How Music Students Can Beat Stress

As part of Stress Awareness Month, we provide some essential advice for students to help them stay on top of their studies...

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The pandemic has affected students on so many levels, particularly those of you who are performers. 

However, education and working as a professional in a specific industry can be stressful even without the additional pressures of the last 12 months. 

This is why we've organised a Stress-Buster Day on Friday 23rd April as part of a bid to help encourage best practice and share experiences within the ICMP community.

We would also like to help you manage your stress levels during this time by introducing a few tools you might find useful. We’re also aware that it is the exam period which can also be a challenging and busy time. 

Quick tip: when you realise that you are stressed: stop whatever you are doing and breathe. Take a deep breath in and a deep breath out. Repeat this at least five times."

Exam stress | 5 simple tips:

  • Take frequent breaks
  • Leave your home at least once a day (during the day)
  • Eat/drink well
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Reach out for help if needed

Below we've collated some telltales signs of stress - and what we suggest might help. Please get in touch with your tutor or our Wellbeing team for support if you are feeling overwhelmed.

There's always too much to do

Identify the problem. Ask yourself questions: What is working? What is not working? What can I do better? Do I need additional support? Accept what you cannot change. This can be hard but be patient and compassionate with yourself. Compiling a gratitude journal and mindfulness meditation can help.

Working 24/7

Instead of constantly working, you should try and schedule your day; set morning or evening routines so when life escalates you have some stability. This will also improve your time management and sleeping routine.

Experiencing physical exhaustion

Keep you body moving and try to go out every day, even it is just for a five minute walk. This can do wonders to improve wellbeing. Remember to eat healthilyand drink plenty of water.

Comparing yourself to others

Focus on your own uniqueness, there is only one human like you. Embrace that rather than continually comparing yourself to others, whether it be their talent, success or career. You can even list what you like in yourself and write it down.

Relying on alcohol and drugs to unwind 

Alcohol and drugs can actually trigger stress in a long term. Start by simply saying no and be clear with friends and family that you want to find better ways to cope.

Feeling isolated

Don’t forget to reach out to your family, friends and peers or wellbeing team. Share your worries with others.

Zoning out

As soon as you have realised that you have ‘zoned out’, change something – stand up, move around, make yourself a drink, get away from the screen

Too much stress

Schedule a few hours weekly when you do something just for yourself. Something that you like and recharges you. This can be; playing music, taking a bath/long shower, reading a book/magazine, be in nature, dancing alone. Be flexible with yourself and be aware of your options.

And one final but crucial tip – when you are stressed, play music. It’s a great way to relax. It’s an outlet for expressing emotions and it helps distract you from negative thoughts.

Visit stress.org.uk for more information on Stress Awareness Month. You can also check out this list of NHS-approved apps too. 

Take the first steps in your music career with ICMP

We've been developing and delivering contemporary music education for over 30 years – longer than any other music school in the UK. With a proven track-record, countless music industry connections and unrivalled access to facilities, it's easy to see why hundreds of students choose ICMP each year. 

To completely immerse yourself in your music career, chat with our friendly Admissions Team via email enquiries@icmp.ac.uk or give them a call on 020 7328 0222.

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by Julianna Pusztai and Aneta Stamenova, ICMP Mental Health Advisers
April 21, 2021
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