Bell credits husband Dax Shepard for helping her get to a better place by giving her some tough love

By Maria Pasquini
May 03, 2021 02:15 PM
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Kristen Bell is opening up about the toll the COVID-19 pandemic took on her mental health. 

In the cover story for Self's May issue, which coincides with mental health awareness month, the actress, 40, spoke about her journey with anxiety and depression, which she has experienced since she was a teenager.

"I know that I present someone who is very bubbly and happy all the time, and a lot of the time I am, because I have really good tools," she said. "But there are definitely days when the alarm goes off and I go, 'No, I'm staying right here. Nothing's worth it…. I'm just going to stay in this cocoon because I need to; because I feel very, very, very vulnerable.' "

Over the course of the pandemic, the mother of two said that she has sometimes had "trouble distinguishing between my emotions and someone else's emotions, and that's not a compliment to myself. That's a very dangerous thing to toy with." 

She says she was at times in a "mental zone that wasn't healthy for my family to be around." 

kristen bell
Kristen Bell
| Credit: Pat Martin

Bell credits husband Dax Shepard for helping her get to a better place by giving her some tough love.  

"'Hey, real quick, are you helping anyone right now by sitting and crying in your bed, or are you just being self-indulgent?' " she recalled him saying to her at one point. "'Either get up and donate money or donate your time or do something to help, or take that story in, give it some love, and come out here and be a good mom and a good wife and a good friend and live your life in honor of the suffering that happens in the world.' " 

kristen bell
Kristen Bell
| Credit: Pat Martin
kristen bell
Kristen Bell
| Credit: Pat Martin

Afterwards, she said she remembered thinking, "'How dare you?' But also, 'You're right.' "

Taking her husband's advice, she went on to give blood to the UCLA Blood & Platelet Center and also donated to No Kid Hungry.

Fortunately, Bell said she has some "good tools" to help her get through any struggles: exercise and meditation. 

As far as her personal mantra, the actress said she tells herself to "do the right thing" which often means "get your ass up and go walk around the block." 

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In order to unwind and unplug, the actress has also been doing a lot of puzzles recently. 

"I puzzle a lot because I find it to be the best way to get people to stop talking to you," she said, adding that it's also refreshing knowing that "there's a place for each piece."