There’s drumming for the love of music and rhythm, and then drumming for education or perfecting our craft. In truth, drummers have a million reasons for drumming and drumming has many mysteries to the non-drummer, but, there probably isn’t a person out there who can’t see how drumming is great for stressful times.
Did you get all of that? We’re a little stressed with all of this holiday business going on.
Stress is probably one of the most common reasons we reach for our drums. It doesn’t even matter if we have a drum set, a djembe, a cajon or a tiny set of desk drums. Our stress is relieved simply through pounding away on thin membranes with sticks or our hands. There is no greater feeling than what comes over us as we beat away on our beloved drums, tuning out the world, the angry voices (even the voices in our heads), the ridiculous slings and arrows that life directs our way. Drumming is a top-notch stress buster. And, we get to hit things.
It might be a little more complicated than that, but, at the end of the day, drumming is excellent therapy for those stress-filled days and nights. We even have evidence-based proof of the benefits of drumming for stress and anxiety. As drumming experts, we highly recommend everyone get a drum, and since the holiday season is the perfect time to invest in your mental health through percussion purchases, you, too can beat away the horrors of the holidays. Trust us… experts wouldn’t lead you astray, especially not during the holidays.
Until then, we’d like to give you a glimpse into how you can beat various holiday stress moments with your drums:
At work: With deadlines, end-of-year goals, and the general frenzy that a workplace can become, the stress of getting there in gridlocked traffic may seem the best part of the day. But, with a drum handy, not only can you process some of your stress at your desk, but, you can be sure that your “noise” will separate the “cool kids” from the rest of the cogs in the wheel and those cats are the ones you want to hang out with at the office holiday party (bonus points for drum circle excellence at the fete).
At home: You may be running yourself ragged, cooking up a storm, cleaning, fixing your house or decorating with the lightning speed of a Nor’easter. There’s no time for hot cocoa during the holidays when you’re deeply entrenched in getting ready for relatives and friends to visit, but, there is time to sit at your drum set and bang away while you determine the best placement for that crazy elf.
While visiting relatives: Nothing says “holiday spirit” than an annual trek across distant lands to see relatives that you try to forget the rest of the year. Spending time in someone else’s home reduces your need to keep things clean where you live, but, you’re also a captive member of the household for an unknown amount of time. Your best bet? Bring a cajon drum. Most people don’t know what they are (think “Trojan horse”) and by the time you’re sitting on the strange chair you’ve brought into their home (you always were the weird one), they can’t really make you or the drum leave.
Required equipment: A cajon drum and relatives who never “got” you in the first place.
Kids: For many, kids represent the spirit of the holiday season – and it can be heart-warming to watch a child’s level of excitement grow in anticipation of any presents coming his or her way. Then, there are those other kids who take “excitement” to a different level… or you may even just not care for anyone under the age of 21. However, no matter the kid, kids like drums… and shakers… and guiros… and anything that makes noise (sound familiar?). This is your chance to relate to a person on a whole new level, become god-like in their eyes as you encourage their love of rhythm and drumming, and give yourself some stress-busting moves at the same time.
For many, one of the best things about the holiday season is that it doesn’t last too long, and there is the rest of the year to deal with the normal stresses in life. However, until we get through the next few weeks, let’s all just promise to keep our drums close, and our stress-filled, enemies of personal wellness closer.