The Most Important Headlining Set of the Year: Self Care
This editorial is inspired by Kade Martin’s experience in Camp Kulabunga’s Class of 2019.
I will start off by saying it’s not very often that an experience impacts me so greatly that I have no choice but to write in first person. So, hello all. My name is Kade and I am an avid blogger here on Concert Hopper. I am very active on our social media pages, as well as here on our website from interviews with Cherub, covering the annual Suwannee Hulaween, and managing our food review page known as Bars & Bites. In the midst of having a full time job as an Events Coordinator, this full time hobby, and somehow also balancing a personal life in between the chaos, I found that there was still something missing from my life. As if I could possibly find the time to work yet another thing into my schedule, right? As someone who has struggled with depression and social anxiety my entire life, I have always known that some form of self care needed to be worked into my daily routine. Yet, I always found excuses for why it couldn’t be done. Or better yet, I would always keep myself so busy that it could never be done.
Over the years of becoming acclimated with the festival and concert community, I have found that I am not alone in this pursuit of the “hustle culture”. I have found that many of us in the festival community work ourselves senseless at our day jobs to make sure our bills are paid every month and still have a little extra left over to catch a few shows - or ten. Or maybe for some, we are saving those dollars in hopes of buying new art supplies for our home studio, an update on a graphic design software, or a new lens on our camera. Regardless of what we may be saving those extra dollars for, it all amounts to one single thing - it is something that sparks the happiness and creativity within us. Some of us have one or more jobs we work at daily while balancing hobbies that require a massive amount of attention and energy, such as photography, music production, graphic design, street teaming, or even marketing a start up company. This constant hustling to keep our heads above water financially and keep up these personas for social media, or stay up to date within our social circle, leaves us ultimately drained at the end of the day. To say some of us begin losing ourselves in this hustle is an understatement. So, why do we keep doing it? Because ultimately our passions come to life within our hobbies. Our hobbies nurture these passions that are burning like a wildfire inside of us. For me, I know that a new camera lens and a ticket to an upcoming show will bring me some peace through relaxation and happiness through exercising my creativity with photography. For many of us, we wish these side gigs and hobbies were our daily careers. We put our hearts and souls into these side gigs because this is what brings us happiness at the end of the day. At the end of the day, we are all just in a rat race for happiness.
Before I jump in head-first, let’s talk what self-care is and why we need it. What is this almost elusive act that everyone says we need so desperately in our lives? The most basic definition of self-care is loving yourself to no end and taking the steps necessary to live a happy and healthy life. When I say loving yourself, I mean truly loving yourself. You have to love the things about yourself that you have always dis-liked. A guy named Jacy Cunningham told me that I needed to love my shit - even the shit that stinks. Through truly loving yourself you can unlock the drive to take care of yourself with healthy eating habits, practicing yoga, exercise routines, meditation practices, art therapy, or whatever is a good fit for you. Self-care is anything you do that is meant to keep your mental, physical, or emotional health in check. Self-care comes in many forms and can differ from person-to-person. What works for me, may not work for you. It is important to understand that self-care is supposed to be relaxing and something that comes of ease - it is not to be forced or else you are defeating the purpose. By working various types of self-care into our lives, we are able to balance ourselves and maintain our health.
Self-care can come in a few different types or categories, and you can reference the chart to the right to get an idea of the various types. Now, don’t get overwhelmed! Self-care isn’t meant to be intimidating. It’s not to say that you need to add all of these practices into your life all at once. Start by examining your life and where you feel that you can make small changes, incremental to start, bettering your mental, physical, and emotional health. For me personally, I was able to examine my own life and notice that changes to my diet, working in an exercise routine, and beginning a meditation routine were three things that were completely reasonable accomplishments. Also, I would highly recommend looking into various breathing techniques that can help with a variety of things such as anxiety, relaxation, and even feeling more energetic. These breathing techniques are easily worked into small pieces of time within a morning routine or nightly routine. By working in meditation, exercising, healthier eating habits, and breathing exercises I will be able to be maintain my physical, mental, and emotional health. These small acts of self-care will go a long way as your overall health will begin to increase. You will feel more energetic, more relaxed, more comfortable in your own skin, and overall just more at peace with life. These small changes to your daily routines and habits will begin to radiate throughout your life as you will feel more inspired to make healthier decisions all throughout your life. In a sense, you become more inspired to find different ways to love yourself. Once you begin to love yourself you start to realize the age old saying about ‘loving yourself before you can love others’ is actually correct. Once you’re able to radiate love for yourself, you can spread love throughout your community.
To bring things full circle, once an individual feels more in tune with loving themselves then they are able to start spreading love throughout their community. If someone feels better about themselves from eating healthier and clearing their thoughts through meditation then they are more likely to feel more creative, get involved in social groups, or feel inspired to learn something new. It’s important to utilize these hobbies and habits to find like-minded individuals to befriend. Being a part of a community can help someone develop friendships that become a support network of friends that help keep your self-care habits in check. It can help you find accountability buddies and people who are there for you when times get rough. Self-care will always come from an inspiration within yourself, but it never hurts to be surrounded by people who believe in you as well. Take it from experience, don’t sleep on self-care. Evaluate where you are in life and what you can do to start taking better care of yourself today. Today is a new day and the first day of a newer, healthier lifestyle. Show yourself some love and spread that love out into your community !
For more information on Camp Kulabunga, the camp that inspired this entire article, check out this recap video from the event in 2018. If you’re a fan of GRiZ and you’re looking to have your life liberated by Grant and his friends, be sure to be on the look out for applications for Camp Kulabunga’s Class of 2020. Applications should released in Spring or Summer of 2020, so stay tuned!