Self-care for the actor means an increase in stamina. If you’re in it for the long-game, you’ve got to have stamina.
Because we are our instruments, practicing self-care for the actor is crucial for optimum performance. The older I get, the more I understand that self-love isn’t necessarily about pampering yourself (although that counts too!) It’s also about doing things you don’t feel like doing because you know they are good for you. Sometimes I play a little trick on myself when I don’t want to do something – I’ll tell myself I’m doing a favor for my future self. Even if that’s getting the coffee pot ready before I go to bed and setting a timer when I’m super exhausted. When I think of it as something kind that I’m doing for my tomorrow-self, it’s easier to muster up the energy to go that little extra mile. As an acting coach, I talk to students a lot about self-care because we are our instruments and it’s important to take care of your instrument. Here are some ways you can give yourself a little love all year long.
I can’t encourage this enough. There are so many reasons to meditate and even though it can be difficult to begin a regular practice, your future self will thank you for doing this work.
Go To Bed Early
Or let yourself sleep in! Rest is so important for our bodies to be able to self-heal from everything we put them through. Personally, I find when I’m sleep deprived my mental health suffers greatly. I sleep for my sanity.
Cutting out sugar, or whatever else might make you feel sluggish, is a wonderful gift you can give yourself. Put more fresh fruits and veggies in your body — food is medicine!
Get Rid of Stuff
Taking the time to clean out your closet or organize your desk is an act of self-love. Again, think about how grateful your future self will be when you take the time to de-clutter. It’s magic.
Sing In The Shower
Seriously, it will raise your vibration. Try it and I dare you to write me and tell me it didn’t make you happier.
Sometimes self-love looks like drawing boundaries and taking things off your plate. You can’t show up 100% for everyone and everything. If you’re not sure what you should be saying no to, think about what you want your future to look like and ask yourself if the things on your plate align with the trajectory that is going to get you there.
Ask For Help
If you’re struggling with addiction, depression, anxiety, fatigue – seek help from a friend or (better yet) a professional. Admitting that your life is falling apart and giving yourself the gift of receiving help from others is one of the greatest acts of self-love that I can think of.
Invest In Yourself
For actors, that may look like taking a class, new headshots, producing a piece of footage for your reel, an account with Actors Access or Backstage, or even getting a new haircut and some highlights. Whatever your profession or passion might be, spend the time and money to invest in you. Practicing self-care as an actor is a way to demonstrate to yourself and the Universe that you have value and you believe in yourself. When you commit to self-care as an actor, you are adding value to your instrument.
Bubble baths and home facials are lovely, and you should give yourself those things if they bring you joy. But I challenge you to think of things that might be a little bit more difficult to do, but will pay off in the long run by helping and supporting the future you. I hope each day of your life is filled with acts of self-love. When we know how to be loved, we get better at knowing how to love others, too.