Self-Care For Musicians
It is important that we all take care of ourselves. It is our individual responsibility to make sure that we are nourished inside and out, healthy and content. This is especially true for the creative person, such as a musician. The demands on those in a creative line of work are different then those in a nine to five office job. Both have demands, and both require you to be healthy in order to do properly, but they are different demands none the less.
I want to start with telling you that there are two very important beliefs that factor into self care. You need to believe them, even if at the moment you do not. They are necessary for you to be nourished, healthy and content. The first fundamental belief is: it really does not matter what other people think about you. I know that is a hard one to swallow for a lot of people. We live in a very judicial society. Part of that is because we feed into, and promote the negativity and unhealthy behavior.
If you live your life to please those around you, you are not living life. You are missing life. Other people's point of view can be nice input if you want, but do not live your life to make them happy, because then you will never be happy.
The second fundamental belief, which I imagine is even harder for most people, is that you deserve and have the right to be healthy, nourished and happy. You must believe that. If you walk around thinking that you deserve to be beat down, or sick all the time then that is what you will be. I want you to realize the power of your thoughts. Our thoughts are the most powerful weapon in the world. Thoughts alone can change a life. Your thoughts can and will change your life.
I believe that self care is nourishment for our soul. It includes positive belief patterns, a positive attitude and gratitude. Three components that supplement the above mentioned beliefs. We are what we make our selves. As within so without, in other words if we are nourished on the inside our lives will be nourished on the out side.
So what are you suppose to be doing then for self care. Making sure that you have a proper diet, which means balanced food intake such as fruits and vegetables, water, protein.
Self care also requires that you have time to relax and reconnect with the world around you. It is not healthy to live inside our own little shell. Especially for a musician, you need to be in touch with what is going on around you.
Self care is important so that you are able to grow and flourish as an artist. It will become increasingly difficult to maintain your lifestyle if you are malnourished and undernourished.
Caring for your creative self has many benefits. You will be more comfortable during performances. We all have performance anxiety whether we like to admit it or not, but we can minimize it. Keeping your stress at a manageable level and keeping your negative thoughts at a minimum will help eliminate some of that performance anxiety that you may have.
As I stated earlier, connecting with the people and the world around you will provide inspiration, understanding and support to you. Do not stay locked away in a "creative cocoon" you will find that after some time you may run out of ideas.
Making sure that you care for yourself properly will make sure that you have energy for all the things in your life, not just your music. I know the music is important, but so is the rest of your life. You need the support system from friends and / or fellow artists; you need to draw from their inspiration. Plus the environment gives a wonderful canvas for you to play with.
Increase your self awareness and allow yourself to grow. These two factors will give your creative outlet depth and meaning. You are more likely to be less self-sabotaging if you are self aware. Let's face it, we are our own worst critic. It is time to turn that critical off, for he / she is not always right. It is better to let him / her provide warning, but not dictate our life.
Taking time to relax is also a very important part self care. We need to have time in each day when we do nothing but relax. Take a walk in the park. Go for a drive through the country. Take time away from what you are doing, even if it is for only ten minutes.
Ask for help. There is no greater sign of strength then asking for help. Yes I said strength. I learned a long time ago, that I was not super human and I could not do it all by myself. It is okay to ask for help when you need it.
Be grateful for what you have. You will be surprised at the amount of stress that disappears once you are thankful for what you have instead of focusing on what you do not have.
Daydream for awhile. Yes, I said day dream. This is a great stress reliever as well and important to self care.
The key to a long career, regardless of what your career is, is that you never stop enjoying what you are doing. The moment the joy is gone, you have two options, figure out why and fix it or change careers. Chances are if you are not taking care of yourself properly, you could be losing the joy you had for music.
If you are stressed and your music becomes a chore, then you need to step back and relax. You need to start taking care of yourself to make sure that you have a long and successful career.