Friday, May 20, 2016

Acting Self Care: How to Unwind After a Long Day on Set

Acting Self Care: How to Unwind After a Long Day on SetActing all day, whether on stage or on set, can really take it’s toll on you mentally and emotionally. You’re on your feet, postured in often strange ways for long hours, while also having to place yourself in various emotional states can be exhausting. And you are going to need to make sure you are taking proper care of yourself so you don’t burn out. Here are some helpful tips:
  1. Stay hydrated. Keep a water bottle nearby and sip often. If you’re afraid of having too many trips to the bathroom, add a little sea/mineral salt to the water to absorb it better. Seriously, try it!
  2. Eat well. Avoid too much sugar or junk food. This drains the body of energy and causes you to peak and crash. You need maintainable energy. Choose natural snacks for energy like dried and fresh fruit as well as nuts.  After a long day on set, make sure to
  3. Breathe correctly. Most people breathe through the chest, when it’s important to breathe through your diaphragm. Not sure where you breathe from? Take a deep breath and see if your chest rises or stays neutral. A rising chest indicates you are not breathing from your diaphragm. The body translates this as a stress response and stress is then furthered. For deep relaxation after a long day on set or even during breaks, take some time to breathe correctly, calmly and deeply for anywhere between 1 and 20 minutes, depending on what you have time for. Try to make time for a longer chunk at the end of your day for best relaxation and better sleep.
  4. Limit your alcohol. Once you’ve had more than 1 alcoholic beverage, your body can’t get the sleep that it needs. Instead of resting and recovering at night, it will spend it’s time healing and processing the toxins. Go ahead and have a beer or glass of wine, but try to stop there and move on to a tea.
  5. Choose a good fiction book and dedicate 30 minutes every evening to letting your mind go totally free and let go the stress and focus of the day. Try to choose something that’s completely off theme of what you’re working through so your mind doesn’t start to zero in on your character or keep planning scenes.
With these basic steps, it will be ten times easier to unwind, decompress and even sleep better. In turn, this will help you to perform better and be able to turn off your busy mind at the end of the day. 
There are many ingredients to an actor’s success and this is just one. For more helpful tips, information and classes, visit us at the New York Acting School for Film and Television.

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