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BWW Blog: Back to School - Beyond the Bath Bomb

BWW Blog: Back to School - Beyond the Bath Bomb

Self care displayed on social media looks a lot like this; face masks, bath bombs, a glass of wine, dessert...all small indulgences intended to pamper. And they are loads of fun. I do not deny that.

As a performer, where the only tool we have is our bodies, self care is of the utmost importance. But I am not talking about the aforementioned fragrant means of relaxation and #treatyoself.

I'm talking about basic human necessities.

I'm talking about dealing with sickness.

I'm talking about learning how to be kind to your body.

When you're in high school, you're invincible. You can eat fast food every day, you can survive off of 6 hours of sleep, and your body can handle excess amounts of activity. This lifestyle is not sustainable, especially as an aspiring professional performer.

Oh how I long for the days where I could eat whatever I want and not feel horrible in my 9am ballet class the next morning. I wish a bath bomb could take away that feeling.

But the truth is, as you get older and you start to develop your adult body, you have to treat it differently. And that's not a thing to dread or be sad about!

Once you start eating all the right nutrients, and drinking adequate amounts of water, and getting the proper amount of sleep, and taking your vitamins, you're going to feel happier and ready to conquer the world! Balance in your diet will lead to balance in so many other aspects of your life. This does NOT mean starving yourself, doing an all liquid juice cleanse, or cutting out entire food groups (unless medically necessary). Balance means everything in the amount that is appropriate for your specific needs. Performers are athletes, so treat yourself as such and don't be afraid to talk to a nutritionist to learn about how to best care for your body!

Another important self care area to explore, is how to take care of your voice. As an actor and a singer, our voice is a HUGE asset. Steaming, hydrating, resting, and knowing how to properly warm up are all so crucial to your vocal health. Make sure you talk with your voice and speech teachers to make sure you're not harming yourself, and let them guide you.

What we want in a career is longevity. Give yourself every opportunity for success by giving your body the love it deserves. This includes mental health. There is no shame in asking for help or talking to a counselor when you're feeling overwhelmed. Campuses often have a therapist, who are there to specifically help college students. Take advantage of that. An actor's business is the portrayal of emotion and humanity. It's important to be of a stable mindset before setting forth to do that work.

I am by no means a nutritionist, a psychologist, a doctor, or a teacher. I just know that I wish I would have known which questions to ask in terms of self care when I was a freshman. These are all vague concepts. Ask questions, talk to specialists and your mentors who know so much more than I do. The biggest advice I can give is to take advantage of the resources around you to learn as much as you can, because you're already paying for it! All that tuition money is going into the pockets of all of these fabulous teachers and specialists on your campus. USE THEM.

Side note: Everybody is different, so what you need to be your best is not exactly the same as your classmates. Remember that when you inevitably find yourself comparing your lifestyle to those around you.

This only hits the tip of the iceberg, and I could go on and on about the importance of self care, but that would be a novel and not a blog.

Just remember that the most important thing is your health. Not rehearsal, not a show, not your classes, not your homework...your health is priority.

In college you want everything to be instant. But my father tells me all the time:

It's a marathon. Not a sprint.

If you don't take care of yourself, you won't be able to run the race.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Leslie Walker

Leslie Blake Walker is rising senior at the Hartt School of Music, Dance, and Theatre. Though born and currently stationed in Las Vegas, she grew (read more...)

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