Guest post by Nicole McCray
As an independent musician, stress is something that you’ll have to deal with from time to time. Learning how to cope in such situations is essential to avoid the harmful effects of constant stress.
Different circumstances come into play that may lead you to develop stress responses. For instance, the global Covid-19 pandemic is one circumstance most independent musicians have had to navigate. Going through the stress of not performing in concerts and shifting to embrace online platforms has been a significant stressor.
However, with the right coping techniques, you can manage your stress levels and find ways to solve specific problems you’re facing. Here are a few self-care tips and stress coping techniques for independent musicians to rely on.
Mindful practices like meditation and various breathing techniques are incredible tools to help you manage your stress levels. When you feel stressed out, consider taking some time to sit with your thoughts and breath through the situation.
In addition, practising mindfulness will help you identify negative responses that you are prone to when stressed out. These negative responses could be overreacting, lashing out, or withdrawing from others, leading to depression.
Finally, if you find it challenging to stay with your thoughts, consider engaging in a calming activity like yoga. Engaging in yoga practice will help you stay in the moment and reduce the chances of you getting consumed by stress.
As an independent musician, competition can lead to increased stress levels. Seeing what other musicians are doing and comparing yourself to them will bring on a lot of stress. Instead, consider viewing other musicians’ successes as motivation and a representation of what is possible for you too.
Then, take on music lessons by Music To Your Home to help you perfect your music and equip you with the tools to help you succeed. Investing in your growth and learning more about music will help give you the confidence to face your competition and not stress about it.
A musician’s lifestyle fluctuates quite a bit and may bring on a lot of stress over time. To help you cope with these lifestyle changes, you’ll need to ensure that you always meet your basic needs.
Meeting your basic needs is a non-negotiable bargain and should be prioritized no matter where you are in your career. Therefore, follow a healthy diet, stay active, and get enough sleep every day to help energize you and keep you well-rested.
Being intentional with meeting your basic needs is a great self-care practice that will help you cope with stress. In addition, you’ll avoid health issues that could derail your music career. Invest in your day-to-day needs, and you’ll be good to go.
The saying, “ a problem shared is a problem half solved,” holds true and is something you should consider when dealing with stressful situations. Seeking support from others is essential to ensure that you can talk things out.
Sharing with those closest to you helps remove a burden off your shoulder and allows you to get input from those you trust. Your support system could include friends and family who you can rely on and trust that they’ll at the least offer a listening ear.
However, if you don’t have anyone you can trust to listen to you without adding to your stress, consider going to a professional. Professional therapists are there to listen and impartially weigh-in to help you get to the root of your stressors and find ways to solve them. In addition, support is an essential coping technique that can be instrumental in helping you reduce stress.
We all have big goals we want to achieve and prove that we’ve got what it takes to make it happen. However, when setting these goals, it is essential that you stay realistic and work towards what you want to attain.
Being realistic with your goals will help you avoid getting yourself down. In addition, it will serve as motivation to help you boost your productivity to help you get to that goal.
However, setting realistic goals does not mean you should stop dreaming big. Instead, incorporate realistic timelines for the accomplishments of your goals, no matter how big.
Setting realistic goals and attaching deadlines you are comfortable with will help you manage your expectations. Additionally, it will keep you accountable and reduce any stress of not knowing what you are working towards.
Authenticity for musicians brings out their creativity and uniqueness. The best way to embody your authenticity is by being true to yourself and minding your values and the goals you have set. Walk your path and avoid involving yourself in activities that don’t appeal to you.
For instance, clout chasing is one way some artists use to become famous. However, if this does not align with what you believe in, staying your course will help you avoid stressful situations. Being true to yourself is a great way to avoid stressful situations and cope with stress.
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