As musicians, we’re often surrounded by and connected with many other people. Not only family and friends, but also band members, managers, agents, clients and audiences as well if you’re performing live. That’s what I’ve found particularly difficult to manage now we’re all confined to our homes, having no face to face contact with others. It’s completely natural to start feeling a little isolated and to struggle with the lack of contact.
We need social contact
Good relationships are essential for us to maintain a strong level of mental wellbeing, and are more essential now than ever before considering the current situation that we’re all experiencing. Research has shown that social connections can reduce anxiety and depression, can increase self-esteem, and connection has physical effects as well… Strengthening our immune systems and even helping us to live longer.
It’s also important for you to have a friendly network for emotional support when you need to share how you’re feeling, moments where you’re struggling with isolation or cabin fever, you need to hear how amazing you are or you need a ‘loving kick up the arse’ for motivation. You know how great it feels when you belong to a group of friends, a family or a band of musicians and you also know how much it hurts when you’re rejected which shows how much we need connection.
In the words of Brene Brown “A deep sense of love and belonging is an irresistible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.”
The fact is, social connection is one of our basic fundamental human needs and it’s really difficult to meet this need at the moment. So what can you do to connect whilst we’re all currently tucked away in our own homes, having very little face to face contact with each other?
Here are our top tips
- SWITCH OFF. Limit social media, turn off TV and choose to spend some quality time playing a game with friends or family you live with or on Zoom with friends and family.
- COLLBORATE Make a musical collaboration video! Or just record a track together with your band or other musicians, even if you’re just recording vids on your phone. This is a great opportunity to reach out to musicians you’d love to work with as well, expanding your network.
- PLAY pub quizzes, words with friends on your mobile phone, virtual open mic nights, ‘lockdown live’ sessions all offer an opportunity to join others in the virtual world and share a moment together.
- VOLUNTEER to support people that are struggling at the moment in your local area. You can become an NHS volunteer, pick up prescriptions or food shopping for families that are self-isolating at the moment and make a real difference to many.
- PLAN some catch ups with friends and family regularly using technology that we’re lucky to have access to now. Face to face contact is best, so if you can then use video calls. Reach out if you’re feeling lonely.
- WRITE if technology isn’t your best friend, but you’re looking to make some connections, then why not write a letter? Tons of care homes are offering ‘pen pal’ style options at the moment, where you can write to residents and form a connection with people in care homes.
Remember, this situation is very unique, and isn’t going to last forever. It’s perfectly normal to feel a little isolated and lonely at the moment, but you’re absolutely not alone with that feeling there are a few steps you can take to reach out and make those incredibly important social connections.
We’d love to know: How you connect at the moment, what works for you?
If you’ve enjoyed this pool of resources, then please share the links far and wide to support as many people as possible in this unique situation.
As always, if you’d like to chat to us please get in touch