Wellness and Mindset

Welcome back everyone, how are we all? This week has been beyond crazy, but I’m back with your weekly dose of music news. Well, not so much news this week, as today’s topic is wellness and mindset. 
It’s a big one in this industry, with too many artists struggling with mental health, overcoming adversity and going off the deep end into a crazy world that never slows down. We’re in an industry that is ripe with rejection, where people often don’t like to help each other out, and where it’s all too easy to fall into the wrong crowds. 
You need to take care of Number One (you). It’s your responsibility to keep your head in the right place so you can keep doing what you love. 

Tip #1: Communicate your expectations.

I find in my life, that the main cause of stress in any relationship is different expectations. Whether it’s a friend, a colleague, or someone I’m making music with. Conflict between people is usually centred around a lack of communication, where one person has different expectations than the other. 

Come to an understanding with the other person, no matter who it is, about what you both want to achieve from your collaboration. And if something doesn’t go to plan, address it in a kind, helpful way. We all know what happens when you let things build up, until you just can’t take it anymore. 
Second of all, don’t put exceedingly high expectations on yourself, and then get upset/run down/quit when you don’t meet them. 

Be transparent, and manage your expectations of yourself and others.

Tip #2: Manage your internal and external pressures.

These are very real and very detrimental if you can’t recognise them, and take steps to minimise them. 

I had a friend who used to put so much pressure on themselves day after day, that being around them was physically draining. I know it sounds harsh, but wait until you know someone who thinks they need to be happy every day. No-one needs to be at 100% every day, and expecting yourself to be is just going to make you sick, and in a worse headspace, and ultimately, feeling like you’ve failed as well.
I’m the opposite to my aforementioned friend. I barely put any pressure on myself. I used to, but somewhere around the age of 14, maybe, my whole life philosophy changed to ‘eh ????????‍♀️ if it happens, it happens’.
To be honest, I could probably do with putting a bit more pressure on myself. It’s all about finding that happy medium.

Many people think they have no control over the external pressures that they’re facing. From work, to bills that need to be paid, to pressure from friends and family. But here’s a secret, you always have the ability to change your situation, and make life better for yourself. I’m sure all of us, at some point, have sat through hours of someone complaining about their situation but doing nothing to make it better! I’m sure I’ve even done this. And sometimes we feel so stuck in our situations. But you’ll never get what you want if you don’t try, or don’t simply ask for it. 

Is your job running you down? Ask your boss if you can drop a day of work. The worst that can happen is they say no, but then you have your answer, and you can start looking for new opportunities. If it’s your friends and family putting pressure on you, sit down with them and have a chat. If they don’t understand, it’s time to find some new people to surround yourself with. 

Positive answers solve the problem, and negative responses are just blessings in disguise. 

Tip #3: Manage your time effectively

This is something I’m either really good at, or really bad at. 
I’m exceptionally busy at the moment so I’m finding that my time management skills are exceptional, as I don’t have much time, so I’m scheduling everything from rehearsals, to time with friends, to this blog post right here. My tip for you would be to buy a diary, and write down work, plans with mates, gigs, when your blog posts are due, etc. Highlight everything in a different colour. My work is blue, my gigs are purple, and my social time is pink. I’m a visual learner, so this really helps me to see what available time I have during the week and plan accordingly. 

I’m going to finish with something that I was taught last week at artist coaching with Ben and Stu, that has since changed my life.

Bonus tip: The power of Google Drive.

As artists, we are perfect messes, organised chaos, little tornados inside and out that will create on any napkin corner or spare notepad. The first step you can take to creating a clear mind is to compile everything you’ve made into your Google Drive, then organise it all into folders. ‘Set Lists’, ‘Original Songs’, ‘Final Demo Tracks’ etc. 
Compartmentalise EVERYTHING, so that when someone in the industry is asking you for something, maybe a video from your last performance, you can go straight into ‘Performance Videos’ and link it to them from there. As Ben said: “you’ll be able to respond in under 5 minutes, and it’ll look really, really good.”

All the best with it, 

Al

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