When we're feeling overwhelmed and stressed with too much to do or struggling with mental illness, our fear response often activates and we can get stuck and procrastinate. However, we can work around this by reducing the complexity of the tasks in front of us to something more manageable, kickstarting our motivation (and reducing frustration in practise).

  • - Reduce stress/anxiety
  • - Increase motivation
  • - Become less frustrated


Try and identify what is causing you the most stress.

Is it e.g.:
- a to-do list that's too full?
- a big stack of repertoire you need to learn?
- a really difficult piece to practice?
- a cat that just won't stop meowing outside your window?
- something else?


After you've worked out step 1, try and break the task down into separate elements and do the easiest you can manage.

This could be:
- That one difficult bar, done very slowly
- Washing the dishes
- Writing just the opening to an important email


Are you really struggling to get anything done? Then just try and do the most basic thing you can think of.

This could be something like taking out your instrument and playing a single note with a good sound, focussing on the feeling of playing.

Still too difficult? Then just try opening the case of your instrument (or filling your water bottle if you're a singer ;) ).

Oftentimes the enormity of all the different things we have to do is what causes us to stall, so by focussing on small things one after the other you can help your brain shift perspective and become less overwhelmed. This can be applied to all areas of music and life, but the important thing to remember is to go for the easiest thing in front of you, and to be kind to yourself

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