Do you find yourself losing motivation to play music? Consider practicing self care each day. You don’t need a ton of time or resources for it. But it could make a huge difference in your life.
You may start with one or two self care methods. Over time, you can do more things to give yourself a break. Then, you may feel better and more motivated.
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The Importance of Self Care for Musicians
Taking care of yourself is critical to maintaining your ability as a musician. If you never give yourself time off, you can develop a performance injury. Even if you don’t, you won’t be able to maintain your personal relationships.
You don’t need to practice self care all of the time. Practicing and pursuing your musical goals is good. However, you shouldn’t have to choose one or the other.
Fortunately, self care doesn’t have to be overwhelming, and it shouldn’t be. You need to figure out what makes you feel good and do it regularly. Then, you can feel and play your best.
9 Self Care Tips for Musicians
If you want to start practicing self care, you should know a few ways you can do so. Then, you’ll be able to enjoy taking care of yourself.
So I compiled some of my best tips for taking time off from your music. That way, when you do return to your instrument, you will do so with renewed energy and passion.
1. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is vital for living and for feeling good during the day. I know that when I don’t sleep enough, I feel tired. Practicing my flute seems almost impossible if I haven’t gotten a good night of sleep.
Now, some people need more sleep than others. You need to figure out how much sleep you need to perform your best. Then, you can determine what time to go to sleep and when to wake up each day. And you can find a good pillow or pillowcase to help you sleep comfortably.
If you can keep that routine the same, you’ll be able to get the right amount of sleep consistently. On the other hand, if your sleep routine is crazy, it can be hard to get the sleep you need to feel good all day.
2. Eat a Healthy Diet
This tip is harder said than done (as me how I know). But if you can eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts, or even lean meats, that may do wonders for you. Good food can help give you energy to get through a long rehearsal or practice session.
It may not seem like a form of self care, but eating healthily is taking care of yourself. If you’re picky like me, look for foods you enjoy. For example, I love a lot of different fruits, but I’m not the biggest fan of many vegetables.
So if I want to eat healthy foods, I’ll focus more on fruits. And I will add in vegetables that I do like, such as broccoli or green beans. It’s not easy, but it can make you feel a lot better when you eat well.
3. Drink Enough Water
Along with eating well, you need to drink plenty of water each day. This can help you feel better, and it’s an easy way to take care of yourself. I like to keep a water bottle on my desk while I’m working.
That way, I don’t have an excuse not to drink water. I’ll also have a cup of water with each meal or snack throughout the day. Now, I’ve heard you don’t have to drink a full eight glasses of water because you do get some water through food.
However, it’s still good to drink water throughout the day. You may notice your skin looks and feels better. Or you might simply feel better in general after you drink more water.
4. Take a Bath
Showers are nice, but there’s something about taking a bath that just screams “self care.” I can make the water nice and warm, and I can add any soaps or whatever I want.
Personally, I prefer to just use warm water and my regular body wash. But you may want to make a bubble bath. Then, you can relax and chill after a long day or week. I also like to use baths to warm up my feet and hands since they can get cold during the day.
Baths don’t have to take a long time. You can do a foot bath, for example, to be quick but still give yourself a bit of relaxation. Then, you may be able to head back to the practice room ready to play.
5. Watch a Show or Movie
Another one of my favorite ways to practice self care is to watch a show or movie on my iPad. Watching either an old favorite or something new is a great way to wind down after a long day.
I have a comfortable chair in my room where I can sit to watch something. I’ll think about what I’m in the mood to watch. If I want to watch a comedy, I might revisit old Nick or Disney Channel shows (yes I do rewatch them).
On the other hand, if I want to watch something more dramatic, I might find a movie or a more dramatic show. Then, I can get into whatever it is I’m watching, and I can enjoy my time.
6. Spend Time With Loved Ones
I currently live at home with my parents, and I’m not ashamed. One of the advantages of living with family is that it’s easy to spend time with the people I love. That could be as big as spending a whole day together or as small as eating dinner together.
I’ll also spend time with friends in the area. Or I might FaceTime anyone who doesn’t live near me. Then, I can still “spend time” with them without having to travel super far.
Think about what you and your loved ones enjoy doing. For example, my parents and I will often walk our dogs together. That’s a great way to spend some quality time and get some exercise (another form of care).
7. Pursue a Hobby
In a world full of side hustles, it can be tempting to turn everything you do into an income stream. But you should have at least one thing that you do that doesn’t have money attached to it.
I like learning foreign languages, for example. While I may use those skills when playing music, the process of learning is fun. I get to look forward to studying Italian or Spanish each day.
Consider what interests you have outside of music and your career. For some, music is that hobby. But for others, it may be cooking, running, or doing a puzzle.
8. Take a Walk
I briefly mentioned this, but going for a walk is a great way to practice self care. You can do this at your school. Leave your stuff in a practice room and walk around the halls or outside the music building.
Or you can take a walk around your neighborhood. Whether or not my parents go, I like to take our family dogs for a walk a few times a week. Then, I can get some fresh air, which is hard to get when working from home.
Of course, you don’t need to have pets to go for a walk. You can walk alone or with a friend. Or you can find people in your area who need help walking their dogs, and you can take their dogs around the block for them.
9. Turn Off the Screens
This can be hard, especially for someone like me. But try to find time each day to do something that doesn’t involve a screen. Maybe you do take a walk, or you start cooking for yourself, and you print off recipes to avoid looking at your phone.
Doing something without a screen isn’t easy. But it can be a great way to take a break from the pressures of social media and the internet. You can do something that you love.
And you won’t have to deal with looking at a screen from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep. So find half an hour or so to do something without your phone or computer. You’ll thank yourself later.
How Will You Practice Self Care?
Self care can seem impossible for some musicians. We have a lot to do, from maintaining our playing to booking gigs or other opportunities. But you should make time to take care of yourself.
Then, you’ll be able to save yourself from a bad bout of burnout. And you’ll be able to keep playing music for much longer. Be sure to give each tip a try to see what works for you.