‘Prioritizing Mental & Physical Well-being In The Face Of Industry Pressures’: Q’s With Lina Ugrinovska

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Lina Ugrinovska, holding the hard-cover edition of her new book, “Passages of Interoception: Crafting A Purpose Into The Music Industry”.

Society in general, and this business in particular, has come a long way in overcoming stigmas around talking about one’s own mental (and physical) health on the job. During the lockdowns, many vowed to return with a more conscious focus on their own, as well as their teams’, well-being.

However, in the post-pandemic gold rush, most of the good resolutions seem to have been forgotten. At the very least, mental health concerns have been put on the back burner in order to focus on delivering an unprecedented amount of shows. Since there is no end in sight, it’s worth continuing vital conversations around the topic.

One live professional that’s been sharing her journey to inner peace while fully immersed in this fast-paced industry is Lina Ugrinovska, international booking agent, consultant, talent buyer, and CEO of her own agency, Banana & Salt. She’s now published a book about her journey to personal growth and professional success, which don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

The book is called “Passages of Interoception: Crafting A Purpose Into The Music Industry.” It is out now, and features a foreword from industry veteran Carl A H Martin. Given the nature of its author, the book will resonate particularly with professionals working in this business, but not just them. Pollstar reached out to Ugrinovska to find out more.

‘We Have To Put Physical & Mental Pain On The Same Level’: Talking Health With Lina Ugrinovska

Pollstar: In your own words, what did you want to achieve with the book?
Lina Ugrinovska: My primary goal was to share a personal narrative that resonates with individuals, especially those in the same industry. I aimed to provide insights into the transformative power of self-analysis and introspection, offering practical strategies for navigating the challenges of a demanding professional environment.

Ultimately, I sought to contribute to the conversation on prioritizing mental and physical well-being in the face of industry pressures and to serve as a real-time example for readers seeking a healthier and more balanced approach to both their personal and professional lives.

How does it differ from other book approaches to mental health in the music business, if at all? What is its unique angle or take on the subject?
This book recounts a personal journey of overcoming some so-called fixed mindsets, and highlights how our perspective evolves when we muster the courage to unveil hidden truths. Unlike clinical studies or guides on managing stress, it offers a firsthand account from someone within your industry.

What sets it apart is that I become the focal point — a model that I explore and delve into — illustrating the transformative influence of self-analysis, experienced through the lens of someone deeply immersed in the challenges of our profession.

Is it aimed at professionals working in the biz, behind the scenes, or artists as well? Who is the core target audience?
It’s crucial to note that this book is not limited to individuals within the music industry. People from various sectors and backgrounds, at different life stages, can discover a shared experience in the journey of self-conquest and navigating the world. The content within speaks to a universal audience, fostering a sense of connection beyond specific industries or professions.

Can you explain the title, specifically what Interoception means?
The title “Passages of Interoception,” is crafted to convey a key theme central to the narrative. Interoception refers to the internal perception and awareness of the body’s physiological signals and sensations. In the context of the book, it symbolizes the journey of self-discovery and introspection, where individuals navigate through their inner landscapes and emotional states. In essence, the title encapsulates the exploration of internal landscapes, the awareness of one’s emotional and physical responses, and the transformative journey that unfolds through these reflective passages.

The book comes at a crucial time. Most pledges to take mental and physical health more seriously once the business returned from lockdown seem to have been forgotten it the post-pandemic gold rush. Does this observation chime with your own observations? And how can your book help navigate this tough spot?
Despite the initial fascination with what mental health meant during the lockdown, and our efforts to prioritize our families, indulge in hobbies, and simply enjoy moments of tranquility, it appears that these commitments have been overshadowed by the escalating pace and stress levels.

From my perspective, the industry has reached an unprecedented level of demand. It’s unclear whether we consciously attempt to compensate for the time spent working at 50% of our optimal pace. Even the most accomplished runners don’t perform at their peak performance every single day. They strategically prepare to reach their peak on the day of the marathon. Why would they peak earlier and fail when the day comes? It’s a perspective worth considering.

Anything you would like live professionals, and everybody else reading this to know?
I want live professionals and everyone else reading this to recognize the importance of prioritizing mental and physical well-being in the world we navigate and to become more aware that that is a job no one can do for us, we have to do it ourselves. The book serves as a reminder that even in demanding industries, taking moments for self-reflection and self-care is not only essential but also transformative. It’s okay to acknowledge the challenges, and the journey towards a healthier work-life balance starts with understanding and valuing our own well-being.

More on the topic of mental and physical health in music:

How To Not Blow The Comeback: Q’s With The Co-Authors Of Sound Advice

Talking Mental Health On The Road With Tamsin Embleton

TPG & Suzi Green Launch Free Workshops On Sustainability, Mental Health & Diversity In Live

‘The Passion Can Actually Drive You Insane’: Interview With Psychologist Katja Mierke

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