Welcome to March, fellow musicians! I hope you caught our interview with Sam Sinai the other day. She had some really inspiring things to say about music therapy, self-care, and mental health (our March theme).
I am going to keep my post short and simple today, so here goes.
Song of the Week – Closer to Fine by the Indigo Girls
The reason why I chose this song is because it was the most aesthetically pleasing to me this morning. I am not at all familiar with our Top 10 this month, so I am excited to dig in and get to know some brand new repertoire.
Instead of sharing an intervention with you this week, I thought I would share some personal self-care tips.
First, the obvious:
1. Eat Healthy – there is a whole culture right now of heathy living that has its own fads, like using essential oils, coconut oil, drinking lemon water every morning, eating a lot of Quinoa, gluten-free, etc. etc. Personally, I do take part in some of these things. Don’t get me started on how much I love essential oils! But, you do not have to be involved in that lifestyle to eat healthy. Just eat some salad every day. Any effort makes a world of difference.
2. Get enough sleep – Just do it guys. You seriously need sleep.
3. Stay Hydrated – especially since music therapists spend a lot of their day singing and/or talking (sometimes to large groups), keeping a water bottle on you is a must. This has saved my voice in so many circumstances.
4. Exercise – I’m going to say the same thing about this as eating healthy. Anything is better than nothing. I like to do some sit ups and push ups every day before my morning shower, then take a walk in the afternoon. It’s not much, but I definitely notice the difference.
4. Find some time for yourself every day – This can be anything from going out for a walk in some fresh air, to just taking a couple deep breaths by yourself before going into your next session. I have actually done that in a bathroom at a nursing home. Just a couple extra seconds to myself to get through the day.
I also want to share with you something I feel I need on a deeper level of self-care.
Challenge Myself to Grow
This is a big one for me. In the hardest times of my life when I am overwhelmed with stress, it helps me to find ways to grow through the struggle. When I let myself just try to survive a situation, I feel like a failure. Sometimes the area in which I am growing doesn’t have anything to do with my object of stress, but it works as a distraction or a break from the rest of my life. I like taking classes online for free, or working on a Bach Fugue at night after I have put the baby to bed. Sometimes it is most relaxing for me just to work my brain in a different way than I have to all day.
This can be a tricky area though. You don’t want to be forcing yourself to learn or study at the expense of getting enough sleep or food.
And my last tip on self-care:
Manage your finances – statistically, finances cause the most stress in our life. I am 23 years old, 2 years out of college, with an 11 month old baby. So I understand this object of stress. The best thing I have found is, no matter what your situation is, make a budget and stick to it. Figure out a plan for your student loans and other debt, pay your bills every month, then don’t spend more time thinking about it. I have learned that worrying about things like this throughout the day does not make it any better or easier. So that is my advice to you. Follow your plan and don’t stress about it.
Hope you have found any of these tips helpful. I would love to hear what ways you take care of yourself!
I will be posting a cover video later in the week.