Being a musician is a lot of hard work – whether you are just trying to make a name for yourself, or have already reached a crowd of fans. Here are a few self-care tips to make it a little easier!
Listen To Your Body
While this should be obvious to everyone – not just musicians – it’s something that many people do not do. Often, we ignore signals from our body like headaches, fatigue, and general unpleasantness because we have things to do and places to be. Tune into yourself every once in a while, and do a basic wellness check. You can incorporate this into your daily routine by setting aside time in your schedule to meditate on how your body is feeling. Start with your head and work your way down; this will also give your mind a chance to connect with your body.
Make Time For Rest
If your body says “I need to sleep,” don’t ignore it! Make time to rest. Many people think they can get by on less than average sleep, especially musicians who sing or play late into the night and then get up to work or go to school. If you can find a way to give yourself a full night’s sleep – do it. And if you can’t, make time for a nap. Ten minutes will do your body good, but anything more than 30 minutes can cause problems. The Mayo Clinic has some advice for healthy nap hygiene here.
Invest In A Throat Spray (If you’re a singer)
Singers can often be blindsided by sickness or hoarseness, but still feel the need to perform anyway. If you are rigorously practicing or playing shows each night for a prolonged period of time, picking up a bottle of throat spray from Whole Foods or a drug store can be a lifesaver. There are many recipes out there, so purchase one that is closest to your taste. You can find them online, too, if you want to research before buying. And if you are more comfortable with a warm cup of tea, add some honey and lemon to help soothe any throat aches.
Get Some Exercise
No matter how busy you are, try to steal away some time in your day (or week, if you that’s more manageable) for exercise. Keeping your body strong and healthy can ward off sickness and boost your staying power during performances and practices. Yoga is a calming work out that focuses on both the mind and body thus making it perfect for artistic, creative musicians.
Eating healthy, whole foods can do just as much good as exercise – and is far tastier. Concentrate on avoiding fast food and highly-processed, sugary food. If you can add more grains, vegetables, and good protein to each meal you will thank yourself in the long run. And as for snacks, prepare your own instead of buying processed, pre-packaged foods. Cut up and Ziploc vegetables, chunks of cheese, nuts, and fruits instead of breaking open a bag of chips.
Create Stress Strategies
Figure out what causes you stress, and then develop a strategy to either avoid that trigger or to deal with your stress appropriately. In the music world, stress can wreak havoc on your live performance and your ability to wield your instrument, whether it’s a guitar or your voice. When you are busy dwelling on something that stresses you out, you aren’t focused – and it will show. If a person causes you stress, avoid them or talk to them about their behavior.
Whether you are a rock star in the making, or a lowly apprentice to that rock star, you need to value yourself. Make time for self-care, don’t say negative things about yourself in your own head, and don’t give in to self-deprecation (even if others think it’s funny). Treat yourself like you would a friend. Make it okay to give yourself pep talks, presents, or treats. If you don’t value yourself, it shows.