Self-care is important for optimal health, but it's not always easy to find the time or energy to do so, especially for caregivers who provide constant care to their loved ones. Taking a break from the responsibilities of caregiving to focus on your own wellness can significantly improve your health and emotional well-being. So, if your body and mind are in need of a little soothing, find relaxation and self-care by indulging in respite music.
What Is Respite Music?
According to Merriam-Webster, respite is “an interval of rest or relief.” We can’t think of many things that provide respite and relaxation as well as music. Music that makes you feel good and recharges you is what we like to refer to as respite music. Devoting a short period of your day or week to playing a brief session of therapeutic music, even if only for five minutes, can support a caregiver’s mental and physical health by providing the potential for rest and relaxation, boosting your mood, and more.
How Music Impacts Our Body and Mind
Not only is music energizing and uplifting, its restorative powers have many soothing and therapeutic properties. Research has shown that rhythm is responsible for a lot of music's stimulating or soothing effects. If you want to unwind, listening to slow, calming music (between 60 and 80 beats per minute) can help you relax by matching the slower beat of your heart; on the other hand, the stimulating intensity of rock or electronica can cause an increase in heart rate.
Music has been shown to improve your mood by increasing dopamine and serotonin levels as well as benefiting your immune system by reducing cortisol levels (what’s often referred to as the stress hormone).
An easy way to alter a stressed or sad emotional state is to listen to joyful music that makes you feel good. Listening to a song that matches and reflects your present mood might feel incredibly validating if you're unhappy or have low energy. Gradually select songs that will help you transition from your current mood to your target one.
Singing for Wellness
Singing may be even more comforting and beneficial because it helps to enhance oxygen intake and vibrates your vagus nerve, connected to your vocal folds. Singing and humming calms the nervous system through the vagus nerve, which stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, your “rest and digest” system. The vagus nerve also stimulates your heart muscles, where it assists to lower resting heart rate along with the digestive tract, which aids food movement through your stomach.
Use singing and respite music as daily acts of self-care. Our guide to respite music below can help support your health and well-being.
The SingFit Guide to Respite Music:
Begin with a song that reflects your current emotion and then slowly modulate the music toward livelier or soothing tunes to work your way toward your ideal mood.
Sing along to your favorite songs! To assist failure-free and soothing singing, use a therapeutic music app like SingFit STUDIO Caregiver. You can use this app in your caregiving relationship or just for yourself.
Turn on a dance playlist and move to the music like no one is watching.
Focus on your breathing. Find a song that sounds relaxing and then take ten deep breaths into your belly with the music.
Choose a happy song to start your day as a small act of self-care first thing in the morning.
For 5 minutes, find a calm area. Play a song and listen closely to it without judgment. Music can be a source of mindfulness when listened to with care.
Pick up a musical instrument and start playing. Egg shakers or a small drum require no prior experience and can be extremely gratifying.
Sing a song while doing everyday activities like cleaning, driving, bathing or working for some respite music on-the-go.