Self-care is a trending phrase and life choice that many people choose to participate in, designed to create a healthy environment for one’s self to deal with various factors within their lives.
Personally, I think self-care if a healthy practice, but for people in our industry, it may look drastically different compared to others. Advice or health blogs suggest self-care steps such as sleep when you are tired, meditate daily, meal prep, exercise for an hour every day, eat right, and more.
All great ideas, but not always plausible for people in our industry. How can we practice self-care when working extremely long hours, living off buses, jumping from show to show, meeting recording deadlines, and more? Here are some ideas that you can tailor into your daily self-care routine or develop one with.
Drink water – Start your day off with a large glass of water. Easy to do wherever you are and a healthy first step to any day to get you started on the right foot.
Bring your favorite snack – Already know your day is going to be long with limited breaks. Grab a few of your favorite snacks, preventing yourself from getting hangry and something you can look forward to in your busy day.
Exercise – It doesn’t have to be an hour; it can be 10 minutes. Challenge your coworkers to a plank challenge. Develop a 15-minute routine you can do anywhere consisting of pushups, sit-ups, squats, and jumping jacks.
Wear one of your favorites – A favorite shirt, shoes, socks, or even your favorite necklace. Wear it. Frequently we wear black, and that’s ok, but no one says you can’t wear a cute pair of earrings with your black clothes. Wear something you enjoy and do it for you.
Journal – When your day is done, instead of streaming social media until you fall asleep, write about your day. Journal your thoughts and feelings, let our some of the bottled-up emotions out, leave it on paper, and then move forward.
Take a minute for yourself – It’s ok to take a minute for yourself even on an extremely hectic day. Step away, regain your thoughts, make an action plan, and move forward. In the long run, taking that moment can help you so much more than not. If you absolutely can’t do this, then find someone who can help you. Send them for your favorite drink or to grab a plate from catering for you. Take that moment to make the rest of the day better.
Speak positively to yourself – We tend to be hard on ourselves and even worse on tough days. Change your inner voice and speak positively to yourself. Work on developing a new perspective to notice positive things first, then address the negative things striving to make them positive.
Take a moment to permanently solve a problem– If you are continually running into an issue as you jump from show to show or recording session instead of spending 10 minutes temporarily fixing it only to do it again tomorrow. Take that hour to permanently fix it. This will save you frustration and annoyance each day and is self-care. Finding permeant solutions to daily issues make it easier and is a benefit to you every day. This frees up time and energy for anything else that may pop up or could actually allow for you to take that deserved break.
If you find you cannot fit in any or enough self-care steps every day, then make sure to set aside a day or two for yourself each month. Take yourself on a movie date, shut off all electronics for a day, read something for fun, cook for yourself. Find something you enjoy that provides satisfaction and do it. Taking care of yourself means you will be able to continue taking care of everything, and everyone else you encounter each day. Self-care will look and feel differently for everyone. Find 2-3 things for you, so you can handle our crazy industry a little bit better every day.
Heather Holm: Based in Saint Paul, MN; Heather has held many positions in the sound, production, and events business. Most recently, as a Production Coordinator serving the Twin Cities area. She holds a BA in Broadcasting and Digital Media Communication and an MS in Organizational Change Leadership. Prior to taking a position with a private production firm, Heather has over seven years of working in higher education dealing with event logistics and production technology and has also been freelancing in the field for several years.