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Lana Condor: ‘You would never tell your best friend the things that you say to yourself’

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Lana Condor became known to most of us as Lara Jean in To All the Boys Ive Loved Before. The third and final installment of the trilogy, To All the Boys: Always and Forever comes out next week. As promo for the film, Lana covers this months Self magazine, in which she speaks mostly about mental health. Lana discussed feeling gloomy and not knowing where to turn, especially when she became known for playing such a positive character. She talked about the importance of reaching out to others for help and leaving Los Angeles for a slower lifestyle. She also brought up her challenges with body dysmorphic behavior that started during her younger years in ballet. She discussed working out healthier, working on accepting herself and mainly being nicer to herself. Its a great interview and I highly suggest reading it the full piece. Ive pulled a few quotes that especially grabbed me:On burning herself out: was received way better than I had ever imagined in my wildest dreams. It changed much of my life very quickly. And then I was shooting this television show that was really dark. I was just saying yes to everything because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and you want to capitalize on it, and you want to feel like you’re fully embracing everything. But I’ve never felt more horrible mentally. I was so burned out…. I would go home at night and I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I would shake going to bed and shake waking up because it was just so much stimulation.On opening up: I was on the phone with my team and I had this moment where I just was in tears, telling them that I don’t feel okay. And they were all shocked because I wasn’t open about my feelings. No one knew. When I had that conversation with them, it was like a new beginning. Now I know the power of sharing that.On overcoming body dysmorphic behavior: I’m not in a place where I can say, Oh, yeah, it’s over. I have to work on it every single day. Working out in a healthy way has helped a lot because it makes me feel good. It makes me feel stronger. I used to work out constantly. Just go, go, go. And that was so unhealthy for me. So now I’m trying to do things that I just genuinely love and not in an overt, burnout way.On being kind to yourself: If someone were to come to me asking for advice about body dysmorphia and any sort of mental health, I would just say you have to treat yourself like your best friend. You would never tell your best friend the things that you say to yourself in your darkest times. You would never in a million years. I think that we have to talk to ourselves kindly and gently. I don’t know where I stand with the afterlife, but I think this is it. This mind and this body is the one we get.I was surprising affected by much of what Lana said. Partly because I very much like Lana and found myself getting protective over her. The other part were the things in which I saw myself. I think its true that we speak to ourselves in a way we would never speak to those we love, which has horrible implications because we should love ourselves as much as our friends. And putting on a brave face for others is another area I bet many of us need to work on. Especially now when the walls constantly feel like they are closing in. Im in a bit of a dark place right now so its hard to let Lanas advice penetrate. I intend read this again when I am more receptive.There is a lot more to the article. Lana speaks so romantically about living in Seattle, she almost had me looking at available rentals up there. She spends a portion of the interview discussing her five-year relationship with Anthony De La Torre. Its complimentary without being performatively gushing, like theyve found a comfort zone with each other and relish in what they have. It was refreshing to read for such a young couple. Lana also spoke excitedly about the increasing Asian representation in Hollywood and how much that has changed from when she was the only Asian face in the casting room. I love that Lana has found her voice and is using it in so many wonderful ways. Photo credit: Jack Belli/Self and AvalonCelebitchy

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