Meet Olivia Wik, a pop singer-songwriter with over 250 original songs in her multi-genre catalogue. Olivia has written with more than 100 songwriters from North America, Barbados, Finland, Spain, Sweden, Japan and England and has a publishing deal with Cymba Music Publishing.

Songwriters are used to becoming vulnerable by exposing their feelings and personal experiences in their songs. You could say it’s “a part of the job” to open up about past heartbreak and emotions.

Olivia caught our attention when she bravely started opening up on a new topic, and not just in her songs. Olivia began utilizing the power of words and social media to make artists and creatives suffering with mental illness feel a little bit better.

Every Sunday she would share one tip that has gotten her through the week, labeling it “Self Care Sunday.”

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Amongst the constant deadlines and expectations that come with working in the music industry, it is easy to to put self care at the bottom of your list. Olivia advocates that that not prioritizing your mental health can create some major roadblocks in your career down the road.

Here are 10 self care tips from Olivia Wik that musicians can easily adapt to their regime.

1.) Have a hobby: having a hobby allows you to emotionally invest in something else other than music. If your musical career isn’t going as you hoped, having a hobby lets you create some normalcy around another part of your life that you really enjoy.

2.) Don’t do anything you don’t want to: musicians may often feel like they have to compromise themselves in order to sound more “main stream” or commit to gigs that aren’t in line with their personal beliefs in order to gain exposure. Stand for what you believe in and commit to yourself and your convictions. You will be so happy you stood strong in your beliefs.

3.) Take lessons if you are nervous: if you are afraid to perform, get a performance coach. If you are wanting to improve your guitar skills before playing in front of anyone, take lessons from a guitar teacher. Don’t be afraid to want to improve and accept/seek help from those who can help you improve.

4.) Stage fright: Try some grounding and breathing techniques. There are many different types of breathing techniques that help quell anxiety. A quick google search will give you a multitude of breathing and grounding techniques to choose from. Experiment and see which ones work best for you!

5.) Have a journal so you can get your emotions out (not just through song): songwriters often pour their emotions out in songs, but sometimes, it’s good to journal about what you’re feeling instead of focusing on making something rhyme. Just let your pen hit the paper and write whatever you are feeling – free of the confines of melody and rhyme schemes.

6.) Take care of your body: eat right and make sure you get enough sleep. When you are on the road, it gets so easy to become complacent with diet, exercise, and stay up extremely late. Many musicians have become very familiar with the “road diet”. When you eat as healthy as you can and maintain some level of exercise, your body will thank you with increased energy levels and allow you to perform on stage to the best of your abilities. This is a HUGE self-care tip. Take care of your body in whatever way you can.

7.) If you want, have a day job: people in the music industry can often judge someone if they aren’t doing music full time. If you want a job, have a job. It adds structure and balance to your life and gives you a sense of fulfilment coming from somewhere else other than music.

8.) Learn to say no: many musicians have a difficult time turning down gigs, saying no to writes, and over-committing themselves. Even though it is great to hustle in order to further your career, make sure you don’t burn yourself out. You are allowed to say no in order to take care of your physical and mental self.

9.) Don’t compare yourself to others: everyone has their own journey. You will get to where you need to go in due time.

10.) Don’t feel bad about having your music evolve: You music will change and grow with you. Never apologize for who you are, express yourself through your sound, and accept it fully. Don’t let anyone dictate what you should sound like. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for the way your music sounds. Be unapologetically you!