3 Ways Musicians Can Overcome a Burnout

As a budding musician, you’re probably spending much of your time practicing to perfect your craft. However, you may start to feel more and more irritated and unmotivated as you play. This is because you are practicing too hard and forgetting about the enjoyable part of music. So, to recover from burnout syndrome, try out the following activities to calm down.

1. Rest.

You’re overworking yourself with extreme practice, and you’ve practically become a robot during practice time. This may be due to a perfectionist attitude or to the fact that you don’t feel your music going anywhere. It is understandable to feel down and unmotivated, so just take a day to rest.

Your skill won’t deteriorate with one day’s missed practice. You’re drilling yourself way too hard, and the best way to recover from that is to rest and take some time off. Spending some time away from your instrument will help you calm down and return with a newly invigorated spirit.

2. Develop coping mechanisms.

Dealing with the frustration of practice can be very stressful, so it’s important to develop coping mechanisms unique to you, as well as take time off. Of course, there are good and bad coping mechanisms. Don’t expect to rely solely on alcohol and smoking to help you get through the night; you need good, healthy activities to help you through the mental roadblock. A good suggestion is simply taking a walk, going out with friends to eat and shop, and just doing things you enjoy.

These moments will help you relax, and coupled with plenty of rest they will definitely reinstate your motivation. The greatest coping mechanism is putting aside time for yourself to do something that makes you happy, and this can even take the place of your practice time on certain days.

3. Revisit the spark.

As mentioned in a previous post about rediscovering your lost inspiration and motivation, a great way to overcome burnout syndrome is to revisit the spark that made you pursue music in the first place. With strict, rigorous practice, you’re likely forgetting the reason you started playing music and the enjoyment you first felt when you played. This happens when you become so preoccupied with a perfectionist attitude and the technicalities of practice.

So, rewatch your favorite artist or favorite songs and ignite the passionate fire that has always been in your heart. Once you remind yourself of the great side of your music, you’ll find that you once again feel happy and motivated to play and practice.

Burnout syndrome happens to even the best musicians, but it is not difficult to overcome. You’ve likely been working too hard or practicing so much that you’ve lost sight of the passion behind playing music. So, do all of the above three to calm yourself down and reinstate your motivation. Take time to reflect on yourself and your music, and rest as often as you can. In these moments, practice can wait.

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Angelina Hue enjoys listening to wide variety of music, from instrumental movie scores to alternative indie to Korean pop music. She also likes to make short films and write fiction.

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