Stress Reliever – Music

Anybody want to hazard a guess as to why my blog is called Stressy Mama? Danielle (the sister), you are not allowed to answer because I am sure I wouldn’t appreciate your response! I can almost hear your sarcasm as I type this! My blog is called ‘Stressy Mama’ because I may have a slight tendency to get a little bit ‘stressy’ at times. Only a teeny tiny bit though… Being stressed or stressy isn’t always necessarily a bad thing – at least this is what I tell myself anyway. Stress can motivate us and make us stronger or more resilient.  But when every day stresses start to get us down it is important to try and deal with them before they develop into bigger issues. There are a few simple things in life that I can turn to if I start to feel a bit stressed; music, walking, reiki among others. I hope to write a bit of a mini-series about what my stress relievers are and why they are important to me. Thrilling… I know! Ahem..   My first, and probably biggest, stress reliever is music… I love music. It is probably one of my favourite things. Definetly one of the best forms of entertainment. As well as being entertaining, I find it to be very calming. If I am stressed I listen to music and it helps me unwind. I don’t particularly have a favourite type of music; anything goes really, it just depends on what sort of mood I am in that day. My Spotify playlist is quite an eclectic one. Music is such a wondrous thing. It can increase our happiness, help us to relax, improve performance whilst exercising, and strengthen memory… I could go on and on because the benefits are endless!  It is no wonder Music Therapy is actually a recognised therapy.   So why does music make me less ‘stressy’? Music is, and has always, been a very important part of me and my life. I feel like it is part of my soul.. The radio in my kitchen is always on and I am always singing and dancing around with Molly – who usually gives me a ‘what the hell are you doing mother’ look, before toddling off, probably to get some peace and quiet! In primary school I played the recorder and the cornet, then played the clarinet in secondary school before quitting because it ‘wasn’t cool’. I wish I had carried on. I also wish I had learned how to play the guitar and piano.  There is no reason why I cannot learn now though so maybe this is something I should look in to. My sister would be shouting “no” very loudly at the prospect of me learning to play the piano, whilst informing me that we are not in a Christmas film and she won’t be made to stand around the piano singing carols every year. I honestly couldn’t think of anything better! My sister would hate it. My OH Chris would hate it. Molly would probably hate it. The brother-in-law would hate it. My mum would take or leave it. But my niece Jessica would love it, and that is a good enough reason for me! Note to self – buy piano! Also note to self – chuck out some of Molly’s toys to make room for new piano! My favourite game to play as a child was writing songs and pretending to be in a band – at that point I was blissfully unaware of my complete lack of talent! Now, after a wine or two, I love a good sing on the karaoke. Would anybody like to hear my rendition of ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’? – The sister and I have been known to clear a room and have had paper thrown at us whilst screeching this out on the karaoke! Haters! We have seen the error of our way though and taken this negativity into consideration. We have new songs lined up which we hope will result in a lot less screeching than before. Anybody want to listen to our rendition of Wonderwall? It is currently unrehearsed (we don’t get out much) but I am sure it will be brilliant!   Ways to use music to de-stress: Listen to music – It can be very therapeutic as it has a positive effect on our moods, emotions and stress levels. I always have music on in the background – it serves as a distraction from everyday negative things (terrible twos tantrum anyone, tenth unsolicited marketing call of the day, website down again…) Plus, there is always the possibility of a spontaneous mini rave happening in the kitchen when your tuuuuunne comes on! If I am feeling down I listen to certain songs. Classical music is very relaxing but for me, Wham’s ‘Wake me up before you go-go’ is an instant mood lifter. I often put my headphones in and listen to music in bed as it helps me unwind from the day and helps me fall asleep.   Sing – singing releases endorphins which make you feel good and in turn, reduce stress. I really cannot hold a tune but I love to sing. In my head, I was born to play Velma Kelly or Tracy Turnblad in the West End. I am a tad disillusioned and this is sadly just a pipe dream but it doesn’t stop me belting out ‘Good Morning Baltimore’ in my living room does it? As a parent of a small child, I spend a huge chunk of my day singing nursery rhymes. It can get a tad repetitive, but you know what, I actually really enjoy it. We often get out Molly’s toy musical instruments and attempt to play them while singing very loudly. My neighbours must hate us! Her drum is my favourite! Oooh maybe I could get some real drums… We all have so much fun doing this, and it is probably therapeutic for all of us, not just me.   Dance – like singing, dancing also releases feel good endorphins. It is also a great way to keep fit I spend a lot of time dancing around in my kitchen to whatever is on the radio I spend even more time dancing around the living room to nursery rhymes. Molly’s favourite songs to dance around to at the minute are ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’, ‘Wind the Bobbin Up’ and ‘Sleeping Bunnies’. She really loves these songs and of course I have to take part. She is having fun and I am having fun with her so there is no room to be stressed.   Go Out – As a parent of a toddler, I don’t get to go out much (not that I want to these days) but if I do go out, and it involves music of some sort, then I am happy I love going to the theatre, especially if it is to watch a musical. As soon as they start singing I feel ecstatic. I absolutely love musicals. My favourites so far are Hairspray, Chicago, Rock of Ages and Wicked. I also love going to concerts. Maybe not as much as the theatre (I am getting on a bit now) but I still really enjoy them. Both just make me feel instantly happy.   Music really does help to make me feel positive. It  is an instant mood lifter and I honestly do not know what I would do if it wasn’t a part of my life. How does music make you feel? Does it serve as a stress reliever for you?   Sam x *UPDATE* You can also find me blogging at Serenely Sam