Musicians' Health Collective

Musicians' Health Collective: Supporting the health of musicians

Self- Care in Uncertain Times

In the last few weeks I have not been sleeping well, writing, or doing much of note.  Between the political unrest, violence, and the strikes of various American orchestras, I haven't been feeling terribly chipper or useful to society.  With so much conflict and chaos currently going on, it's hard to know how to help, especially as an orchestral musician and movement teacher.  

Last week, biomechanist Katy Bowman released a great podcast episode about the importance of movement in uncertain times.  I agree with all of the points made in that episode, but even more so that in challenging times, we must take care of ourselves.  As a movement teacher, I try to help people move better and become more embodied, something that I have to remember to do for myself.  When athletes are training, the notion "work+rest=success" is paramount. In our daily lives, most of us do plenty of work, but are we resting or creating conditions for down-regulation?  The body needs the chance to down regulate daily, whether it be through a movement class, meditation, constructive rest, walk, or massage.  We are better able to be receptive when we are not full to the brim, and our actions will be more intentional and meaningful.  From there, we can begin to take action- whether it is volunteering in the community, calling legislative leadership, teaching, performing at a community venue, picking up trash, or more, we must start from a candle that's not burning at two ends.  If you're wondering how to start, I like to open the question, "how can I be of service?" and that usually leads me to a good place.  Wishing everyone a good holiday week~

kayleigh