As actors, performers, or crew members out of work, you
likely went from fairly physically-demanding work to being stuck at home.
Everyone handled that differently. Some people leaned-into their pre-quarantine
routine and not much changed other than perhaps the location of their activity.
Others may have felt lost or depressed and didn’t move much at all. Yet others
succumbed to over-exercising as a way to get through the long days. It’s never
too late to make positive changes.
Let’s take a look at some ways to take care of your body:
Look at this time as a gift to take a true assessment of how
our body is really doing. If you have a job (boom or camera operator, for
instance), are exercising too much, or performing choreography that requires
repetitive motions day after day, there is a great risk of overuse injuries.
These range from breaks and strains to poor posture.
How are you actually feeling? Does your body feel
off-balance from doing things on only one side? Do you hunch over or notice
inflammation or pain in your joint areas such as wrists, knees, ankles? A good
step to take would be to see your primary care physician and/or a physical
therapist. An annual well-check from your physician should be a part of your
routine, and they can refer you to specialists such as physical therapy or
surgeons to help with issues from overuse. At-home you can focus on rest, flexibility,
and strengthening to bring balance back to your body.
Most of us in the industry are go-getters. Used to long
hours, late nights, and tough schedules, we push our bodies to the extreme! So
take this opportunity to get some well-deserved rest. Sleep, meditation,
relaxing with a good book, or having a movie night with your roommates or
family are good for the body and soul.
If you’re someone who struggles to have a consistent sleep
schedule or has chronic insomnia, take this time to work on sleep hygiene.
Sleep hygiene is a sum of factors that affect our sleep quality. This includes
the comfort of bedding, temperature, light, winding down, screen time, food and
beverages, scents, and more.
Here are some quick tips to sleep easier:
1. Set a time to start your bedtime routine
Most people would say set a bedtime, but that can rush the
process of winding-down which actually helps you to sleep. Instead set an alarm
to tell you when to start getting ready for bed.
That means turn off screens, brush your teeth/grooming, turn
down the lights, do any self-care such as reading for fun, rubbing in lotion,
having a cup of herbal tea, whatever relaxes you.
2. Set your bedroom up for success.
Make sure your bed is a sleep sanctuary, choose (within your
budget) a comfortable mattress, sheets, blankets, and pillows. Try to keep the
room cool (a suggested 68 degrees Fahrenheit or slightly cooler). Shut out
distractions including screens, noise, and other stimulating things from your
bed including work to do and clutter. Try a fan or white noise machine if
silence or jarring outside noises keep you up.
3. Create a regular wake-up time
Just like getting ready for bed at the same time helps you
get to sleep, starting your day at the same time will help you be sleepy at the
same time. This might be different than pre-COVID wake-up times, just be
consistent with your current needs.
4. Joyful Movement
In a time and physically demanding field, you might not have thought much about joy in movement before now but think back to how you played as a kid. Movement was fun, intuitive.
With all the exercise trends and requirements for work, you
may have forgotten along the way that movement can, and should, be fun! I
highly suggest learning to really listen to your body. This means recognizing
what will feel good today. Are you craving cardio, strength, stretching, or
rest? High-intensity with a sick beat or low-intensity flow? Is there a new
class or activity you’ve been dying to try? Why not do it now?
Of course, there are times when it’s good to push yourself
to get off the couch and move, but not every day. It’s good for our bodies to
have at least one rest day per week. This allows for muscle repair and helps
prevent overuse injuries.
In our next part of this series, we’ll cover mental and
emotional health during quarantine.
Credit : Article Sourced from Backstage