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MENTAL HEALTH & THE BIZ: TIPS FOR COPING

In May, Goldman Sachs released its Music in the Air report, projecting that global music revenue would drop by 25%—with live revenue in particular falling by 75%. Despite the impact of the pandemic, however, the company predicts that live music will rebound by 2023, and that by 2030 global recorded-music sales will have doubled from 2019, mainly due to the rise in streaming.

Data notwithstanding, predictions are just predictions. With the onset of a global pandemic, a racial reckoning in America and an impending Presidential election, the music industry has been rocked like many others. According to the CDC, 40% of Americans are grappling with mental-health or substance-abuse issues. Professionals in all industries are feeling the shift in their daily lives and well-being.

One artist manager, who hasn’t traveled since February, notes how a work-from-home lifestyle affects the dynamic with clients. “Working with creatives, they’re used to feeling the energy of their fanbase, their community,” this manager reports. “They’re used to giving light to those around them, which in turn gives them light. It’s been hard for a lot of my clients to be productive and creative in this space. In certain patches of going through those periods of time with clients I’ve felt drained. I need to take a minute to focus on self a bit, because I feel like I’m just giving and giving—but not giving anything to myself.”

How is this manager balancing work with life? “It has helped me to wake up, pray, read, make some green tea, work out and then start the day. At the end of the day, this pandemic is something none of us has been through before. I’ve heard people say just be kind and patient with ourselves. Pray and be optimistic that there’s a light at the end of this tunnel.”

One music attorney relates that being at home has in fact increased workload: “This year has been extremely emotionally draining. I think any attorney can attest to everyone being at home and readily available means you have more paperwork and an increase in the expectation of quicker turnaround times.”

 “I’ve always worked weekends because of the nature of my job,” the attorney adds, “but I feel that because of quarantine, there’s even less of a concept of ‘off-time’ from your clients. There’s no escaping to your personal life.”

So how does one unplug from a hectic workday? “Being active. I’ve been very consistent with my fitness and workout at home,” the attorney notes. “I’ve also started meditating more. I did a meditation challenge earlier in quarantine that’s helped me be at peace more. I have a daily meditation routine that alleviates some of my anxiety and stress.”

An independent boutique label owner confirms that being at home has made work-life balance more difficult. “I already work 24/7,” the exec confides, “but now there’s even more work. I used to be married to ideas and outcomes, but now I’m in a space where I’m accepting of the world around me and the fact that the world is liable to change at any given moment.”

Exercising, the label head adds, has been particularly difficult. “Luckily, I have a rooftop where I’ll occasionally go chill, but otherwise I’m constantly in the studio.” Nevertheless, finding time for oneself outside of work is key. “Between the hours of 2am and 4am, I’ll listen to music or hang out in my hammock. It’s the time I have for myself to vibe. Also, almost every phone I have is on ‘do not disturb’ the majority of the time, which helps.”

A recent A&R hire and entrepreneur notes how working for yourself can provide an added layer of uncertainty around how to operate professionally. “I feel in constant limbo in terms of trying to be considerate of what other people may be going through during quarantine and still trying to achieve a level of productivity and advancement,” offers this biz professional, who adds that remote meetings have helped with productivity.

 “Overall quarantine has been what you make it,” this insider reflects, “and it has been an adjustment but learning to navigate this somewhat stalemated climate will prepare many of us for future issues with our industry forcing us to explore different variations of diversification within the business.”

How are you coping in quarantine, balancing work and life, finding joy and fending off anxiety and depression? Drop us a line and share some tips.

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