My mind was continuing to spiral even before I got out of bed. I did not want to start my day in anger and fear, so I put on some music (Meditation de Thais by Jules Massenet) via my iPad and headband headphones (so as to not wake my spouse). I allowed myself to continue to feel the pain and angst of the situation in our country/world but I let my body give in to the sweetness of the music. It did not change the crisis, but it did help me to start my day in more resourceful state. It is very easy to spiral into anxiety and hopelessness; music offers my body and spirit a comforting companion to easing some of those physiological and emotional responses.
These are unprecedented times; the COVID-19 virus has hit our country and world on so many levels. One of our best responses, and defenses, is to be as healthy as possible. Basic self-care is always a good start in dealing with any type of crisis. Adding music to that care offers a layer that can touch your heart, as well as your body. Research has shown that music can boost the immune system, lower blood pressure and stress responses, enhance cognitive functioning, as well as offering a host of other benefits. It just makes sense to add music to our strategies for self-care.
MUSIC in the FOREGROUND
I propose taking music out of the background and adding it in a meaningful way to your plan for self-care. Use it with intention as a way to infuse balance into your days. Don’t think of music as simply an escape or distraction from the craziness. Think of it as an accompaniment or a way to process whatever you are experiencing. At a time when we are in front of screens perhaps more than ever before, music can offer assistance to our physiological and emotional processing. Finding or writing a song that connects deeply with what you are feeling can be incredibly cathartic.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started
Play an instrument
Just Listen to music
Find your Power Song(s)
Contain Incoming News
Connect with Self and Others
Seek out new artists/songs/music
In my last letter out to my mailing list, I asked for people to suggest songs that have brought them comfort in times of need. What follows is some of the suggestions that came in:
Unexpected gift: my daughter, Emily Wilder, has been with us as we Shelter in Place.
Here we are singing one of my chants:
Let Love Surround You