It is no secret that mental health is important. It is probably one of the most important things for us human beings to maintain. Lately, I’ve been seeing more and more people posting mantras about self-care. Which led me to thinking about how I personally take care of my own mental health. While some people find that going to a therapist soothes their mind and overall well-being, I never felt as though that approach was the one for me. To be completely honest, my way of easing my mind and taking care of myself is probably more expensive than sitting down with a professional.
When I have just about HAD IT with thinking for the day, I tend to go on a nice lengthy drive and blast music. Whether it is the middle of the day and I can roll down the windows, or late at night and I am enveloped in the sound, driving is my therapy. I guess you could also say good music is a form of therapy for me as well. What many people don’t know about me is, I tend to overthink everything. This can be extremely stressful for me, whether I decide to show it or not. I could treat myself to an extra cup of coffee and then proceed to overthink about how that $3.50 is going to affect my bank account in 6 years. While my brain is constantly in overdrive, I have a hard time putting my thoughts into actual words when I am feeling overwhelmed. Most likely because I don’t even know where I would begin. That is part of the reason I never felt the need to sit down with a therapist and talk about all the things bothering me. I know how to alleviate the stress and I also know my brain loves to make a bigger deal of things than necessary.
Now, you might be thinking, isn’t driving and listening to music just a temporary fix? To which I would say, yes. However, for myself, if I can settle my mind and space out for even just thirty minutes, then I can come back to reality with more clarity. When I get a chance to relax, that is when I can decipher between what is an actual pressing issue in my head, and what is just being dramaticized.
I titled this $5 Therapy, thinking I was being super clever because of the fact that Spotify for students is only $5. However, if you’re including mileage of my relaxation drives……I don’t want to talk about it. I think it’s good to find what works for you when it comes to mental health. Some people can swear by going to a therapist, but still leave the session feeling as if something was left unsaid. Now I know late night/mid-day drives may not be for everyone. I just thought I would shine a little light on what i do for self-care. Essentially, taking care of your mental health is the base work of self-care days. If your brain isn’t in a good state of mind, your whole body will be out of line. I wish I could say that this was going to be another post in which I include a playlist I made for my therapy drives. However, every music streaming service I know of has sections of playlists that are made specifically to wind down. If you’re into that kind of thing. Personally, I always will be listening to something upbeat. I’ve only mentioned that about nine HUNDRED times here.
Whenever I head to my local bookstore, I always like to read a little bit about music and the mind. I always used to think I was crazy for believing in the power of a good playlist more than the next person. When reading, I always find little facts that differ from book to book. However, the most common fact they always state is, to listen to your body. Every person’s mind and body reacts differently to certain types of music. Apparently, those goosebumps you get during your favorite song, is a wave of adrenaline washing over you. Which in a scientists perspective, is a really good sign. So, they basically say to strive for that feeling whenever listening to something that you intend to make you feel better. I know this blog is starting to look like an anti-sad music kind of page, but I have never gotten goosebumps from a sad anthem. The artist could win best vocals at the Grammys for a sad song and I still would be thinking, “Can we change this to something else?”
What was the moral of this story? Ummmm that music is the cure for everything?? The moral of all my stories on here?? The moral is, therapy isn’t always black and white like some people make it out to be. When people talk about taking care of mental health, you always read about therapists and going to see one. For the people that find that method helpful, I say keep at it! However, for people who do not see that as something they think would be the best self-care method, try something else! I also say, while venting to your friends can be super helpful, essentially the only person who knows your situation is you. Friends can offer some great advice, but at the end of the day they still may not have the full picture. Nobody can feel what you’re feeling, so make sure you are getting the right care your brain needs. For me, that care is blasting music and taking a break for a little. Find what works for you and keep at it!