Why go to a weekly choir?

Let’s be honest, how often do we feel completely overwhelmed with everything that we have to tackle in our lives? As women living in today’s world we have more choice than our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers could have ever wished for!

In times gone-by women had less options; motherhood, and perhaps one career if their lives panned out that way. Now we live in an age where we have the options to choose; To work, or stay at home with the kids. To study later on in life and change career, to become self employed, to even have multiple jobs and carry on with the already full-time job of being a parent and a partner and keeping the house in a state that resembles something acceptable! Choice is a wonderful thing and we should (and do) embrace it but does it come at a cost?

The pressure to be ‘Super-woman’ is now compounded by the social media that surrounds us. Wherever we look there seem to be other people living the perfect life; Sunny holiday snaps with bronzed legs and freckled-faced angelic looking children playing perfectly in the surf; meals out with their partners at restaurants you’ve not even heard of (and frankly if you had, you couldn’t afford to eat there); award winning entrepreneurs cleaning up at the latest ceremony that you didn’t make the shortlist for; you get the general idea! Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and the like show us all in our best light (and most of the time it’s not even real light) and rarely to get a glimpse into the real people that are living very similar lives to us! How often do we post the pictures of ourselves with the double chin or the spot so large you’re sure it has it’s own spinal column? Never - because then people might actually see us for who we are! That is doubtful, jealous, scared and frankly knackered individuals! Behind the smile that we post to the universe is quite often a person that is struggling with a troubled teenager, lack of sleep, a demanding boss, a large overdraft or a partner who doesn’t support them. We are all just doing our best but life’s not all a bed of roses; sometimes you get a custard pie in the face!

How do we find the time to prioritise ‘me’? The budget isn’t large, the time isn’t plentiful and the opportunities are not abundant but there has to be some way of making ourselves feel better! Mixed anxiety and depression are the most common mental health problems in the UK currently. With depression causing feelings of guilt and low self worth it is easy to see how we can feel this way whilst trying to juggle all that life throws at us. ‘I’m not as good as them.’, ‘I don’t have enough money.’, ‘I have no time to spend with the kids.’, ‘I can’t afford a holiday this year.’... all of these thoughts are whirring around our heads and sometimes we need to find a way of making them shut up for a little while. So find the thing that makes you happy. Get out and DO that thing... it’s like going to the gym; you don’t necessarily want to go but once you have you feel so much better that you did! You will certainly feel much better than staying home scrolling through Facebook!

It is now becoming much more widely recognised that singing as part of a group can do wonders for your health. Singing in a choir can boost your mental health and this has been proven time after time of late in studies around the world. The findings of these studies could help contribute to a low cost treatment to improve people’s well-being, researchers suggest. Singers have shown that the sense of belonging and time to be amongst like-minded people have helped them battle low mood and anxiety. Time away from their day to day busy lives; time to be themselves. It seems that particularly women can suffer with a loss of identity as adults. They become known as ‘John’s wife’, ‘Sam’s Mum’ or ‘Sarah’s boss’ and lose out on who they were before all of these roles took over their life.

Choir gives everyone a time to find that person again! Singing together also has been shown to create a strong bond amongst people, learning a new skill (even if you are not the strongest singer) boosts self esteem, confidence and the feel-good hormone oxytocin. Singing also helps to oxygenate your blood - improving circulation, enhances the immune system, clears the sinuses and reduces snoring!

If you feel like you could do with a bit of ‘me’ time pop along to: www.onevoicegleeclub.co.uk and enquire about coming along to a class. You will be made most welcome by our lovely members and myself! It is fully inclusive and open to all! Men and women, young and not-quite-so-young! Come along and see what you can get out of a good sing-song! You might surprise yourself!

Claire x


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