7 Self-Care Activities for Musicians
7 Self-Care Activities for Musicians
Even though we’re on overdrive—since we feel as if we’ve lost sooo many years toward our goals—we know that the fundamental principle of taking care of one’s self (mentally and physically) is the key to any outward success. It is in support of that idea that we are sharing some of the ways to best make sure that, as an artist, business person, performer, you stop and take care of yourself even while pursuing your creative vision.
Growing our social media reach from 700 Facebook friends to reaching over 10k friends/followers/viewers on 7 different platforms has taken consistent daily effort. Managing 2 creative businesses (the blog—and associated efforts—and the music publishing company) requires could require every waking hour of every waking day. However, we have found that if we don’t stop and take care of living life and sharing time with loved ones (see why we do what we're doing), taking care of our bodies, and enjoying things like holidays and long walks, we are not at our peak mental state to be able to do what we want and, subsequently, what needs to be done to get what we want. (see the Vision Board D.I.Y.). So even though we are relentlessly creating and distributing ideas and products, we make sure to take the time to fill up our physical and emotional tank by engaging in these self-care practices regularly.
Part of what keeps our empire up and running is that we find the time to do some form of these every week without fail. When we don’t, we realize that we are not at our best. Feeling good in our bodies and keeping a good mindset are the keys to being able to do more. Magically, when we are able to do more, we have more success, and when we have more success, we want to do even more.
These are not in any particular order, and be sure these are just a part of what helps fortify us. However, it is a list of some of the most important ones, in our opinion.
1. Take a nap
I know this one seems counter-intuitive. If you’re grinding and needing to get a lot MORE done then how can you afford to take a nap? Well, it has been our experience that sometimes stopping to take that 15 minute cat nap can help us last longer and get more done in the long run. By just taking a little time out when we’re at that crossroads of energy—when we’re at the end of one major mentally-intensive activity and are about to start another—is a good time to look at the list of goals left for that day, strategize on how long it will take, then take a timed nap to re-charge the physical energy to get it done. –Again, it needs to be timed. Taking a 3 hour nap when you have a lot of major shit to get done is only going to make you feel like a slacker and won’t get you to your goal. –However, somehow, figuring out what needs to be done and “sleeping on it” briefly lets my mind start doing the work for me, so that when I arise from my catnap, I am full of ideas and revving to go. We know that there are days when a catnap is NOT possible, but when I have the option, I sure as heck take it and it seems to help me get even more done than when I don’t get one. However, if you can’t take that nap, we recommend the next self-care technique as your stand-in.
2. Alone time
We don’t know about you, but as creative people, we thrive on having some alone-time to re-charge our batteries. Whether it’s a quiet mid-day walk or reading a book during lunch or 10 minutes in the car before heading into a meeting, just having that time to sit, reflect, and be alone helps give us the wherewithal to take charge of whatever that next activity we are faced with. Our mindset suffers when we don’t get that interval of time when you are not required to talk to anyone or think about problems or produce anything in particular. Just enjoying a little quiet, uninterrupted time gets our mental state ready for whatever else comes our way. Again, it is nice substitute for NOT having that 15 minute catnap.
3. Exercise regularly
No matter what business you are in—and the music business is a business just like any other—you need to find a way to get the blood pumping through your veins regularly. We know that it’s counter-intuitive to NEED to move in order to calm the mind, but, magically, it works. When you exercise regularly, you feel more alive, more in control of your body, and, thus, we feel more in control of shaping your own life and path. There’s something about the feeling of conquering your own body that is really powerful. It seems like a small goal—to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day—but what it adds to you is enough to aid your mindset and help you to accomplish amazing things. Sometimes, you can collapse strategies 2 and 3 into one and get your alone time while you exercise, which is a win-win. You will feel refreshed physically and have your alone time. However, you do it, you should do it. We have NEVER met anyone who has said that they don’t feel better about themselves, about their ability to achieve their goals, and about their futures after instituting a regular exercise routine. So, really, find a way to make sure this is within your self-care power pack.
