5 Self-Care Techniques that Will Better Your Acting Career

A career in acting can be grueling, to say the least. The insane hours, constant rejection, the and psychological strain that stems from an utter lack of job security will eventually take it’s toll. Whether you’re soldiering through a relentless schedule on set or hustling to snag endless auditions, burn-out is right around every corner.But guess what? That’s not an option for actors! Burnout not only takes valuable time away from actually acting, it makes you look exhausted and strained, which is generally not your best side on camera.

Below are a few things you can do to keep you healthy, strong, and ready for your close up.

  1. Exercise. I know, I know. Who has the time? But it truly is important to make time for a decent exercise routine. It boosts energy levels, keeps you fit, and helps maintain a healthy mind-body balance. Those handy endorphins also help stave off the crushing depression and self-loathing that haunt actors like dumpster kittens behind a seafood restaurant.
  2. Eat Well. Cultivating healthy eating habits has obvious on-camera benefits. But this is about more than helping your 6 pack abs game. Proper nutrition, like exercise, keeps you strong emotionally and physically. It will up your endurance and speed up recovery time when the going gets tough.
  3. Schedule Breaks. (And Stick to Them)! I am the biggest offender here. I know how hard it is to say no to work, any work. I have given up more days off, holidays and planned excursions than I can count in order to take on one more project, squeeze in one more rehearsal. Part of that is just an actor’s lot. But know your limits. Eventually, you will have to say no to some things in order to give other projects your best work. Make sure to schedule time here and there to get out of the city, visit family, go on a picnic, or whatever clears your head and grounds you. Don’t wait until it’s too late and you crash and burn into actual sick days. Plus, taking time to experience life will make you a richer, more well-rounded actor.
  4. Make Time for People that Matter. It’s so easy to put loved ones on the back burner when you get busy. It’s easy to think you can catch up with old friends later, when things aren’t so crazy. But here’s the things. Your life will never not be crazy. Making time to cultivate meaningful relationships is crucial to your health and your career. First off, you’ll just be a better, more grounded version of yourself if you do. You need a solid support group in this business. It’s also important to remember that we are in the business of reflecting life, and being an active part of the relationships in your life will give you more honest fodder for your portrayal of the human experience.
  5. Cheat. No one can be perfect all the time. You’re going to need a pressure valve to let off steam. Find whatever that is—chocolate cake for breakfast once in a while, taking yourself to the movies, having a girls’ late night out dancing—if you break the rules in moderation, you’ll be less likely to snap and make poor decisions like jumping on the vodka train the night before a big audition. Find ways to reward yourself here and there. If you feel like you’re worth it, you’ll take better care of yourself, and your career.

Taking care of yourself is not frivolous. Frankly, it’s just good business. To survive and thrive in this career, you need to bring your A-game, physically, mentally and emotionally. That means putting in time on camera and off.

 

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Rachel Rachel Frawley is an actor living in Atlanta. She holds a B.F.A. in Theatre from Michigan State University (with cognates in Music and Professional Writing) and is an Apprentice Company graduate from the Atlanta Shakespeare Co. She also works as an education artist for local theatres, which have included the Shakespeare Tavern and Aurora Theatre. For more information, visit her website at www.rachelfrawley.com

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