As an actor, you have a lot of stuff on your to-do list. Between classes, auditions, mailings, bookings, job, and life you may find it hard to carve out any time to take care of yourself because no two days ever look the same. But the truth is that your body, mind, and emotional health make up your instrument. To take care of your instrument, a self-care practice is a must!
One of the best ways to make sure you get in some “me time” every day is to set up a healthy morning routine.
The goal is to fit this in every day, even if that means going to sleep and getting up a little earlier. In my own experience, I feel so much stronger, focused, and ready to tackle whatever the day holds when I stick to my morning routine. Of course, some days don’t go quite as planned and I skip it. Life happens! But I encourage you to get in the habit of taking care of yourself first thing before you let the rest of the day in.
To give you some ideas about how you can start creating habits that will keep your instrument happy and healthy, I'm sharing my own morning routine. Feel free to take it as your own, make tweaks that work for you, or create something totally new!
1. Wake up and drink water.
I usually get up at 6 a.m. every day and the first thing I do is drink a full glass of water. Sleep is dehydrating, so this is a quick and simple way to give my body what it needs first thing.
2. Make your bed.
It might sound strange but making my bed every day makes me feel good. This University of Texas commencement speech from a Navy Seal puts this task into perspective.
3. Yoga, stretching, or breathing.
I started doing a 15-minute yoga stretch routine every morning and now I don’t know how I survived without it. The deep breathing and gentle movements ease my body into the day and energize me like no cup of coffee ever could.
4. Take time to meditate.
Taking a few minutes to listen to what’s going on in my mind and body has become essential for me. I like doing a Qigong standing meditation which sounds very fancy but is actually pretty simple and easy to learn.
5. Make sure to move.
This is a must for me. If I don’t exercise before my day starts, I probably won’t have the time or the energy to do it later in the day. And if I don’t exercise for a few days in a row, my overall energy dissipates and it turns into a vicious cycle. Conversely, if I check this off in the morning, my energy levels are up and I feel strong and capable, a great way to start the day!
6. Eat a healthy breakfast.
As soon as I’m back from my workout, I put on the coffee and prepare breakfast, usually a protein smoothie or a piece of Ezekiel toast with peanut butter and a little fruit. Food is fuel, so feed yourself something nourishing!
7. Read something inspiring.
While I eat breakfast, I sometimes pull out an inspiring book and read a few lines to help me stay focused and positive.
8. Set goals.
As I finish my coffee (okay, sometimes I grab a second cup), I write down my goals for the day and take a look at how they jibe with the goals I set for the rest of my week.
9. Apply moisturizer and sunscreen.
Before I head out the door, I always make sure to moisturize and apply sunscreen. Gotta take care of your skin, right?
Did you notice that I didn’t mention “check my emails, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat”? My goal is to do my morning routine unplugged. I feel so much more in control and positive when the first part of my day is devoted to listening to my inner voice and not all the virtual chatter on social media.
Take some time for you every morning; what’s good for you is also good for your instrument. And you deserve it!
*This post was originally published on Dec. 4, 2017. It has since been updated.
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