Suddenly, everyone’s lives changed. Big time.
And there’s no way for me to really sugarcoat this—things are really hard right now. We’re living in a world of uncertainty, where so many of our basic needs like communication, physical contact, financial security—as well as our places of refuge and solace—live shows, community events, friend hangs—have been completely shut down.
And that can feel really overwhelming.
So the first thing I want to say is, if you’re feeling this, you’re not alone, and you’re not wrong for feeling it. All of us handle trauma and grief differently, and make no mistake that’s part of what we’re collectively experiencing. One day you may feel on top of the world, ready to tackle your to-do list, and the next you may not want to get out of bed. It’s ok.
But what I don’t want is for you to hide yourself away and stop showing up for your fans and community when they need you most, simply because you don’t know how. Or because you’re afraid to be insensitive. Or because you just don’t know.
That simply won’t do.
So, recognizing that everyone is handling things a little differently, we’ve put together a how-to for making the most of this quarantine—how to stay productive while balancing that with self-care, how to show up for your fans, and how to remember the future you’re planning for—because it is coming and it’s important to remember that.
Stay productive (even when you don’t feel like it)
There will be days or moments when you feel exhausted from worry and your mind needs a break from all that it’s going through, and you’ll want to simply veg out on the couch and make the fear go away. I get it. I’ve been there. Take those moments—but don’t let it consume you.
I am someone who is already prone to extreme anxiety and so as we’re in the thick of this, I’ve had to limit my news intake and the amount of time I spend uselessly worrying about everything. And while sometimes the key to that is a good couch potato session, more often it’s forcing myself to do something.
For me, that’s a mix of physical activity and stimulating mental activity. I notice a major difference in my mood when I make exercise a daily part of my routine. For me, that comes in the form primarily of Ring Fit Adventure on the Switch, but, you do whatever your thing is. That 20 minutes of exercise does HUGE things for my mental health and motivation. It wakes my body and mind up, instead of letting it slip into darkness.
Finding a way to incorporate physical activity in your day to day is a great (if not 100% necessary way) to shake out those nerves a bit, and reignite your productivity.
The other thing that’s a must for me is mental stimulation. TV shows can only help so much and to be honest, I can only take so much dark drama from some of my favorite shows right now. So, I need to do something that’s going to interest me. For you that might be writing a song or interacting with fans on IG or planning your tour for next summer. For me it’s been working on a podcast I’m planning to launch and a new website.
Find something you really enjoy doing that’s also working towards your overall goals, and make it a daily habit. Again, even 20 min/day goes a long way here.
But, don’t forget to balance that with self-care
If ever there were a time for self-care! Be kind to yourself, and think about what rituals you can work into your existing routine. It’s so different for everyone, so really be sure to tap into what makes you happy vs just following what others are doing.
For instance, a lot of people might like wine and a bubble bath but that’s not for me. My idea of self-care is a long shower followed by a face mask, in a bathrobe, watching my favorite show. Or, pizza night with my fiancé watching trash reality TV.
It’s really important that you don’t fixate on what you think you should want but instead, on what actually makes you happy. Find your happy place, and make it part of your every day.
Remember to take care of your fans
Your fans are scared right now—and they’re looking for someone to tell them that it’s going to be ok. And while I’m not suggesting you become their guru, I am saying you need to be there for them. You need to keep showing up on your social media, in your email list, on IG Lives. You need to reach out to them by commenting on their posts, responding to their comments, acknowledging that you see them and you’re here with them every step of the way. They need to see that you’re there for them right now.
They don’t need someone to be perfect—they just need someone to remind them they’re not alone.
Show up—this isn’t an excuse to halt everything
Speaking of showing up, don’t fall into the trap of using this as an excuse not to move forward. I get it—fear and uncertainty is a powerful thing, but don’t let it keep you from pushing forward and planning the future you’ve been working so hard towards.
Maybe you can’t plan that summer tour you wanted, but you can plan one for next Summer, or work on learning FB ads, or building your email list, or learning how to do PR.
And don’t think that you can’t release new music now either. A lot of artists seem to feel like doing so is insensitive but I am telling you, beyond the strategy that more fans, press, etc are online and ready to receive that than ever before, we need some normalcy in this upside down world we’re living in, so you releasing music is honestly a gift.
Take care of yourself, be sensitive to the situation, but don’t use your fear as an excuse to hold back and play small.
Plan for the future
More than ever it’s so important to plan for the future. We may not know when things will open up, when events will resume as usual, but we do know that there will be a day we go back outside, hug our neighbors and friends, embark on that tour, play those shows, and eventually, we will return to a new normal.
I want you to plan for that day. To visualize it. To see it in your mind and feel it in your bones, because it is so crucial that we remember that right now, and that we keep planning towards it.
We are a strong, resilient industry and we are in this together. We will recover from this and we will be stronger because of it. I truly believe that. We just have to keep each other strong, hold each other accountable, and be there for each other. We’ll get through this, together.
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR, where her artists have seen placements on Alternative Press, Noisey, Substream, Spotify and more. Having spoken at SXSW, CD Baby DIY Musician Conference, CMW, Indie Week, and more, she still loves nothing more than Cookie Monster ice cream, cuddles with her pup Sawyer, and a good show to binge-watch. Join her for her free Masterclass ‘How to gain your next 1,000 fans. 3 simple steps that lead to higher engagement, sold-out shows, and life-changing opportunities’.