Mental Health and Music
We talk all things taking care of yourself & the world of music with Georgia Lines.
Tell us about yourself, what do you do and how did you get there?
I never quite know how to articulate what I do, but I am an independent artist/songwriter/singer and also run a mini web series called Intros which is growing into be something I am so deeply passionate about alongside my music.
Gosh, it has been quite the journey to get where I am now and I only just feel like I’m starting to gain some momentum after 9 years of pursing music as my career, and a big chunk of it has been through covid and lockdowns - which is crazy to think about. It took me a few years after leaving highschool in 2014 to figure out what I was doing and to navigate my fears and what I deemed to be external expectations (which by the way, no-one put on me) to release any music. My first EP was released two days into the first covid lock-down, which was such a disheartening few weeks of having to completely pivot away from any traditional release strategies, no live shows, no interviews in person, no touring, and to learn to navigate unknown territory and also try to keep going whilst feeling pretty defeated at times. Looking back, the craziest thing is that I grew so much in that time and learnt so much about finding my own way of doing things, of bringing clarity to my vision, developing grit and resilience and having to navigate disappointment. But gosh it was hard! I was also teaching online too… so I was at full capacity, on every level possible.
Without writing paragraphs about that journey (which I so easily could), I came out of covid with a very different perspective around my career, which I really think has helped me become a better human and naturally flowed into becoming a better artist. I started focusing on enjoying the journey and focusing on the things I could control… honestly, a game changer. Especially because it’s so easy to look at another artist and their success and feel like you’ve missed out. But I’ve learnt and continue to learn, that isn’t how It works at all. My opportunities and my journey is going to look completely different to another artist and the quicker I become okay with that, and work hard in my own lane, the easier and more enjoyable the journey becomes.. because I’m not in competition with anyone.
So how did I get here… with a lot of support, an incredible team of people in my corner cheering me on and helping me navigate the disappointments and wildness of covid, working hard, missing out on opportunities and doing a lot of internal work, having fun and deeply loving what I do.
*Sorry, long answer x
What is your experience with mental health?
I have never really been an anxious person at all, I’m naturally quite positive and have learnt that I have been quite good at carrying on and pretending everything is fine.. much to my own detriment. Coming out of covid I actually experienced quite a few health issues with my adrenals and thyroid and a lot of my journey with my health has at times caused some anxiety. I had to completely change my lifestyle, diet, my exercise and had to really change my perspective with my job, like I mentioned earlier, and do a lot of internal work with safe people.. including my wonderful psychologist. Because anxiety was something I had never battled with, when I felt the weight of it… I really struggled to sit with the feelings and tried to fight it - which obviously if you have struggled with anxiety at any point, you know that fighting it makes it worse. So it’s been a journey for sure, and one that I am learning to sit and acknowledge the hard feelings when they surface and not just slap some positivity over the top.
Your calendar is quite demanding, how do you look after your mental health in the face of deadlines and pressure?
Saying no and setting boundaries is a big one for me. I am an extrovert and love to be around people, and hate missing out, but I know that If I say yes to everyone and everything, I am stretched so thin that I have nothing left to give at home, which is even more important than my job. So knowing when to say no is a big one, and a difficult one for me.
I also see my Psycologist regularly, exercise at least 3-4 times a week (boxing is so good for my mind and brings me so much life). In the weeks where it’s absolute chaos I try and
just focus on the things in front of me today which helps me feel less overwhelmed, write a list and do one thing at a time, plan my meals so I eat well, and have little goals like drink 2L of water. It’s a little harder in winter, but all through summer I would get up at 5am/5:30am and watch the sun come up on my walk and then sit in the hot pools. I know for me, having a routine is really grounding and makes me feel so rested in amongst my calendar. If I don’t practically set myself goals and create structure in my week where I am looking after my mental health, it doesn’t happen.
What do you do to get through your hard days?
I talk with my safe people. If I can’t see them in person, I’ll call or even text to just let them know that I’m having a hard day. Aside from bringing people into my hard moments, I go to the gym or go for a walk, get away from my phone and get off social media… and have an early night.