Lana Condor found herself being a “yes girl” after the remarkable success of the first installment of the To All The Boys series, which admittedly caused some problems with her mental health.
“[The first movie] was received way better than I had ever imagined in my wildest dreams. It changed much of my life very quickly,” she recalled in an exclusive interview with SELF. While she remained grateful for it all, her busy weeks filled with movie promotions and TV shootings eventually led to emotional struggles.
“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,” she shared. “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.”
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This year, Condor realized the strength in being vulnerable and showing everyone that life is not always sunshine and rainbows. One moment, the actress had an epiphany and decided to get real about her condition to her team. “They were all shocked because I wasn’t open about my feelings,” she mused. “No one knew. When I had that conversation with them, it was like a new beginning. Now I know the power of sharing that.”
Condor additionally expressed her gratitude to her parents, who have “been a great sounding board.” She continued, “My mom and my dad are so supportive and we’ve had conversations about ‘Lana, you need to stop. You’re clearly unhappy’…’Okay, let’s figure out the root of that.’”
Speaking honestly about her situation made a positive impact on Condor. “Once I shared it and was vulnerable with my team, it was a huge change,” she said. “They really have helped me navigate the industry now in a much more healthy way, where I feel like I can do what I love and also be the person that I want to be for myself.”
This isn’t the first time she has struggled with mental health problems. When she was studying ballet in her younger years, Condor revealed she also had to deal with body dysmorphia. “When you see yourself in a mirror constantly and you’re like, wearing nothing, you can really just nitpick yourself to death, which is so unhealthy,” she said.
Condor decided to focus on her healing and recovery when she stopped doing ballet. While it has been a work in progress, she revealed that having a support system, squeezing physical activities into her days, and making time for therapy have helped her significantly.
What’s her best piece of advice for those who are battling body dysmorphia and other mental health concerns? “I would say you have to treat yourself like your best friend,” she declared.
“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. The mind and this body is the one we get,” Condor concluded.
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Condor is best known for her role as Lara Jean Covey in the movie adaptation of Jenny Han’s rom-com book trilogy. The third and last piece in the series dubbed To All The Boys: Always and Forever is set to arrive on Netflix on Friday, Feb. 12.
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