How Do You Fight September Stress?
September can be a stressful month for performers. The lazy days of summer are gone and pressure is mounting to move into high gear. Training programs, auditions, rehearsals or other projects that didn’t seem so urgent suddenly require action. While many of you may feel anxious about your ability to meet these demands, you can rise to the occasion. The key is to become aware of the unique triggers that create September stress for YOU.
Rather than simply feeling overwhelmed, heightened self awareness gives you a better understanding of your particular stressors. This, in turn, allows you to identify changes that might help. For example, if you discover that you’re afraid to return to an overly demanding teacher who will push you to work too hard in your art form during your recovery from a recent injury, the solution for September may be to find a more flexible teacher who knows about good work habits and injury prevention. This option bypasses the risk of re-injury and helps reduce both physical and mental stress in singers, actors, dancers and other performers.
Self awareness also allows you to recognize how you contribute to your own work-related stress. Let’s say, for instance, that you tend to blame bad luck for your lack of success in getting choice roles. Catching self-sabotaging thoughts that stop you from being pro-active can help you find other opportunities. These may include auditioning for theatrical agents, branching out into additional areas, such as print work and voiceovers if you’re an actor, or arranging performing gigs with colleagues during breaks from your dance company.
Finally, greater self awareness can lead to better relationships, which provide stress relief during the transition into September and beyond. Consider for a moment performers who always see other people as the ‘problem’ rather than taking responsibility for their own actions. Under these conditions, it’s easy to feel like a victim, especially when your lack of insight alienates those around you. The ability to look at your habitual patterns with people allows you to make constructive changes in how you relate to others. All performers benefit from a supportive network.
By becoming somewhat of an observer in your life, you will notice where you may need to become a more positive person. Recognizing possibilities for success, seeing the best in people and in yourself, and taking time to recoup from a taxing day will all help you navigate September stress.