play video games a lot. My older one who's 15, like he's bored. I mean, we're all bored.

KYLIE MAR: What advice do you have for single parents in quarantine?

MAYIM BIALIK: Well, I'm a divorced parent in quarantine. So it's definitely, you know, there's a level of frustration and exhaustion, especially when I'm anxious, when the news is scary, or when I've been looking at the news too much, or when numbers are spiking, or people that we know are positive, even several people away. It's very hard to manage my own anxiety when there's not another adult in the house. Like, I'm just going to say that.

So what I've decided to do, I decided this really towards the beginning of COVID, when I reached out to the therapist that we use for our family. And she said to me, your goal right now is to take care of yourself and to take care of your children, and to not freak out over every single thing. She said, this is not the time to try and teach discipline from the ground up. Or try and take out my anxiety on them and be like, I'm anxious so now it's your anxiety.

So honestly, like, we do safely order in. So I give myself a break sometimes and order in. You know, dinners are not super elaborate. Like, at first they were. And now I'm just like, eat this can of beans. I can't anymore.

No, but like, watching a movie together. I used to be like, let's do something educational. And now it's like, you know what? It's OK to just chill on the couch. So I've taken the pressure off me because especially when there's not another adult-- and I don't have a nanny. I don't have a housekeeper. I don't have any of those things. It's just me. It's always been just me, you know, since I got divorced eight years ago. So being gentle with myself, gentle with them.

KYLIE MAR: You actually have a podcast where you talk about mental health.

MAYIM BIALIK: One of the things that I noticed during really in early COVID was that my anxiety, which is normally pretty high, got really, really high. And a lot of friends of mine who had previously not experienced mental health challenges were all of a sudden thinking, what is happening to me? Why can't I sleep? Why is eating so hard? And I said, welcome to the club. You're anxious.

So along with my partner, Jonathan Cohen-- I'm pointing because that's where he sits when we do our podcast. We started a mental health podcast. Our website is BialikBreakdown.com. You can also sign up there for newsletters.

And the podcast is on Spotify and anywhere you get podcasts. And we also are on my YouTube channel. People are able to actually look at us doing our podcast.

And the idea is to cover everything mental health. So I talk to experts in the field. I talk to individuals, many of whom are celebrity friends. Leslie Jordan and Cheyenne Jackson are in our first batch. And those are people who are experts in their own mental health struggles.

A lot of our guests have wanted to talk about sobriety and addiction, and how that played into their mental health challenges. I talk a lot about my experience, both as a neuroscientist and as a human. So it's all things mental health.