Most people are busy. Really busy. We live in fast paced world where self-care can take a back seat to everything else. As self-employed voice-over artists and entrepreneurs, we are focused each day on climbing to the top of our massive to-do list. Sadly, by the time we accomplish even fifty percent of what’s on the list, we are running on empty. However, this lifestyle is not unique to voice-over artists. We’re not alone. According to a New York Times article called, “How to Recognize Burnout Before You’re Burned Out,” a recent Nationwide survey found that 50% of respondents claimed to be consistently exhausted because of work, as opposed to only 18% two decades ago. Personally, I’m hearing some sirens going off. To me, this is alarming.
Becoming a successful voice-over artist takes stamina. We can’t afford to burn out. As the old adage goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Well, voice-over careers are also not built in a day. My accountability partner, Heather Costa, and I often have to remind each other to think of our careers as a marathon, not a sprint. If we take off running each day at top speed, we won’t be able to keep that pace long enough to reach our goals. We make a conscious decision to actually reduce the number of boxes to put on our daily task lists. The result is that we end up working (and acting) from a place of being grounded, focused and relaxed. We create a schedule that is realistic and has space for self-care.
Now that we’ve created some space in our schedule for self-care, what do we do with it? Some of us are so busy, that the thought of self-care is a completely foreign concept. It’s difficult to know where to start. If the thought of taking time for your well-being seems overwhelming or impossible, start small. You’ll see a big difference in your health and your energy when you make even the smallest change.
Here are some suggestions:
-Make an effort to drink more water each day.
-Set an alarm to remind yourself to quit working at a designated time each day.
-Get more sleep by sticking to an earlier bedtime routine.
These are just three examples of small lifestyle changes that can have a big impact on your physical and emotional health, your vocal quality and your performances.
Another key component of good health, of course, is exercise. However, in a busy day full of deadlines and obligations, the necessity of exercise can often be overlooked. We often look at taking the time to exercise as a luxury, but it’s not. Voice-over artists spend the majority of their day behind a microphone or at a desk, being mostly sedentary, which means we must make a concerted effort to get moving in order to stay healthy.
Scheduling an hour to exercise 3-5 times a week can make a noticeable impact on our energy, self-esteem, and physical fitness. Again, it’s important to remember that small steps can also make a difference. If you don’t feel that you are in a position to exercise for an hour at a time multiple times a week, begin by making small lifestyle changes.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
-Set an alarm every thirty minutes to remind you to get up and stretch or walk around for a few minutes.
-Make a personal rule that any time you are on the phone, you are on your feet.
-Get a fitness watch and make a daily steps goal to keep you motivated and accountable. The general recommendation is to accomplish ten thousand steps per day.
Click here to view an article that will give you suggestions on how to get there!
In closing, I want to mention that prioritizing health and wellness does not come naturally to me. As a voice-over artist, entrepreneur and mother of three, I’ve definitely gone through periods of time when my health and well-being have been neglected. It’s something that I continually struggle with and work at. During the times that I get off-track, I remind myself that a little self-care goes a long way. I know that I’m a better voice-over artist and mother when I’m rested and healthy. So, I start small. Being an “A-Type” personality, I literally schedule health and wellness tasks into my work day. If it’s not scheduled, it doesn’t get done. The important thing is to figure out what is going to work for you and your lifestyle and commit to it.
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About the Author
Kelley caught the acting bug at the ripe young age of 8 and has been at it ever since. After finishing college with a degree in Theater Arts, she stepped into a vocal booth and felt immediately at home. With over two decades of experience behind her, Kelley brings a sense of approachable confidence and a playful wit to her reads. She is skilled at a range of styles, but is known for her authentic and genuine delivery. Her commercial & narration clients include Adidas, Suburu, Lean Pockets, Fisher-Price, American Greeting Cards, Target, Aquafor and Dell Computers to name a few. She also voiced Catwoman in Sony Online Entertainment’s Playstation game, DC Universe Online and has enormous experience as a narrator for eLearning courses. Kelley also has 10 years of experience as a line producer in the commercial industry, giving her a unique perspective on voiceover within the field of advertising. A few of her production credits include major brands such as Lowe’s, Nike, Purina, Kellogg’s and Anheuser-Busch. She finds coaching to be incredibly rewarding. Being able to share her enthusiasm and experience with students is a real treat.