SOS Self Care: Press Play
Updated: Jan 28
Music Tips for Self-Care and an Emergency Indie Playlist
It's Monday Morning:
...the light from the window spreads over your face like warm honey; and just like the bee’s wings, your eyelids flicker and your mind's eye begins to buzz. Until you wake, with a gaze firmly planted on a spot of your choice.
Your eyes are open, your awareness is growing, and the buzz from all the other bees in your mind is getting stronger. The bees have needs like get up, shower, check your emails, coffee, laundry, food...
Seconds are quick in the morning. But before you can even change your spot of gaze, a tick-tock from the clock draws your attention. Shit. You’re late for work.
You missed your alarm, did you remember to set it? Or did you snooze too long? It doesn’t matter. Get up, get ready, get to work, and cross your fingers and toes that your boss isn’t cross at your human error.
You’ve left your home, hair wet and missing an earring. The traffic is not your friend today, it’s been 2 minutes too long at these lights already and the roadworks pretty much map your whole way to work.
You’re watching your watch like it’s about to hatch, and even though you know it’s 5 minutes fast, the visual reminder heightens your anxiety.
You have 10 minutes to complete a 20 minute journey.
And to top it all off, you didn’t have time to get a coffee. Christ. You can already feel the caffeine withdrawal and anticipation of the post-adrenaline is making its way into your brain: fog + headache begin.
Talk about stressful.
You’re not a temperamental person, not really. But you’re angry. Angry you slept in, that you feel so not-put-together, anxious, and feeling out-of-control.
Yes - emotions are high, and they're all yours to deal with alongside your late-for-work stress. Because only you, can control your emotional responses.
But you’ve lost all feeling of control. When emotions arise so high and organically, without warning, how the fudge can you control them?
And Press Play.
This frantic scenario is increasing within our fast paced lives. It seems, we constantly find ourselves with too much to do, too many places to be, and too many people to please.
We want to clear our mind, we want to meditate, practice breathing techniques, channel positive thinking – but today it isn’t working. Today is just too stressful.
So, when time is short and our mind waves the out-of-control flag - how can we care for ourselves?
Cue the Music.
Music can be a background to help ground you during stressful times. Whether you’re mid-flow, on the move, or sat in stillness. All you need is a device with sound, headphones or some kind of speakers. And since you’re reading this, I’m guessing you have that already.
The Music Method
‘We respond to music on a deep and fundamental level – even below our level of consciousness. It can affect our bodies and brains in profound ways without us needing to do much more than sit and listen.’ - Amanda Williams, Music Therapist.
Music is part of being human. You respond to music, whether you know it or not. And this isn’t just a nice poetic thought.
You respond to music, whether you know it or not
Where verbal communication fails, music can play. Although sounds, instruments and melodies may change across the world, people can always connect through music. In the same way, you can use music to connect to yourself.
you can use music to connect to yourself
Music affects the Brain
A few of the wonderful things we now know music can do:
Increases dopamine levels - the 'feel good' hormone
Transport us back in time - music is intimately tied to our emotional memory
Change breathing rate and heart rate - lullabies to aid sleep or upbeat tunes to push us through a work out. Music can enhance that 'mind over matter' state of being
Through working with creative expressive therapies, I’ve had the incredible experience of using music with clients whom face extreme challenges to their emotional well-being. In the same vein, using music as an intentional tool for health and wellness is important part of my own self-care lifestyle.
Top Tips for Music as a form of Self Care:
1. Keep an SOS playlist
Find your Emergency Indie playlist here, or at the end of this post. I’ve created this specially for you lot, the self-care club, to listen and add to whenever you need. In case of emergency, or just part of a daily routine.
2. Create Calm with a Slow Tempo
Slow, Indie + Dreamy are the vibes I recommend for an SOS self-care. Acoustic goodness and soul-soothing lyrics, to help you reconnect with your emotional body, and spread some calm into the corners of your mind.
3. Use Music to help Process or Tap Into Difficult Emotions
Sometimes we encounter some heavy stuff, difficult emotions, and stressful state of minds. We can experience emotional difficulty in many ways, through personal challenges, or second-hand; when someone we care for is dealing with traumatic events. Or thirdly, though seeing something that deeply affects us, perhaps though friends of friends, or on the news.
Listening to music that matches the emotion you’re struggling to experience can be a gateway into your own emotional state of being. In other words, it can be the road to connect you to your emotions, so you can visit them, get to know them a little better, and leave when the time is right.
Equally, resonating with the emotional expressions of others can be very validating. Understanding some soul-touching music was born out of an emotional process, through creative expression, you are reminded that you too, are human - and you are not alone. You have a ability to express + process emotions, in your own unique way, let music help that inner-connection.
4. Have a Transition Anthem
Like a school bell - navigate your mind with the transition from work to life, sleep to wake, gym to yoga, by giving yourself an actual cue. Music can be a useful tool to do this, to help shift your frame of mind.
5. Share the Self-Care List
Share your self-care music finds, talk about music, artists and bands that you like, share the love. You’ll not only develop and strengthen your connections with people, chances are you’ll find more music to soothe your soul, and help other people along the way too.
Your SOS Self Care Playlist
Let’s get connecting in this self-care community.
The playlist has just over 80 songs at the minute, and I'm encouraging you lot to use this to your advantage. Travelling to work, relaxing at home, in the tub or just lying in bed. Pop on this playlist for vibes to calm the mind. I have ordered it in a special way, but equally, you can pop on the shuffle for a mixed bag of soul-soothing indie goodness.
Wishing you Love & Moonlight for the week ahead, and as always, a gentle reminder to
- Handle with Care