We’re living in a moment that we will read it in the history books. Our Mindset during this period crosses the most distressing thoughts. I’m speaking from a window overlooking Italy because I’m an Italian living in the Netherlands, so my all family and friends are in quarantine since weeks (27 March 2020).
Without listing everything that is already easily searchable online, I’m here to write this post simply to give a little space (if I ever will) to our mind. We all know the difficult moment that many musicians, artists and teachers are going through (I will only consider this group). No performances, closed schools, no gigs, no auditions etc… The online world is our new “real” world.
There are many negative thoughts in our minds which are just increasing along with the number of infected and dead people around the world. It’s sad and unreal. It’s hard to be positive (it is already in our “normal” days).
We have so many comforts, so many ways to pass the time, but that doesn’t mean that we are well closed at home, without knowing what will happen in the future.
So here I am with a little post trying to analyze together what is the best way to maintain a healthy Mindset in all this chaos.
Can you answer the question: What is going on in your mind right now?
We have thousands of thoughts every day and we can’t be aware of everyone, especially in these surreal days. If you’re there in your practice room, you’ve already been playing all morning but you’re asking too many questions about the future, or you’re a teacher who’s going crazy between connections and online lessons that leave you doubtful, or you’re counting the money in your pocket and only thinking about the end of the month.
I know it’s easy to say but these thoughts won’t help you anyway. As we have said, there are many thoughts but the first thing you need to do is to identify your current mindset, you need to become aware of the thoughts that are repeated and that come to your mind every time.
The second step is to find ways to keep going meanwhile you try to stop the negative self-talk.
It was difficult for me to identify what can be good and realistic advice, so here below you can find my main healthy musician’s mindset “to-do list”:
1) Create a new routine.
When our normal routine is destroyed, it’s easier to get lazy and fall into bad habits like staying up too late or not eating well. So you need to try to create your new routine. Make a schedule, a plan, write down what do you need to do, even if it’s just “clean my instrument”. The routine settles your mindset every day with good vibes because you “know” what to do. Don’t think only practice, open your mind to what can relax you and make you less stressful. I love to paint for example.
2) Organize your space.
I’m going to keep saying this over and over again. The space around you is very important. Even great entrepreneurs care about the design of their offices. An organized workplace encourages you to be more productive. Start to check if your practice room/studio gives you a good feeling. Do you feel organized already? What would you like to change? I always need to move something in my studio because I get bored with what I see and I don’t feel “good” anymore in the room. Change something and get a better feeling for your mindset.
3) Stay off the phone.
These days I need to recharge my mobile phone at least 2/3 times a day. Always calls from family, friends, group chats, video calls, lessons online. And even worst checking the news, always about problems, numbers, death, panic, pandemic. Not good. It’s really difficult to don’t watch it for a while. But we need to turn off. We need to think about ourself and our healthy mindset. Try to stay off the phone at least 2 hours per day. No watching, no calls, no checking social media, nothing. Turn it off and think about your “to-do list”. Be creative. Create content. Help at home. Do a shower. Relax.
4) Check your posture.
Believe it or not, bad posture can create a “restrictive” lung pattern. We all know how important diaphragm is for musicians. Most of all for winds and singers. If we change position between the chair, sofa, bed, chair, sofa, floor pillow, rug, surely our posture will be wrong somewhere. Besides, our musical instruments don’t help us so much. Take a look at these links below which I found (one is mine). I’m not going to explain why it’s so important but surely it can be a way to concentrate on something different instead to our bad thoughts about the future.
5) Write it out.
Since I was 10 years old I started to write my emotional release on diaries. I know that sometimes is better (and I need) to write through my feeling instead of keeping them locked inside. It happened that few days/month/years later I went back and re-read them and sometimes I really realized that nothing change or everything change. Write down your fear, why you have bad thoughts, why you think that everything will be bad, why you are angry, what do you hope for the future, what do you want to be in the future, what you can do now for the future. it’s a great release believe me.
- Writing in a journal can help identify stress triggers
- Journaling is a great way to question automatic negative thoughts and beliefs
- Writing in a journal helps with tracking symptoms and setting goals
- It’s a safe space for positive self-talk with zero judgements
6) Listen to music.
We all know how Music can be so therapeutic when you’re struggling. Music can make you feel understood, inspired, creative, less alone, energetic, and whatever you feel. We never ever have to forget the power that music can have on your headspace (mindset) because it truly can get you through the toughest of times.