“Don’t beat yourself up” - Victoria’s Secret Angel Sara Sampaio opens up about her anxiety and depression during lockdown

The model urged her followers not to stress about diets and workouts during quarantine, and to prioritise their mental health first and foremost 

Portuguese model Sara Sampaio reached out to her 7.5 million followers on Instagram, inviting them to ask her questions about her life during lockdown.

Refreshingly, she answered each one with complete honesty. Instead of the usual celeb talk on at-home workouts and healthy dieting, Sampaio said that, for her, each day is different.

“It really depends how I wake up,” she explained. “I’ve kinda been waking up with no energy and haven't really been wanting to do anything.


“It’s okay, if you just have a day [of rest]. If I don’t want to do anything then I’ll not do anything. And if I wake up with a lot of energy then I’ll decide to do stuff.”

During this quarantine, we've been under constant pressure to be productive, even though most of us are still working eight-hour work days, looking after children and unable to go out and blow off steam.

Instead of pressuring yourself to be constantly productive, Sampaio's philosophy is to take one day at a time, listening to your body and what it needs.

The diet of champions

Responding to a question about her diet, she admitted that she’s been constantly snacking during lockdown. (Who hasn’t?)

“All I eat is popcorn, cookies, chocolate. It’s so good though.”

She encouraged her fans to give themselves grace and not to worry about keeping up with strict diets and lots of exercise. Instead, she encouraged her followers to make their mental health their top priority.


"Don't beat yourself up"

“It’s fine. When quarantine is over we can all go back to our routines,” she explained, saying she’s only worked out twice during the entire lockdown. “Don’t beat yourself up.”

The Victoria’s Secret model went on to say that she has regularly battled anxiety, depression and trichotillomania (a mental disorder that involves recurrent, irresistible urges to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body, despite trying to stop). 

 Anxiety, depression and trichotillomania

“I actually deal with anxiety and depression on a regular basis,” she said. “The first few weeks I was the least anxious I've ever been.” 

But over the past two weeks, her anxiety and depression has worsened, and Sampaio continues to struggle with trichotillomania as well.

“I've been having this since I was 15, and I still do it,” she said. “There are times when I pick more than others.”


But the one thing she’s noticed that helps with the disorder is keeping her nails short. It slightly helps curb the urge to pick more.

Sampaio answered these questions from Los Angeles, where she is currently quarantining with her housemates. 

Besides the frequent snacking, the 28-year-old has been watching lots of TV, including Tiger King and Too Hot to Handle.

She's also been taking online classes, making banana bread and enjoying long, luxurious bouts of doing nothing — which she highly recommends.


Read more: Instead of trying to change your life during lockdown, make these five small changes

Read more: No, you’re not losing your mind, week five really is the worst week of lockdown – here’s why


Read more: Angelina Jolie's advice is more important than ever during Covid-19

The image newsletter