By Cassandra Popescu
Let’s face it, sometimes musicians tend to fit the brooding artist stereotype all too well. As an artist, you tend to be your harshest critic. Whether you’re working on a new song, prepping for a big show, or giving your all each night on tour, it can take a toll on both your body and your mind. It’s important to take a breath, step back, and remember to give yourself a break. Here are five tips for taking care of your most important asset: yourself!
1. Reflect on what your music means to you.
Take some time to reflect on when you first discovered music as a means of expression. When you’re feeling doubtful of that song you’ve been working on for ages, or start comparing yourself to others, remind yourself why you’re doing this in the first place. Ask yourself, “What is the purpose of my music?”
Some songs are meant to make us cry or seek to change the world. Others urge us to bust out our most embarrassing dance moves. Whether you want to tell a story or write a stellar pop hit, your purpose is valid. Take a moment to remember why you love writing music, what you want to achieve and then write for yourself.
2. Remember you’re only human.
So you got nervous and forgot some of the lyrics on stage, or didn’t put your best foot forward at that big audition. I’m not going to ask you to say “so what?!” and brush it off. That’s easier said than done, but there’s no need to beat yourself up. Even our idols have made mistakes, and growing as an artist is all about failure. Don’t let your mistakes consume you. Acknowledge they happened, be kind to yourself, and learn from the experience.
3. Celebrate your accomplishments.
When we’re feeling discouraged, it’s easy to knock ourselves down. Keep track of all your accomplishments and remind yourself that there’s even more growing to do. From daily to yearly plans, check lists and calendars are great tools for keeping track of what you’ve already accomplished and what you want to achieve. When you see all of that you’ve done, it will encourage you to keep going and working hard.
4. Eat your veggies.
As great as it is, coffee is not a food group. Musicians are some of the busiest people out there, often juggling multiple projects and commitments. It’s an admirable quality, but sometimes busy schedules get in the way of taking care of your body. Whether you’re a vocalist or an instrumentalist, playing music is physically taxing on the body.
Eating healthy and staying in shape will give you the energy you need to power through late sets and side hustles. There are lots cookbooks with quick, easy to follow tips. Realfoodology blog has loads of amazing recipes. As for exercise, check out yoga and pilates videos online to help you tone and destress. My favorite is Blogilates!
5. Indulge in self-care.
No matter how cliche it sounds, allowing yourself to indulge in self-care is important. Sometimes you just need to take a break and turn off for a bit in order to perform your best. Find what works for you to clear your mind and help you relax. You can read a book, go for a walk, or take a long bubble bath. You can even let out your inner kid with adult coloring books.
Whether your self-care routine involves aromatherapy and meditation or curling up on the couch to watch Netflix and drink tea, give yourself some time to power down and destress.
Cassandra is a photographer/writer based in Toronto, Ontario. Her focus lies in concert photography, music journalism, and publicity. She’s currently studying Communications at York University, shooting for Canadian Beats, and programming a local indie music festival. Her passion for the arts has led her along a number of paths including songwriting, musicals, event planning, and of course photography. Follow her work at cassandrapopescu.com.