The entertainment industry is a hard field to navigate, and I am excited to be a part of The Media Chronicles to assist others along the way!
Stress: the best frenemy that always knows how to push your buttons and make you go one step too far. When positively managed, a little stress can go a long way. It can force you to be a more creative, healthier, extroverted version of yourself. However, let it boss you around for one second and you’re toast. Like a superpower to its newly fledged hero, stress can be channeled for good… or for evil. Whether you’re looking for a job or taking a lot onto your proverbial plate, here are some positive ways to manage the stress beast within:
Every time I hear this advice, I roll my eyes… but it’s true. If you are working on a tight deadline and have come to a block in the road, exercise can revitalize you, clear your head, and at the same time decrease stress to a manageable level. The key is to find exercise that actually works specifically for you, not just in general. People tried to convince me for years that yoga was the key to stress management, but between the chanting and the chakras (and sometimes the a cappella singing), my frustration with the new-age-ness of most teachers stressed me out even more. Now I only go to no-nonsense yoga or just run. Some may prefer educational classes such as kickboxing or dance where they can also socialize (see below). The key is to have patience and take the time to find out what exercise is best for you.
We really do get by with a little help from our friends (cue vomiting from over-corniness). If you’re dealing with stressful coworkers or a complicated project at work, schedule a lunch with a nearby friend, preferably one from outside your company. This will give you the time to vent, but also to remind yourself how big the world is outside your current problem. Getting you away from your desk distracts you from whatever is driving you insane, while giving you a chance to get your body some nutrients (don’t forget to eat!!). Plus, hopefully the friend you invite out is one that makes you laugh, some of the best medicine in my humble opinion.
I am pretty much the worst at this, but those who’ve mastered it swear by the ZZZ’s. Learn from my mistakes and don’t watch television, eat, or stare at computer screens less than an hour before your desired bedtime. Your best bet for nighttime activities is something low energy and somewhat repetitive. Flipping the pages of a good book is highly recommended, also knitting and drinking tea. Basically, anything your grandmother does—she knows best.
It’s also important to get enough hours and REM cycles. For the technologically inclined, check out the app SleepCycle. For the cheapskates out there that want sleep help for free, go to http://sleepyti.me/ to calculate your best bedtimes.
Learn Your No’s
This is probably the most important tool of all and too often is forgotten in the competitive world of entertainment. You are just one person. This is obvious to you, but often coworkers can forget this little detail. If you are working on three projects from three separate supervisors and someone wants to add a fourth, be honest. You can say no or at least ask for a longer timeframe. Chances are if you explain how heavy your load is, they will understand. Most supervisors would rather have a project executed well, than executed poorly on a shorter timeframe. Honesty from the get-go saves you from the later disappointment of supervisors.
Finding the difference between going the extra mile and going overboard can be tricky, but with these techniques, you should be able to walk that fine line that only the stress-capable can balance.