Updated: Aug 11, 2022
The practice of self-care has dramatically risen in popularity in the 2020s. The buzzword term has rapidly taken over the internet, fueled by the mental health challenges we’ve faced as a result of the pandemic, the economy, politics, and over doom we’ve, and the marketing companies who joyfully snatched it up as the justification for customers to buy X Y and Z self-care product. Today, however, I aim to explore what self-care means at its core. And furthermore, how self-care can actually help voiceover artists give better performances, and self-care practices benefit voice actors specifically. I believe we all can benefit from self-care. That is why I want to do a deep dive today into what the fundamentals of self-care are, and how they affect a voice actor’s performance.
What is self-care? What makes self-care rejuvenating?
Before we dive into the relationship between self-care and voiceover, let’s explore what self-care is first. Simply put, self-care is caring for oneself.
However, the term has been widely adopted by the wellness industry to market all sorts of products and treatments. The truth is, you really don’t need any ‘things’ to practice self-care. Everyone has their own definitions for the time and practices that help them practice self-care. Self-care can be choosing to eat healthily or allowing oneself to indulge a little, reading a book about self-development or a guilty pleasure romance book (if you’re like me) or sci-fi novel (if you’re like my partner). Self-care can be going to the gym or taking a rest day. I characterize self-care as a blanket term that describes the time and practices dedicated to helping us nourish and replenish ourselves, both physically and mentally.
As a Taurus, I have always revelled in the simple pleasures of life. Enjoying my cappuccino coffee from the warmth of my bed, going for a walk and stopping to actually smell the roses, listening to music with my heart. If you don’t believe in astrology please don’t be deterred, all I’m really saying here is that I’ve always been able to find great joy in the simple moments in life. The reason for this is, I have always found it easy to be present. Now, I’m not saying I always am present or that it comes naturally or easily to me anymore. The more stress and pressures life brings, the more challenging it is to be present. But I just have to work a little harder to let go. And I do, because I understand the importance of being present— it’s the only time we actually tangibly have, and there’s real beauty and peace in realizing that.
With that said, when it comes to defining what self-care is, I believe that the most important factor to consider when taking self-care time isn’t what activity we are doing, but our mindset during that time. Why the activity or practice itself is important is that it is the prompt that helps us get into that nourishing mindset. Maybe that steaming hot bubble bath is the environment you need to disconnect, let go, and be present.
Make the most out of your self-care time. Make sure you are recharging, not checking out.
So instead of listing a bunch of activities that might be considered self-care, since self-care is different for all of us and I’m sure you know what it means for you, instead I challenge you to ask yourself the following questions during your next self-care session:
Am I present?
Am I allowing my thoughts and worries to dissipate?
Am I letting go?
Am I practicing gratitude?
Am I at peace?
Regardless of the activity, even if you’ve just spent a trillion dollars on the most expensive spa treatment or superfood spirulina powder or fancy meditation subscription or your Peloton, if you aren’t in the right headspace, if you’re not letting go of your worries, your self-care efforts won’t be rejuvenating. When we let go and live in those moments, we can approach our problems in life from a fresh perspective and come to them from a more proactive place as we’ve given ourselves the time and space to detach, recharge, and decompress.
But what does self-care have to do with voiceover?
Ok, so we know a big part of self-care is improving our mental state. We also know that one of the biggest hindrances to a good performance is self-doubt. It is also unfortunately one of the most commonly practiced mindsets amongst us creatives. Whenever I coach my voiceover students, the first thing I encourage them to do is to let go of judgment. This is because, in order to act, we need to 1) be able to access our emotions easily and fluidly and 2) we need to be able to live in the moment in order to create a believable performance. This is exactly why having a clear state of mind is necessary to perform our auditions and jobs well. Cleaning up our minds takes time, but man is it worth it. Not only for the mental and emotional clarity it provides for our voiceover careers, but also for our overall wellbeing and happiness.
Let me know what you like to do to take care of yourself and reset mentally. Let’s share some self-care ideas and level up our voiceover careers while levelling up our downtime. If you’re interested to hear my thoughts on the physical components of self-care as it pertains to voiceover artists, stay tuned for next week's post!