Camila Cabello Talks About How COVID-19 Affected Her Mental Health

The star gets honest about burnout and the crippling anxiety that hit her once her whirlwind life stopped for a moment.

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Comparing herself to her pet, Camila Cabello humorously begins her recent 'Time to Walk' episode on Apple Fitness+ stating that like her dog, she needs to be walked at least twice a day. Time to Walk is an immersive audio feature for Fitness+ users in which they accompany a celebrated personality on their walk while listening to their life experiences and insightful stories. The latest episode presents Grammy-nominee Camila Cabello, known for her cheerful online presence and jokey nature, opening up on her personal struggles.

While strolling through her neighborhood in Miami, the accomplished singer-songwriter reflects on her journey from being a Cuban-Mexican immigrant crossing the U.S border at seven to overcoming feelings of insecurity as a child and then dealing with anxiety and imposter syndrome despite her successful career.

Relating her experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cabello admits to feeling burnt out due to her relentless work schedule since the age of 15. She recounts how she had no time for herself or to understand her identity beyond her profession, amidst mental health issues, anxiety, and unhealthy stress levels. She was so engrossed in her work that she ignored the signs of exhaustion.

However, the unprecedented halt brought on by the pandemic made her feel like a rapidly moving freight train that had suddenly stopped. She would frequently break down, unable to handle the crippling anxiety. Suddenly, without work to distract her, she felt lost and unstable, struggling with her own thoughts. This not only affected her relationships and friendships but also her overall well-being. Consequently, she realized that her anxiety wasn't just about her performances or work; it was something she needed to address for her holistic wellness.

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Camila Cabello, Time to walk Episode

For the initial period following her rise to global fame, Cabello decided to take a hiatus, focusing wholeheartedly on personal growth and healing. "I realized the need to hit pause and introspect," she shares. In an effort to regain her sense of well-being, she explored various remedies - from different therapeutic approaches to dietary changes and meditation practices. She also consciously allocated time for building connections and friendships, ensuring she wasn't constantly pushed to her limits. "It was absolutely crucial that I paid heed to my body's needs." Although the pandemic brought about challenges, it offered Cabello a much-needed respite. "The lockdown provided me with an opportunity for transformation, giving me the space and time to experience a wide range of emotions without feeling the pressure to suppress them or prepare for a performance. I was able to stay in one place for longer than a fortnight, something I hadn't been able to do since my teens due to my busy schedule." (Refer: The Unexpected Positive Impact of COVID-19 Quarantine on Mental Health)

Reflecting on her current perspective towards mental health and social relationships, Camila Cabello realizes how her life has transformed. She expresses her newfound understanding of the value of connections, saying, "My friendships and relationships are what give me immense happiness." For a significant part of her life, she was self-reliant and attempted to manage everything singlehandedly. However, the slowdown caused by the pandemic made her realize that interdependence can be empowering. She says, "I've learned to seek help from others, express my feelings, and cope with my emotions through their support. Battling mental health issues doesn't have to be a lonely journey.

She goes on to say that she no longer believes in isolating herself until she overcomes her anxiety and other mental health issues. She felt that she had to resolve her internal struggles before forging connections with others. The pandemic-induced break, as she perceives it, came as a rescue. It offered her lessons of life that she hopes will remain relevant beyond the pandemic as well.

"I believe this break acted as a healer for me, bringing about a transformative change in my life. If not for this pause, I would probably have had to stop in a more detrimental way," she conveys.

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