4. Eat healthy foods
This self-care strategy ties into the last one; when you eat healthier, you tend to feel better. We are not talking about going vegan or organic or going on a diet or anything, but when you eat bad for you foods all time, you will tend to feel more badly about yourself. –Personally, eating poorly makes me feel like I’ve given up on having a better shape, which makes me feel like I am letting myself down on my goals. And, of course, if I let myself down on the goal that is MUCH easier to control—what I put in my mouth—then I feel less secure about my ability to achieve goals that are so large they absolutely scare me sometimes. But achieving those MASSIVE goals is my vision for myself and our creative lives. So, I have to start with the little things, like what I eat, then I can go on to world music domination!
So, all things in moderation, but if you feel badly about something that you’ve eaten—a WHOLE pizza when you had only planned to eat a slice or ice cream when you’d promised yourself you were going to start eating more fruit—ask yourself if you’re serious about creating that better life. If your answer is yes, then that will give you the will to eat better, which will, in turn, give you the will to keeping working toward your goals.
It’s about willpower, but if you remember WHY you have decided to eat better, you will change your choices, which will make you feel like the master of your destiny. Trust us, this really works. It’s a small change that yields massive impact.
5. Do something creative JUST for fun
While we are musical artists and writers, because we have decided to package and sell what it is that we produce, you’d think that would be enough to satisfy our creative expression. However, I am here to tell you that it is NOT. –And it is not that we don’t create the music that we would like to or write the blog posts that we like, it’s that we must market what we produce and that puts certain pressures on the process. (If you have ever had writer’s block, then you will know where that feeling comes from.)
However, a simple self-care technique of sitting down to write a song, write a rant, or simply string ideas together JUST because it’s fun—without NO particular commercial aims—reminds us of the joy of just creating. It is a way to connect us back up to our creative source—unshaped—and bring the original happiness that we felt when we begin as kids. (That probably explains why we have “vaults” of material that don’t really have a place to go, so to speak.)
There are times when we just let the emotions wash through us and we flush out whatever is there, no matter what the outcome. It feels good coming out and makes us feel like fucking geniuses! It is also cathartic, which helps keep us mentally strong, so that we can get back to activities that are our commercial pursuits. Sometimes, we just need to stop and pour that out before we can move back to our agenda.
6. Find chillax time
This strategy ties back into the last one, because sometimes creating that “doodle” or “rant” song IS the chillax time. We’re sitting on the couch and an idea pops in our heads and Bruce pulls out the guitar and I pull out my pen and just flow. That is sometimes our chillax time. However, sometimes our chillax time is an evening of binging on Netflix together. We sit on the couch and before we know it, we have watched a whole season of “Wentworth” or “Breaking Bad.” We find that though we never really “plan” to have days or evenings like this, but that break in the action help us feel more in partnership, helps us re-charge our batteries, and makes us better ready to get back to the creating and promoting agenda that is on the schedule. We have learned that these days are just as important as our strategy days.
7. Follow your gut
Finally, with all these strategies and—with everything else—we have learned that the best way to build your confidence in your own abilities and your faith in your future is by following your intuition. When faced with decisions, if you feel in your gut that it’s the best thing to do, you should follow that feeling. Some have said that this is God trying to guide us. We are really beginning to believe that now. If you have decided upon what your goals are and are working on them diligently, your gut will help you navigate your way through decisions. You will find that when you follow that intuition, things seem to go better for you and when you do not, things seem to go awry. Consequently, when things go well, it gives you more faith in your own abilities to make great decisions, which will lead to more action toward your vision.
There you have it; 7 Strategies for Self-Care for Musicians.
You may have your own self-care practices that differ greatly and that’s cool. The main thing is to have some way of re-centering yourself mentally and physically, so that you can slay the day and reach your goals and work toward the vision for your future.
Why I Run: https://youtu.be/e_xYoinrJPA
Gab & Jam Ep 7 Rock Star Billboard: https://youtu.be/Fm5i9q5gxaU
Gearfest 2018: https://youtu.be/BieMBgbbMtw
Here is one of our recent Gab and Jam episodes for your viewing pleasure.
What do you do to re-charge your batteries and
keep you in top condition physically and mentally? We would love to hear about your self-care activities.
Share them in the comments below.
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Until next time, here's wishing a hearty helping of love, peace, and chicken grease!
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