"I think I have this problem where I can never look around," shared Ballerini of why she's developed a new perspective on life
Kelsea Ballerini began the new year with a fresh mindset.
At the ASCAP Grammy Brunch on Friday, the country music star, 30, shared with PEOPLE why she's stopped to "appreciate" life.
"I think I have this problem where I can never look around. I keep looking up, and I am trying to find a healthy balance of that because there's so much more that I want to do in so many areas. But I do feel like I've gotten to take a beat and appreciate what the last couple of years have brought into my life," she said.
The process has benefited Ballerini in many ways.
"I think it's really encouraged me to stay diligent in my songwriting and protect the honesty that I found in [Rolling Up the] Welcome Mat moving forward," said Ballerini. "And that's the whole season I'm in right now is figuring what that sounds like next."
One of the new things that has come into her life is her boyfriend, Chase Stokes. The two sparked dating rumors in early January 2023 and made their red carpet debut at the 2023 CMT Awards that April.
Ballerini told PEOPLE that the Outer Banks star, 31, is supporting her "from a distance" during Grammy weekend due to having to go "back to filming."
At the 2024 Grammy Awards, Ballerini is up for best country album for Rolling Up the Welcome Mat. The 6-track EP was released four months after her divorce from Morgan Evans was finalized in November 2022. The project was one of her most personal to date.
"I made it very selfishly … quite literally emotionally because I had to," she told PEOPLE in January. "I put my dog's name and addresses and receipts, and all these things, and it connected more than anything else I've ever put out."
Taking a more vulnerable approach to her music is what Ballerini plans to continue.
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“The thing that I learned that I just really hold closely now is there's no amount of truth telling or detail that will make it not relatable," she told PEOPLE. "I think for a long time, even though I was writing about my life and my emotions, I would try to round the edges, because I'm like, ‘I want everyone to feel themselves in this,’ or see themselves in the story.”
The 66th Grammy Awards will take place at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
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