Throughout our travels in this world of uncertainty, it helps to ground ourselves in activities and interests that take us away from the daily grind and into happy spaces of our choosing. Singer Carrie Underwood knows having hobbies can help relieve the stresses of mental health, and shared how she chooses to step outside to find her own much-needed distractions -- which happen to be pretty tasty, too!
"There's so many benefits to just being outside and soaking in vitamin D," Underwood explains. "It's quiet outside, you're very in tune with nature; you hear the birds chirping, the wind through the breeze... you're kind of alone with your thoughts."
"I feel like there's a lot of life lessons in gardening that you just think about as you are gardening. It's a very calming thing; some good physical activity, and then you get to eat -- or at least I do, vegetable gardening," Carrie adds. "You get to eat what you are growing, which is also so good for your body and so good for your brain and everything in between."
Aside from getting her hands dirty and reaping the tasty benefits, another way Carrie has brought balance into her life is by taking a more limited approach when it comes to social media use. "I love to put things out there, I love to follow people and see what they're up to, I love to tell people what I'm up to -- but I don't read comments. I think that's one of the best things I could have ever done," she admits. "I might see the top ones that are from people I follow, or people I know but after that, I just don't need to know. I'm doing my thing, I'm having a great time and if I posted a picture of it it's because I'm proud of it or I liked it or I was having fun while I was doing it and I don't necessarily need to know what everyone thinks about it."
As far as her soothing soundtrack goes, "when I need a mental health break, the music that I will go to would be more 'Praise & Worship' music," Carrie adds. "I feel like sometimes if I just play it in my house when I'm making dinner or something like that, or cleaning... it's just positive energy kind of filling the house in the form of sound waves. It's really nice and uplifting, and encouraging. It reminds me that I am loved," she says pointing skyward," and that I am cherished and that I am a daughter of the king, of God. I feel like that is helpful."
Audacy's I’m Listening aims to encourage those who are dealing with mental health issues to understand they are not alone. If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or anxiety, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741. You can also find more resources here.
For more mental health content, special edition artist interviews, resources, and more head to Imlistening.org. 365 days a year, I’m Listening is here to provide us all with moments of kindness, community, and support.