Over this last year-and-a-half, many people have been lucky enough to “quarantine” with friends and family. Those of us who live alone have had to find other ways to cope with not only the virus but with the loneliness that has accompanied this pandemic.
It’s no secret that humans need some level of community. Otherwise, our mental health is left vulnerable. However, fall is here and winter is fast approaching, meaning cold weather, shorter days, fewer outdoor events, more time alone, and, for many of us, seasonal depression. Thankfully, with the help of music, there are preventative steps we can take to strengthen our mental health.
Music affects mood. While trying to get over our first heartbreak, we’ve all turned on a bluesy country tune or perhaps a soft R&B song as we mend our broken hearts. Similarly, in moments of pure rage, people turn on their favorite rapper or some heavy metal with lots of screaming. Whatever we listen to, it makes us feel better. In preparation for the cold months, now is a good time to get your head right. This is the time to create “Happy Morning” or “It’s Going to Be a Good Day” playlists. Make it a habit of listening to these playlists, altering the songs and order as you see fit, all to remind yourself of the positivity out there. Dancing is strongly encouraged, by the way.
Now is also a great time to start practicing meditation. While there are many mediation playlists on Spotify, creating a personal playlist with your specific goals in mind can be relaxing. If you’re new to meditation, be patient. Give yourself ten minutes to meditate then gradually increase the time until you’ve reached your goal. Being able to find this sense of peace will be useful during the winter when fear and anxiety may sink in.
The reason to take these steps now vs when your sidewalks are covered in snow is because a more positive mindset can better combat depression and anxiety. In short, it’s easier to step over the mud than to pull yourself out of it.