As performers, most of us live for the rush of excitement we get when we set foot on stage to perform a role we’ve worked so hard to bring to life. However, once the costumes have been hung and the audience has cleared out for the night, life can suddenly seem empty in one way or another. It’s sometimes easy to forget that we are living, breathing, human beings with talents and interests not only limited to the stage. Sound familiar? Here are a few steps that might help create balance in our otherwise busy lives:
1. Exercise. Whether it’s a low-impact run, a walk with a friend, or a high intensity solo workout, find time to get moving. Exercise not only increases energy, but it can also clear our mind and relieve stress that may be weighing us down.
2. Have something to plan and look forward to. For me, planning my wedding created a huge personal/professional balance in my life. Whether it is a vacation, reunion, fundraiser, or party, find something you care about and plan it. Planning an event, no matter how big or small, not only allows us to shift focus from rehearsal or score study, but gives us something exciting to look forward to each day!
3. Go to concerts. No, not concerts that feature music you are studying or have sung before. Make this concert experience a bit more self-indulgent. See a pop artist you listen to in the car or during your workouts. Listen to some live jazz or blues. Support a local songwriter. Have fun! Dance! Sing along! All music can be good for the soul.
4. Consider having a side job. Today there are so many at-home or online-based entrepreneurial side businesses available. Find one that you are interested in and that can be fun! Dedicating a few hours each week to a side business can help you meet new people, develop new skills, and help you make some extra cash.
5. Volunteer. It feels so good to use our gifts and talents to make someone’s day better. After all, isn’t that why so many of us decide to be performers in the first place? Whether it’s weekly, monthly, or a few times a year, find a way to give your time and talents to someone who needs your help. If you want to incorporate music into your volunteer experience, check out organizations like Musicians On Call. www.musiciansoncall.org.
6. Make your friends and family a priority. Keep in touch with your friends and family. If your friends live out of town, meet them for dinner or coffee when you visit their city. If you haven’t called your parents or siblings in awhile, take a few minutes to do so. If you’re still waiting to return a friend’s phone call, don’t wait any longer. Reconnecting with friends and family not only gives us a break from the everyday grind, but it reminds us of the many people who have helped shape us to be who we are today.
Finding balance can be the key to living a full life. Taking care of each aspect in life can be the tool that not only creates happiness in our personal lives, but can also bring honest life to our characters on stage. Next time the curtain falls, open the door to everything that makes you, you!