It may sound strange, but sometimes musicians not only get fed up with gigging, clubs, managers and clients, but also from the constant /never-ending daily practice, writing, and playing. It's easy to burn out on creativity if you're not giving yourself the occasional break.
If you've been sensing a decrease in productivity or passion for music, it may be best to step away for a bit and clear your head. If music is burning you out, try these five tips to give your mind a break and get back in the game.
Immersing yourself in the great outdoors is beneficial for both your mind and body. Getting fresh air will help make you feel better overall and possibly calm your frustration built up by too much time cooped up in your practice space. You may even find some inspiration in going for a short walk or bike ride, and then apply it to new songs.
Pay Attention to Your Diet
Poor eating habits can have its toll on your mind and your ability to focus. Healthy eating habits can improve your spirits and your concentration. Junk foods will often be highly processed and can cause everything from an up-set stomach to headaches. However, eating a balanced group of fresh foods and buying as many foods locally as you can will have the opposite results. Better focus, and better concentration will keep you in a better mood and drive your creativity. Of course it can take more time to cook a nice meal at home, but when you factor in travel and the costs of eating fast-foods and corner store sandwiches it will always pay off to eat fresh and eat healthy.
Watch documentaries and inspiring films
Finding inspiration in films allows us to zone out and let ourselves focus on an alternative universe. Whatever genre you enjoy, find a film you've never seen and allow yourself to relax. If you're a movie freak and have seen every title known to man, choose one that inspires you and allows you to relax at the same time. One of my personal favorites is, "Standing in the Shadows of Motown (2002)." But, there are many others that will give you not only entertainment, but inspiration.
Get some good rest
Sometimes feeling burned out with music can be related to not getting enough sleep. Though creativity can come at odd hours of the morning (I know it does for me), it's important to be well-rested. Whatever your sleep schedule may be, try to get enough rest so you have energy to dedicate to your music the next day. Avoid pharmaceutical sleep aides if you have trouble sleeping at night. Instead try one of the oldest sleep aides on Earth, "Seeds and Nuts." Eating different organic seeds or nuts an hour before bedtime produces tryptophan, (the building block for serotonin and melatonin — sleep-friendly brain chemicals that promote a feeling of calm). Seeds & Nuts High in Tryptophan include (%RDI per ounce): Chia Seeds (44%), Sesame Seeds (39%), Sunflower Seeds (35%), Flaxseeds (30%), Pistachio Nuts (29%), Cashew Nuts (24%), Almonds (21%), and Hazelnuts (Filberts).
If you have the means, travel is one of the best cures for lost inspiration and for just getting away from the daily stress. Whether you can afford a trip to another country, state, or city, there are many options out there. It's great to have a travel buddy – perhaps even your band can make the trip. If you're seeking solitude, solo trips are a fantastic way to find inspiration, enlightenment, and focus on restoring your creativity.
Burn out can happen to anyone, but the tips above can help go a long way to getting you back on track with a healthy attitude, body and mind. Best of all with stress levels down, you'll become more productive and make more music with far less stress.