Wherever you are in the world, suddenly going into lockdown was a major shift for most of us, if not all. Just as it took time adjusting to this strange new way of living, it’s going to take a fair few albums worth of music before we get used to this ‘new normal’.
For some, lockdown could have been an escape to a place that allowed more time and energy to create. Lets be honest, we humans are pretty good at adapting and we’ve seen and embraced the journeys of many artists and musicians who took to the internet in new and exciting ways to get creative with their music!
The idea of life changing again so rapidly can feel overwhelming. So, if you’re feeling anxious during this time, you are most certainly not alone. As we’ve said in a previous post, a high percentage (up to 73%) of independent musicians suffer with mental health problems. So it’s important to consider how this transitioning period will impact on our mental wellbeing.
At Spinnup, we care. We’re going to share some advice on how to deal with returning to the ‘new normal’, whatever your situation and whenever that may be depending on where you live.
Take things at your own pace
Each one of us has been affected by the pandemic. For some it’s been an inconvenience. For others it’s been life-changing. Therefore adjusting to life in your own time is important.
You and your team might feel differently about approaching this ‘new normal’. Some of us are cool with getting on public transport often, meeting up with friends, going out etc. and that’s ok – provided we take responsibility and follow government guidelines. But there’ll be others who will feel more comfortable taking their time getting back into the swing of it. That’s totally ok too. Patience is gonna be key.
Be mindful that there’s no normal way to do things during these weird times. Take things at your own pace and try not to overwhelm yourself too quickly.
Set your own boundaries. Be straight up and honest with your peers about how you feel. For example, if you’re rehearsing and someone gets a bit too close for comfort then don’t be afraid to speak up and ask them to keep their distance. If you want to wear a face mask in a session, do that too.
It’s a great idea to check in with your crew before getting to work to discuss each other’s feelings and thoughts. Aim for a mutual agreement and draft a game plan. You’ll be more likely to reduce any risk of unnecessary tension during your session. Never feel pressured to do something you’re not comfortable with and definitely don’t feel guilty for doing what’s best for you.
Respect others’ mental wellbeing
It’s important for us to re-iterate – it’s unlikely you’ll all feel the same. Everyone has dealt with things differently and it’s important to be mindful of other people’s mental health during this time and not judge.
For example, if a band member or producer doesn’t feel comfortable getting on public transport to get to a session, be respectful and look for a way around this e.g. have them set up on Zoom or get them to send their parts of a song over electronically. If we’ve learnt anything during this time, it’s that almost anything can be done remotely (read our blog post for some more tips on this).
Be kind and open-minded, as each person’s background varies from one to the next. Someone could possibly be shielding a high-risk family member or be struggling themselves. Ask them what you can do to help, instead.
As all our situations are unique, it’s also important to not judge our own feelings and actions based on what others are doing. Be kind to yourself.
Harness the positive habits you were doing during lockdown
During isolation, you might have had routine that encouraged healthier habits such as going for frequent walks, practising yoga and meditation and so on. Some of us have learnt new skills, created new collaborations and connected with new artists around the globe online. We think it’s important to carry on utilising the things that we have gained out of this strange time. Imagine one of your band mates can’t make it to the rehearsal, but that’s okay, they can join with the rest of you by going online!
Also, you may have had a lot more time on your hands to create music. And this may change if you’ve got to return to work or have other life commitments. This is where it’s vital to prioritise scheduling in time in your routine for your music.
Control the things you can
Instability is hard. A lot of things have felt pretty out of our control recently. That’s why we suggest you focus on the things within your control. You have the power to create the music career that you’ve always dreamed of. Take steps towards this such as brushing up on your live set for when we can return to our beloved gigs again, or come up with a plan for your next release.
Take precautions you need to feel safer
Maybe you’re experiencing a fear of getting the virus still or passing it on to others. By following certain guidelines, you know that you will be protecting yourself and those around you, and this, *we hope* can help lower your anxiety levels as well.
Guidelines aren’t likely to be the same in every country, and they could change at any given moment. We recommend you make sure to fill yourself in on all the info for where you live, or any places you may be heading to.
Generally, if you’re going into the studio, rehearsal room or having a band member over to your place, it’ll be smart and considerate to use hand sanitizer, wear face coverings and maintain a safe social distance as best and often as you can.
Channel your feelings into your music
Returning to a ‘new normal’, whenever that may be for you, can bring up all sorts of feelings and emotions. You may feel angry or frustrated by people’s actions. You may feel anxious about things changing so quickly. Allow yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling, and channel this into your music. For example, when you’re out and about, and things are feeling a bit overwhelming, write down how you are feeling, and use this as a starting point for a song.
Don’t deliberately isolate yourself further
You may feel like you’re not ready to go outside and socialise like before and that’s ok. But at the same time it’s important not to deliberately isolate yourself. Make sure you keep connected with others online via Facebook groups, Zoom etc. Try to challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone (in your own time) and celebrate your wins when you achieve things.
We will be ok.
As we said before, as humans it’s in our nature to be able to adapt, as difficult as we find change. We adapted to lockdown, and we will be able to adapt to the ‘new normal’.
Let’s look forward to the future. New gigs and festival slots. New releases. New opportunities. The show will go on, and we will take to the stage again.