Meet Shania, she’s a 20-year-old singer and songwriter from London. In this episode of 10 Minute Coffee Breaks, Shania gave us an insight into her relationship between music and selfcare, how she uses creative writing to free up headspace and how she balances life between the highs and lows. We also got a sneak peak of her song, ‘Washing Machine’ (#VIBES).
I started to take writing seriously when I was about 13. For me, it was a coping mechanism, whilst sailing through this thing called life. The more that I practiced my craft, the more that I realised that song writing, singing, were not only my passion, but also my outlet. My therapy.
If you had asked me what I thought of wellness and selfcare at age 13, I probably would have looked at you blankly, whilst planning for my escape route! At that age, I probably didn’t understand the concept of it all…that and my wellness reserves we’re probably diminished (or non-existent).
7 years later, I think I can now give you some answers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still learning about what works best for me, but I’ve picked up a lot over the years and would love to share some of that with those who are in a similar boat (queue boat analogy).
I like to think of life like a boat . We’re all governing our own boats trying to find a sense of purpose, a sense of direction. As we sail through, we notice other boats, some bigger, some newer. Sometimes, this can make us feel bad about our own boats and sometimes it can help encourage us to improve on our design.
We’ve also got the tide, currents and the waves, which may sometimes cause water to get into our boats. This reflects the everyday hardships and struggles that we all face. I’m pretty sure that we can all relate to the junk that sometimes comes with life. It can make balancing life and self-care pretty hard. So, I’m here to share a few things that I started doing, to help when the tides got high.
Though, before I begin, its’ important to remember that wellness and selfcare go beyond striving for a better mental and physical health. There’s the social side, the intellectual side and many other aspects.
One of the first steps I took to improving my wellbeing was embracing my vulnerabilities. Why? Because it allowed for the release of emotions. It helped me to develop more in-depth relationships and identify what really made me feel uncomfortable.
It’s crazy, because in every aspect of my life, apart from song writing, I’ve always found it particularly difficult to be completely vulnerable. Being open with family and friends has always been hard, in fact, this has been the case with relationships, period!
When I write, I speak from a vulnerable position, because I’m speaking from true personal experiences and that’s terrifying! However, in being so unapologetically open in my music, I’m able to put the feelings that I want to hide, due uncomfortability or fear of what others may think, into the words. When I allow myself to be open about emotions and feelings, I start to feel a sense of relief. My anxieties lessen. It feels good knowing I’ve turned a negative emotion, or thought, into a creative piece of magic.
The great thing about being vulnerable is that there are so many outlets for expression. You can express vulnerabilities through poems, paintings, song writing and many more. Especially now, in response to COVID-19 and this pandemic, it has been particularly important to me to allow myself to be vulnerable and be open about feelings and anxieties. And you can too, even if you are not from a creative background.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”– Brene Brown
Below are some of the activities that I have tried to commit to, in order to improve my wellbeing and create healthy habits, during this lockdown period. I hope that they will help you too!
Home Yoga/exercise – there are many cool yoga and exercise videos on YouTube for all different levels of experience
Music – listen to your favourite songs, discover new music, you could even try writing your own songs or learning a new instrument (Youtube is great for that too!)
Writing – poetry, music, songs, a script a book – anything.
Start a diary– Jotting down emotions and keeping track of your day-to-day can help you to reflect on feelings, completed tasks and achievements. It can also help you to free up some headspace too!
This blog article was contributed by Shania. You can find more of Shania’s music and what she’s up to, over at @tbhitsshania on Instagram.
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