How To Stay Sane While Pursuing Your Art

As a musician or any other creative individual, we get so wrapped up in what we are doing, that we often lose sight of everything else. Consequently, when something within our own little bubble is not going how we would like it to, our positivity plummets and our world comes crashing down.

Here are some things that I’ve found have helped me to keep my sanity through these moments of turmoil.

Find Some Yin to Your Yang

When I was twenty-four, I stumbled upon some books on computer programming. The more I flipped through them, the more I felt compelled to understand what the authors were talking about. The next two years, I taught myself the basics of how to code.

During this time, I was  in grad school with very little time to spare, yet I found that my new interest in coding actually helped me be more focused, more creative, and feel more accomplished. I had found a counterbalance to my obsession with playing the saxophone, or as the heading says, some yin to my yang LOL.

It was an AHA moment! It was what I had been missing. Typically, if I was frustrated with some aspect of my playing, it would get me really down because I had no other serious undertakings to apply my creative energy to. When I started to have other passionate intellectual pursuits, where I could apply my intelligence and feel a sense of accomplishment, I quit giving such weight to my frustrations with saxophone. Playing saxophone became fun again and my productivity level greatly increased.

Think Big Picture

So you had a bad gig, or you didn’t accomplish anything in your practice session, or perhaps you made an ass of yourself in front of your peers and teachers. Believe me, I’ve done them all and it’s not fun.

Just remember that no individual instance matters as much as the whole. Don’t get hung up on the day to day problems and put things in perspective, by remaining focused on the larger context of your reality.

Do Something Athletic Every day

Did he say every day??!! Yes. Every day. Preferably outside. Newton was not kidding when he said that objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Get started today and soon you’ll just have to.

Miles Davis Jazz Trumpeter Boxing

It’s no secret. Physical Exercise increases blood flow to all your vital organs, while helping you sweat out toxins and excess stress. You’re going to think more clearly, feel healthier, and have a positive mindset. When you go to focus on improving at your craft, you’ll be in a much better space to do so.

Sanity Sum Up

  1. Find a challenging pursuit that you can be passionate about to balance out your musical (or any other art) endeavors
  2. Think in terms of the larger scheme of things
  3. Do something athletic every day

Lets be honest, none of us is totally sane, but these points have helped me keep fairly level-headed about things. Good luck with keeping your sanity!