Beyoncé Opens Up About Past Struggles with Insomnia and Dieting

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Beyoncé is getting candid about her past struggles with both her physical and mental health. In a new interview with Harper's Bazaar -- where she covers the magazine for their September "Icons" Issue -- the award-winning singer shares how her grueling schedule caused her to develop insomnia.

"I think, like many women, I have felt the pressure of being the backbone of my family and my company and didn’t realize how much that takes a toll on my mental and physical well-being," Beyoncé tells the magazine. "I have not always made myself a priority. I’ve personally struggled with insomnia from touring for more than half of my life."

That pressure also led the Ivy Park creator to struggle with her diet and body positivity.

"In the past, I spent too much time on diets, with the misconception that self-care meant exercising and being overly conscious of my body," she explains. "My health, the way I feel when I wake up in the morning, my peace of mind, the number of times I smile, what I’m feeding my mind and my body—those are the things that I’ve been focusing on."

Beyoncé adds that shifting her focus to caring for her mental health has helped her learn to "break the cycle of poor health and neglect."

"Mental health is self-care too. I’m learning to break the cycle of poor health and neglect, focusing my energy on my body and taking note of the subtle signs that it gives me. Your body tells you everything you need to know, but I’ve had to learn to listen."

As a woman who's been in the media's eye for over two decades, Beyoncé says that she's done her best to set boundaries between her stage persona and personal life as a way to protect her inner self. "My family and friends often forget the side of me that is the beast in stilettos until they are watching me perform," she admits. She also noted that it's easy for people to get lost in the relentless race of the industry and that she's seen many people -- celebrities, producers, directors and executives alike -- lose themselves to it. 

"It takes your spirit and light, then spits you out. It's not for everyone," the mother of three notes. "Before I started, I decided that I'd only pursue this career if my self-worth was dependent on more than celebrity success. I've surrounded myself with honest people who I admire, who have their own lives and dreams and are not dependent on me. People I can grow and learn from and vice versa."

And while new music is on the way for the singer, it's not the only thing she's focusing on. Although the Lemonade artist has been giving back to communities through philanthropy for a long time, even launching the BeyGOOD foundation in 2013 to work with several campaigns over the years to provide global aid, the turmoil that racked 2020 brought her efforts into the spotlight.

Beyoncé was one of the many Black celebrities to use their superstar status to bring awareness to issues that have long-plagued Black communities, including the long-time police brutality that led many to the streets to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

"I want to continue to work to dismantle systemic imbalances. I want to continue to turn these industries upside down," she shares, adding that she hopes her 40s will be full of freedom in both her personal and her business lives. "I want to explore aspects of myself I haven't had time to discover and to enjoy my husband [JAY-Z] and my children. I want to travel without working. I want this next decade to be about celebration, joy, and giving and receiving love. I want to give all the love I have to the people who love me back."

Read Beyoncé's full interview at Harper's Bazaar.

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