3 TIPS TO SPARK CREATIVITY WHEN YOU’RE MUSICALLY BURNT OUT
I’m a mom, holistic nutritionist, Professional DJ, and long-distance runner. You can bet I’ve been on the brink of absolute burnout many times. When I’m spiralling into the depths of exhaustion, one of the first things to suffer is my creativity. Which isn’t good because, as a DJ, it’s my ability to be creative that gets me gigs!
During the first few years as a professional DJ, I was not taking proper care of myself - super late nights, no exercise and eating all the worst foods - and it started to take a toll on not only me, but my family. I knew that if I wanted to continue to earn a living doing something I LOVED, I would have to make some lifestyle changes.
I started by making simple changes to my diet, which made a significant difference. I also took up running (with lots of encouragement from my brother, Ira), which has helped on so many levels, the most surprising being the mental and creative benefits... some of my best DJ sets have been created on my runs, and not in my studio! As I became more serious about running, I started to understand the value of prioritizing proper rest, which helped me be a better, more creative musician. Full circle win!
It was really only after becoming a certified holistic nutritionist that I was able to put it all together and realize that it’s not just one thing that keeps me from musically burning out. It’s not just food, or exercise, or sleep; it’s a whole life approach! Once I discovered this, I knew I had to share my experience and knowledge to help other hard-working, hustling DJs who were on the brink of career-ending burnout.
Musical burnout due to the many stressors of the musician lifestyle can drain creative resources
Creativity happens in the brain, and a burnt out brain makes it difficult to be creative
Brain function can be enhanced or hindered based on food choices: wholefoods feed the brain and processed foods starve it
Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, and releases feel-good hormones, which improves creativity and memory
Sleep, or lack of it, has a significant impact on brain function. Getting optimal rest leads to optimal brain function and creativity.
3 TOP TIPS
NUTRITION: Including a variety of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains and quality protein in your meals everyday is important, but to really enhance your brain function and creativity, be sure to eat lots of healthy fats! The best kinds of fat are found in fish, like salmon and sardines, and nuts & seeds, like walnuts, flax and hemp! So, don’t fear the fat - feed your brain with it! Include a little fat with every meal, and be sure to steer clear of trans fats, found in fried and processed foods at all costs.
MOVEMENT: Step away from your instrument and move your body! Go for a brisk walk, hop on your bike or visit your local yoga studio to stimulate the creative centre in your brain. Aim for 20-30 minutes of exercise every day!
RESTORATION: Quality sleep is hard to come by when you’re burnt out, even though you’re exhausted. Try taking a short, 20-minute power nap to rejuvenate your concentration and creativity.
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