As artists, we often find ourselves in high-pressure situations, such as performances, collaborations, and deadlines. These situations can take a toll on our mental and physical health, and as neurodivergent musicians, we may experience stress differently from neurotypical individuals. However, there are various ways to manage STRESS and take care of ourselves.
🔴 Red Section = Insights
🟡 Amber Section = Improvised - My Experience
🟢 Green Section = Recommendation - Engagement Boost
🎵 December (Transition) from Jon's Annual album, which you can listen to on all streaming platforms or jonhartmusic.com
👇🏻 3 options you can do to keep the podcast running 👇🏻
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Hello and welcome back to the Neurodivergent Musician podcast. I'm your host Jon Hart with Luna my guitar, and today we're going to talk about a topic that affects everyone, but can be especially challenging for neurodivergent individuals, which is stress. Each episode is broken up into a traffic light format where I’ll share insights in the red section, improvised babble in the amber and recommendations you might find handy in the green.
As artists, we often find ourselves in high-pressure situations, such as performances, collaborations, and deadlines. These situations can take a toll on our mental and physical health, and as neurodivergent musicians, we may experience stress differently from neurotypical individuals. However, there are various ways to manage stress and take care of ourselves.
Firstly, it's essential to understand what stress is and how it affects our bodies. Stress is a natural response to a perceived threat, which triggers the release of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. While small doses of stress hormones can help us perform better, chronic stress can have severe negative effects.
Chronic stress can lead to anxiety, depression, fatigue, and physical health problems. As neurodivergent musicians, we may be more sensitive to stress and experience it more acutely. We may struggle with regulating our emotions or processing sensory information, which can make stress more challenging to manage. However, it's crucial to prioritize our mental and physical health, especially in high-pressure situations.
Physical activity is an effective way to manage stress. It has been shown to reduce stress hormones and improve mood. Even if we can't commit to regular gym sessions, going for a walk or doing some gentle stretches can help us relax and clear our minds. Exercise doesn't have to be intense or time-consuming; even small amounts of physical activity can make a difference.
Mindfulness practices like meditation and deep breathing are also helpful in managing stress. They teach us to become more aware of our thoughts and feelings and regulate our emotions more effectively. Mindfulness practices can help us develop a more positive and compassionate attitude towards ourselves, reducing feelings of self-doubt and anxiety. With many apps and resources available, it's worth exploring to find what works best for us.
We must prioritize self-care when managing stress, taking time to rest and recharge. As musicians, we often put pressure on ourselves to constantly improve and succeed, but it's crucial to remember that our worth as artists is not solely determined by our productivity or success. Taking a day off from practicing or indulging in a hobby unrelated to music can help us relax and recharge. Self-care practices like getting enough sleep, eating well, and staying hydrated are also important in managing stress.
Additionally, seeking support from others can be helpful. This might mean talking to a trusted friend or family member or seeking professional help from a therapist. Many musicians struggle with mental health issues, and it's okay to reach out for help when we need it. Therapy can be an effective way to develop coping strategies and manage stress.
Finally, we must recognize and address the sources of stress in our lives. This might mean setting healthy boundaries in our personal or professional relationships or re-evaluating our priorities and goals. As neurodivergent musicians, we may need to make adjustments to our environments or routines to better support our mental health. For example, we may need to limit sensory input or find ways to manage our time more effectively. It's important to be compassionate with ourselves and acknowledge that managing stress is an ongoing process.
In conclusion, managing stress is essential for our mental and physical well-being as neurodivergent musicians. By prioritizing self-care, seeking support, and developing coping strategies, we can navigate high-pressure situations with more ease and resilience. Remember, our worth as artists is not solely determined by our productivity or success. Taking care of ourselves is an important part of being a successful musician.