Lance Bass On Prioritizing His Mental Health And LGBTQ Well-Being

“I think it’s so important to understand that your brain is very complicated.”

Lance Bass’ strategy for a happier life? Spend a little more time on you.

The former *NSYNC boy band member stressed that talking about mental well-being, engaging in activities that feel good to you and, most importantly, reaching out to people you trust, are vital when it comes to dealing with extreme anxiety. This is particularly true for LGBTQ people, he said, who may feel like they’re alone in their experience and won’t get the support they need.

“It’s so important to think about your mental health,” Bass told HuffPost earlier this month in a discussion about “The Path To Pride,” an Audible special that features performers telling their coming-out stories.

“It’s such a taboo subject to talk about, but it’s becoming less taboo every year ― especially when people come forward with stories about their own mental health problems. I think it’s so important to understand that your brain is very complicated,” he said.

Part of how Bass takes care of his own mental health is by creating a morning routine that prioritizes a positive attitude. That includes a few calming activities, good food and lots of sleep. Oh, and puppies. Below, Bass breaks down how taking care of himself starts the moment he wakes up (even if it’s late).

Are you a morning person or no?

I am not a morning person at all! I wish I was because I know there are so many great benefits to getting up with the sun. I think it’s a musician thing. I’ve been on the road since I was 16 years old. Our schedule had us performing late and getting to bed late. So nighttime is when I do the best. I do all my writing at night. I really don’t shut down until 2 a.m.

What time do you typically wake up?

I usually wake up around 9 or 10. I hate setting an alarm clock. I hate the sound of an alarm. It ruins my whole day. Even if I change the tone to something pretty or nice to wake me up, it still doesn’t work.

Snooze button: Hit it or quit it?

No, I can’t set a snooze button. I’m too afraid I’ll overuse it. I set two alarms because I don’t want to miss something.

What’s your go-to breakfast?

It’s my morning routine to get up with my husband and go to our Starbucks down the street and I’ll get green tea and their sous vide egg bites. They’re so damn good. And if I’m feeling bad, I’ll shove them in a croissant and make a sandwich out of it.

What’s one vice you can’t live without in the morning?

I have to have a kombucha every morning. It really wakes me up. I don’t have coffee. [Kombucha] just gives me the best energy ever. I don’t know if it’s all in my head, but something about that drink just makes me feel amazing.

How has your morning routine changed over the years?

With the business I’m in, my schedule changes constantly. It just depends on what I’m working on. If it’s a TV show, it’s a lot of early mornings. That means I’m up at 4:30 in the morning, which is horrible.

If you only have a few minutes to get into a good mindset first thing in the morning, what do you do?

Oh, that’s easy. I just get around my dogs. I have two new puppies and the best way to put a smile on my face is to be around them. There’s something about animals and the unconditional love that you get back. It completely changes your mood.

What do you do to keep prioritizing your mental health throughout the day?

For me, to really center myself, I love meditation. At first, it was very hard for me to get into it because my brain doesn’t shut off. It’s always just constantly firing in different directions. To get into a peaceful place was difficult for me, but in time, it worked. Being able to rest your brain is very important. And also exercise can be the best thing for my head. Almost 40 years of my life I never had gotten into cardio, but I’m a runner now. It just clears my brain and you just feel so much better and healthier.

Fill in the blank: My perfect morning consists of ___________.

It consists of cuddling with my puppies and having my egg bites.

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