December is a busy time of year, but it’s especially hectic if you are a musician. It’s easy to become a bit Grinch-like if you’re running from gig to gig, consisting of caffeine and adrenaline, and trying to enjoy your family and friends at the same time.
Here are a few ways musicians can avoid turning into a Grinch and regain some holiday cheer:
- Be selective about which gigs you commit to. Gigs are great, but being so overcommitted that you barely have any time to enjoy your family or friends defeats the purpose of the holidays. Try to be selective and prioritize the most important gigs this season so you can stay sane and enjoy the holidays.
- Schedule time for yourself. One of the great things about the holidays is sharing it with the people you love, but it’s easy to become burnt out and over-socialized during the holidays. Take some time every day to recharge, even if it’s just during your practice sessions.
- Revisit your favorite music. Listen to or practice music which fills you with wonder and joy. This is also a great way to get rid of any holiday earworms you can’t get out of your head.
- Decorate your practice room. The end of the year is a crazy time, and it’s easy to feel like the holidays pass you by when you’re locked in a practice room cramming for juries. You spend a lot of time in your practice space, so spruce it up with a mini tree, twinkle lights, or anything else to make you feel more festive.
- Volunteer. Perform at local schools, hospitals, nursing homes, or anywhere you can share your music with willing audiences. Offer to tutor young musicians or share your extra-musical skills (social media, accounting, web design, etc) with local music programs to spread some holiday cheer.
- Schedule some time with your friends, sans instruments. If the only time you see your friends is when you all have your instruments, you need to find some other activities to bond over. Meet for coffee, host a holiday baking party, or anything else to decompress and enjoy each other’s company.
- Take a day off practicing. I’m convinced that most of the holiday magic is just finding a way to balance everything without going crazy. If you’re feeling extra stressed, take a day off to get caught up – or just relax! I promise I won’t tell Santa Claus you didn’t practice ;)
I ho-ho-hope (sorry, not sorry) you all have a wonderful holiday season with your family, friends, and music!