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Finding my place as a creator during COVID-19

Forced to work from home, when I already work from home.

I am a work-from-home musician. My main form of content is streaming live music from my home studio for 4+ hours per day - the rest of the time I am editing my own videos, writing music, conjuring up social posts, interacting with my online community and of course, hanging out with my 2 year old.

The COVID-19 pandemic crept up on me as it did to so many others. Plans started to get cancelled, businesses around us began to close and I began to realize that it was very possible that I might become stuck in my house for weeks on end. The realization of all of this was shocking, however, I didn’t feel like much was going to change for me. 

I was used to working in an isolated environment. In fact, I thought to myself “This is my time to shine”. I kept working as normal and began to notice an influx in viewership and interaction during my live streams. So, I decided I’d make the most of this situation - I would work harder than normal and be there for those who were also stuck at home, providing them with feel good music. It would be easy - it’s what I do anyway. What was a little extra work? Well, in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, a little extra work.. was a lot.

The added pressure, on top of the pressure

At first I was grateful for our situation - as the world entered into chaos and I felt grounded and safe at home.

I was consuming media consciously, I was working hard, I felt level headed. But quite quickly (and I am talking a matter of days) this stability got away from me. The media consumption became toxic - and truly unavoidable. Every social interaction involved talk of COVID - phone calls, dms, video chats. This was all added stress coming into my life that I hadn’t considered. The pressure I put on myself to work harder than normal through this took an immediate toll on me. I started to feel tired, unhealthy, and eventually found myself with a full blown cold - unable to sing, AKA unable to work.

The thing is, I could have predicted this. I have always been the type to get sick when stressed out (during travel, around important events). My body forcing me to rest had me questioning why I’d placed this added pressure on myself in the first place.This pandemic which was seemingly “not affecting me” (externally) had stirred up so much inwardly. Getting sick was truly a reminder to take account of what was going on with myself before focusing on what was happening around me.

A new type of accountability

Despite making my own schedule on the daily, I hadn’t fully anticipated how the lack of external accountability would impact me. These are the little things - yoga classes, dinner at my parents’ place, movie nights with friends. All of these things that added some additional “structure” to my life were gone. I was entirely accountable for my own timeline.

With this, I began to feel a bit empty and I placed my value heavily in my work. It was all-consuming having many of my efforts invested in one thing. Then, when I wasn’t working or thinking about work, I began to feel threatened, unstable, and insecure and no amount of work could combat those feelings. Reflecting on the past few weeks, I’ve been able to see so clearly the importance of not only self care, but also practicing the things that bring me joy and inspiration. I have taken some time to be quiet, find clarity and re-adjust my priorities back to where I believe they should lie. This pandemic has certainly taken me on a detour, but it has ultimately presented me with some valuable reminders and lessons.

So where am I now?

My #1 priority currently is self care. I truly believe that if I am taking care of myself first and foremost, I will then be able to work, and fill any other role I have, to the best of my ability and not have it affect my self worth.

I’m also working hard to consciously take time to do things I love - put on music that lifts me up, dance around the house, go for walks in the sun, connect with people online who make me smile and laugh, anything that makes me feel truly like me. This includes my job, because I really do love it, but approaching it from a place of passion instead of pressure. 

With these practices I feel much more grounded, energized and focused. I naturally spend less time focusing on the external world and spend much more time looking inward. When I do need to focus outward, I am ready and equipped with my values in check.

Remember, we are all in this together.
Take care of you and be well. 

---

Jordin's fave product these days: CBD Tea by Everie
What Jordin's listening to: Another Way Around - Luca Fogale

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