You have to put yourself on work restriction to replenish!
Going and going and going and more going! Does the daily work ever end? NO! But, you have to put it on pause to catch a breather. If you don’t, your body will remind you why rest is needed.
I wake up, lay in bed to think about the million things I have to do for the day. Then, OH I’m running late! Shower time, find an outfit. It’s cold out so I need to layer up. Where’s my gloves? Found them. Do I have my keys? Already packed them. Wait…Metro card!
Out the door and on to the awesome MTA Subway ride. Fighting for a seat, or even a space, is a tiresome task in itself, but the joys of reaching my destination helps to forget about the commute aggravation.
On the to office to update websites and do a little writing/editing work in between. AND managing the magazine, answering emails. Lunch time, gotta get back on the train to hit an audition. Back to the office to finish the day.
Then, evening rush hour. Another fight on the train. Wait, I have to eat. Do I have food at the house? Nope, forgot to go grocery shopping. Stand in a long line with other annoyed 9-5ers with kids running around. Uggh I just want to go home!
Time for winding down? Absolutely NOT, gotta hit the computer to finish the tasks set for the day. Of course, here comes a curve ball….This goes on until about 3AM and get a few hours of sleep before its time to wake up and do it all over again.
Who can manage a healthy life with all of this?!?! I know I can’t. However, my body stepped in, and took control. Control in the sense of shutting down. Fatigue, headaches, stomach pains, and even a little memory loss. Feeling overwhelmed and tired before I could get out of bed, was the body’s way of saying…Chick, you’ve GOT to slow down and take care of me. I do my Self-Care Sundays…okay I’ll admit I’ve slacked off.
All of this to say, when you’re going 500 miles a minute, you can’t make this a daily habit. To remedy the results of burnout, I have to readjust my time management. Along with sneaking in some self-care and yoga/meditation in between to silence my mind. I have many things on my plate (not complaining, I LOVE it), but I am in my 30s, and no normal human can unction like this without properly resting.
Here’s a few ideas to kick-back and relax the mind and body:
(Yes, I need to take my own advice. Let’s do this together!)
Watch a funny show or movie. Laughter IS the best medicine. It releases the pains of whatever has “grinded your gears”; clearing the mind of bad thoughts. Laughing out loud can help cure any bad day. My shows of choice, Frasier, Schitt’s Creek, Paternity Court (they have hilarious episodes), Golden Girls, and just about any reality show you can find!
Rest in Silence. Turn off your TV, phone, computer, and your MIND. Stop thinking so much. I tend to overthink EVERYTHING. Creating outlandish scenarios that never happens all because of past experiences, or just my mind running away from me. Thinking too much causes stress, and doesn’t help when you need to focus on work. Just calm down and into space for a few minutes.
Self-Care. Soak your feet in Epsom salt to release the toxins of traveling through the city by foot, or give yourself a much needed facial. Anything that will take care of your body. Pampering yourself is a good key in relaxing. Take care of your body, and it’ll take care of you.
Don’t allow others to pressure you to rush. Yes deadlines are important, but some things can wait. Just because the other party is on a quick timeline (or like to appear go be. Honestly, they’re fumbling to get themselves together as well), doesn’t mean you have to run yourself crazy. Set up your calendar to follow-up when its convenient for you. There’s nothing wrong with a few calls going to voicemail. Prioritize what’s important, and what can wait until you’ve had time to clear your mind.
Limit your time on “the media”. Whether you know it or not, social media kills your expectations and goals for yourself. By constantly scrolling through other’s success stories or tales of having it all together, you feel the pressure of not working hard enough. I read a good meme once, it said: “Don’t let the internet rush you.” Newsflash, nobody has it all together. So what if they’ve accomplished a goal that you’re working towards. Their shine doesn’t dim your light, nor take away from your final destination. YOU WILL GET THERE ON YOUR TIME! Also, scrolling through timelines, only takes away from your own working hours and relaxation time.
Breathe. Take deep breaths in, and slowly exhale.
Ask yourself, did you RELAX today?
Accomplishment: My first New York Stage Play.
I set many goals in moving here. I didn’t want to move to a new place and fall into doing the same things I did back in GA. In moments of trying to elevate yourself, you have to take the opportunities as they come. One opportunity I had my eyes on was hitting the stage in the NYC theater scene. To conquer a stage in the city known for performing arts, Broadway, and theater galore, I needed to challenge myself in this arena to see if I had the chops to do the work and execute successfully.
Submission after submission, audition after audition; I landed a role in the stage play Precious Metals: Beauty in Brokenness. This play centers on women and their stories of overcoming hardships, addiction, and finding the beauty within. All the while creating a sisterhood of support showing that no matter what we go through in life, there’s always someone out there who can relate, understand, and help you heal. The play was written by C.E. Harrison and directed by Tabitha Matthews. The play did its run for the NY Summer Theater Festival at the Hudson Guild Theater.
In the beginning, I almost didn’t make it in the cast. Life happened, dealing with my obstacles of the constant adjustment to New York as well as other areas that weren’t going right. I felt down and defeated. But luckily when God has a plan for you, there’s no way to venture away from that plan and purpose. I thought I’d missed the audition deadline and one day an email came in saying that I was able to still submit my video. I took that second chance and worked tirelessly to create the best audition tape to submit. Hours of setting up the camera phone, doing different takes, and trying to remember what I need to say.
After packaging up the finished product, I submitted and let it be. That’s one thing I’ve learned in the audition process. Once it’s done, you have to let it go and let it be.
About a week or so later, I receive the news that I was cast as the character Winsome in the play. Winsome is a young woman, feeling abandoned and abused by her mother Loretta. But after growing and learning, she realized that she missed out on so much love, fun, and the beauty of life with her mother who died at a very young age.
Working full-time, finishing a book, studying lines, rehearsing the lines can be a lot! But I felt that as long as I stayed committed to the process, it would pay off. I needed this exposure to the NYC market. Being that this was something I’ve always wanted to break into, I couldn’t let myself or anybody involved with the production down. Throughout rehearsing, I was able to challenge myself with learning various monologues while placing different emotions, pulling from other emotions, and taking lessons I’ve learned from different acting classes. It was a great process as my cast mates and team were very supportive and fun to “play” with. I was able to build relationships that I feel will last a very long time. Along with building my acting brand with this new credit and the overall acting experience which can/will take me to higher levels.
With three shows, I was very nervous about how this was going to play out. Will people understand my character? Will they even like me? Will I remember my lines? EVERYTHING was racing through my mind. For opening night, the crowd really came out to support the show which added to the nerves, along with judges from the festival. There was a time when I had a mini-meltdown backstage as I was the last one to come out. The wait got to me, stepping into the unknown. However, once I stepped out on stage, feeling the energy I knew I was READY! My preparation paid off! After the show, I received so many compliments from strangers giving me kudos on my performance. This was really helpful as my family and friends weren’t able to be there that night. Second show was a breeze, I was able to just let go and have fun. The crowd loved it and it set us up for closing show. For the closing show, I had friends from GA and my NYC friends in the crowd. This was their first time seeing me in this element and I wanted them to be proud of me.
Afterwards, I felt such a relief however it was bittersweet because the journey was complete. We ended on a high note, and I was able to share it with my loved ones.
Being part of Precious Metals only amped me up to do more. Although I’ll miss the dynamics of my first NYC stage fam, I’ll always take the lessons and the joy with me. Now I KNOW I was born to do this. I can officially change the title from “Aspiring Actress” to “Actress”.
E. Alexcina Brown
I just like to write and create stuff. These are the diaries of how I'm living in NYC with sprinkles of life lessons I've learned along the way!