When we talk about sound freelance self-care practises, we’re not only talking about the ones that make a solid base for wellness. We mean audio, too!
Sound is particularly good for us when we are stressed or need to feel free. This is why we love music- it lifts us up, helps us come to terms with break-ups, gives us the soundtrack to our memories and more. Podcasts are a great way to practise mindfulness. The focus on audio as well as that sensation of having someone whisper the world into your ear can be incredibly powerful.
Having music and podcasts as part of a self-care ritual helps ground us and make us feel energised. In a world when we are often over-stimulated visually, switching to sound as a focus can have a profound influence on our mood and concentration.
There are a couple of ways you can experiment with using sound freelance self-care practises to their best advantage
Make music a focus
Sound can help us associate times with productivity. For example, if you find that you are calmest when you hear the noise of the fan at night, the sound of your dog or kids snoring soothes you or if rain sounds make you more productive, you could benefit from using sound to influence your mood and focus.
Music has the same sort of benefits. It can boost mood, increase focus and make us feel less lonely.
Try digital streaming to help set the tone at work and associate sounds with productivity. I find SBS Chill great for this as there’s rarely vocals and the music are upbeat but non-intrusive. You could also try making a playlist on Spotify. Or consider Calm Radio
If you listen to pump up music on your run or in the gym, why not try the same for extra busy days? Or choose other music to listen to for 20 minutes before you start. Why not dance it off when things stress you out or have a dance break with the pets or kids when you land a new client?
I worked with a Lifeline trainer who listened to metal after particularly tough interventions and calls as it gave her place “a safe place to put the emotions”. One song could reset her whole attitude. It can be that powerful.
Experiment with what works for you.
Embrace uplifting content
Sound freelance self-care practises don’t just begin and end with the workday. You can incorporate them into play as well. Listening to audio books as you drift off to sleep, especially when the topic is positive, can help you get a great night’s sleep. If you fell asleep being read to as a child and love a good book before bed, audio books can be a wonderful experience.
Podcasts are another great source of inspiration. Listening during the commute, the drive to the next appointment, on the bed or while pushing the vacuum are all highly recommended. Some great podcasts include Side Effects of the Creative Process or our very own Sounds of the Freelance Jungle and my 9 minute meditations, a bit of business Zen.
You can even record your own content and listen back to it when you need it the most.
Enjoy the silence
Silence is another powerful healer. Sometimes, we need to focus on nothing to feel better about something.
We’re constantly listening to the noise of life, content and the world. Taking a break from that can be restorative. Try sleeping with noise cancellation ear plugs in. Or simply wear them when you are reading or writing to block out sound. Or think about sensory deprivation chambers or float tanks. While they may sound extreme, they can be surprisingly soothing.
Another simple trick is to spend time underwater. Swimming, floating, snorkeling and scuba diving all have a wonderful way of resetting the self-care clock. Mixing water, exercise and no sound is simply divine and highly recommended. Heck, even putting your head down in the pool, spa or bath for a few minutes feels great!
What to try with sound freelance self-care practises:
a) Take your 20-minute self-care and dedicate it to sampling sound of music, uplifting content and silence as part of developing sound freelance self-care practises. The best way to do it is listening one day and leave the next. Kind of like an audio cleansing palate
b) Grab your journal and make notes
c) Do you notice a mood shift? If so, what happens?
d) Are there changes in productivity while you listen? The day after?
e) What works best for you?
f) Let’s create a list! Share your favourite calm, meditative and/or uplifting podcasts in the comments below.