Updated: Jan 15, 2021
This place I call home used to be a safe haven, and now COVID has forced my work life and personal life to co-exist.
Practicing at home has been challenging for me. One part of me wants to live my best life and watch Netflix and eat snacks but the other half says I need to practice. Who do you think won that battle 9 times out of 10? I wanted to revamp my practice space so that I would want to go there, rather than dreading it.
So on a whim, I decided to target my five senses to determine the aesthetic I was going for and this is what went into my categories.
Aesthetic: Cozy Vintage
Complete focus on one task was my goal, so I wanted to have as little as possible in front of me.
Light: Yellow lights in the room, no one wants white lights beaming down at you like you are in a hospital.
I face my window to get natural light, and so that I can see nature outside. I need to feel like there is more to the world than me and the music. I get inspired by others and life, so this is a must for me. If you get too distracted, don't worry, instead, try putting up a painting, or photos of the people or things you love.
I practice in the same spot every time to maximize my focus. I want my brain to shift easily to work mode, so this spot is specifically for work only.
I make sure that this area is as clean as possible. I am not the tidiest, but I am working on it. I have found that the physical clutter in my life directly correlates with the clutter in my brain, which totally triggers my anxiety. I don't know if this is chicken and the egg kinds of things, but I do find my brain now feels less cluttered now that my space is well-kempt. Placebo? Maybe.
Plants: We all know the benefits of having plants in our space so I won't go on about that, but I will say.....you have to care for them properly or you might feel a little sad to look up and see a withered little plant where your beautiful one once stood. So, maybe get a fake plant for the time being if you are unsure about the commitment.
All my equipment: Everything is set it up before I start practicing so that I don't interrupt my practice flow. Make a list of your own, here is mine:
Phone on airplane mode
White noise: I have a pianist for a husband which means when I am practicing, he is probably practicing. I found that having white noise allows me to have better focus. I use the Google Nest mini so I don't have any extra reasons to have to reach for my phone (I also use this as my timer).
Water: You probably don't drink enough water, so might as well use practice breaks as opportunities to drink some water
Snack: As a wind player, I can't eat as I practice (the bane of my existence), but you could try having a small snack to help trigger memory before you perform later. I have friends who use chocolate, yum. During your actual practice break, you should leave your practice space to allow your brain and body to have a real break.
Lightly scented candle: I wanted to feel like I was somehow treating myself and ya girl loves candles.
Lavender roller scent: I read that it is possible to have better memory recall if you wear the same scent, and since lavender soothes my soul, I chose this scent.
This week, make a list of must-haves and put things in those categories, or just choose an aesthetic you like as a starting point to get inspired. You can do like I did and spend a day beautifying your space, or ease into it by asking yourself, what do I need and what can I get rid of. Decide what you can handle, and go from there.
Any progress is still progress.