If you’re a musician/singer/actress or other kind of creative person, you may find that you struggle to cope with the overwhelming amount of work you need to do and still manage to fit in your singing/monologue practice that will help you in the lead up to a gig or audition. I know. I’ve been there. And I know how hard it is to pick yourself up when the weather outside is miserable and you feel miserable too.
Here are my top 5 tips on how to combat those low days and still make good progress with your own creative work:
1) Accept where you are at
This seems like a no-progress kind of attitude, but in fact, accepting what you’ve achieved so far and being realistic about what you can do in a day is a very helpful tactic. Not only do you stop fighting against your current reality, which helps lower stress levels immediately, but you also have an opportunity to stop and recognise how much time a particular task takes and make the appropriate adjustment to your timetable of how long you realistically need to allow for completing certain tasks. If you can get a good idea of how long your day-to-day music-related or drama-related tasks are going to take, you’ll know what is possible in a week and be proud of yourself when you do achieve it. Which is far better than pushing yourself to do the impossible.
2) Drink some water
Sometimes when you’re feeling really low energy, and the gloomy weather seems to have got to you, it’s merely a case of needing to rehydrate! It can be as simple as that. Try drinking a glass of water and see if you feel a bit more awake in 10 minutes. If not, get an early night and start afresh tomorrow. And a regular exercise regime will help with your energy levels too, so try to inject a bit more walking or running time into your day if you can.
3) Use the dark mood to write a song or inject a more pessimistic angle to your character’s thoughts in a monologue
Actors are often told to ‘use’ their current mood to highlight something new in their portrayal of a character in a monologue. “Use” your frustration/tiredness/sadness to go through a monologue in a different way to previously or use this to help you take a different angle on a song you’ve been writing but haven’t finished. Sometimes a different perspective, however uncalled for, may prove helpful in sparking new ideas. Is it chucking it down with rain outside – “use” the energy of the sheer gloom of that to propel you into a feisty version of that chorus you were just writing!
4) Have a duvet day
Seriously. If you haven’t taken some relaxing time out from your work to do things you enjoy for a long, long time perhaps you’re burnt out and need some r ‘n’ r. It’s good to take a day or too off to just switch off your brain entirely, watch something silly and pamper yourself. Then use a final day before getting back into your old routine to plot out where you could make a few improvements to your week or monthly timetable to allow some breaks for yourself and also allow for doing a few motivational activities that might help the rest of your working week flow better.
5) Give yourself a pep-talk
Try to find an extra 10-20 minutes in your day to do something that reactivates your sense of motivation for your work. It could be listening to an interview with your favourite singer/actor that inspires you to keep going or doing some morning yoga that makes you feel much more on your game to get started on your day in the right way. Or you could give yourself a motivational mantra to recite while making a cup of tea. Whatever it is, make it a consistent habit to carve out this bit of motivational and inspirational time every morning so that you renew your commitment to the great work you want to do.