Voice Actor Self Care Tips for Working From Home
In today’s world, more and more people are blending their personal and professional lives by having their homes double as their work offices.
While the shift to working from home may come with a whole lot of added convenience—no lengthy commute times, the privilege to never change out of one’s pajama pants—the more the boundaries between one’s personal and professional lives blur, the more difficult it often becomes to shut down one’s work brain for the day and find much-needed ‘me time.’
Voice actors are in a special position when it comes to working from home. Since a sizeable portion of the industry had already been recording voice over work from home studios—far before events like a global pandemic turned working remotely into the new normal—many voice actors have long been equipped with the tools and know-how to put in a solid work day from the comfort of home. For a number of voice actors, this has involved establishing self care routines to help preserve both their physical and mental well-being.
No matter the field you work in, it’s important to develop self care routines that work for you. Whether it’s at a professional recording space or nestled within a makeshift pillow fort, voice actors are familiar with the need to endure long sessions in front of a microphone.
For advice on routines and practices that can help us take better care of ourselves while we’re all at home, we turned to members of the Voices Insiders group to see how they keep their minds and bodies in check during these times. The Voices Insiders are a team of experts who share tips, tricks, and insights with talent to help them level up in their voice over careers!
Read on to discover suggestions from the Voices Insiders about how talent can juggle hard work with self care routines to remain clear-headed, healthy individuals while working from home.
Since voice acting can require a lot of sitting or standing in one place, our Voices Insiders make sure to emphasize how crucial it is to incorporate physical activity into their daily routines.
I do pilates regularly online! It helps keep me both fit and sane!
I work out about 4 days a week, at least that’s my goal!
Find a way to move your body that you enjoy! If you dread going to the gym to lift weights, try a cardio dance class. Or go for a bike ride.
I’m at the gym every morning at 5 AM for group training. I find group training important because it’s often the only time of the day I’ll interact with anyone other than my wife and pets in person.
If I feel stagnant in my work throughout the day I’ll do some pull ups to get my mind away from the microphone, but I don’t like doing exercise that will ramp up my heart rate because it’ll take some time before I get my breathing back to a point where I can be on mic again.
Simply spending some time outside is just as beneficial toward one’s well-being as exercise is. Getting fresh air on a daily basis makes a world of a difference for these actors.
Walking through a forest and breathing deeply. Or being near a body of water, and watching the waves.
I take a long walk every morning first thing for about an hour, and a short 10-15 minute walk each afternoon.
We are in the isolation booth and behind a computer for so many hours a day. Sometimes a quiet walk is all it takes to center my thoughts, recharge my energy, and bring a brightness to my voice.
Nothing clears your mind more than taking a stroll.
I walk in my neighborhood at least 45 minutes every day. I wander, because this is as much for my spirit as for exercise. I get to know my neighbors (even if from 10 feet away). It’s my Mister Rogers stroll.
While getting out of the house is helpful for separating work and private time, it’s just as important to kick back indoors for some reenergizing rest and relaxation.
Don’t be afraid to take a break. Tired Jesse equals a poorly auditioning Jesse.
Create a general structure for your day. I found that waking up at a certain time and structuring my day around a certain schedule allows my body mind and spirit to relax.
Relaxing in a tub with epsom salt and bubbles, with a great book.
As a mom, getting a solid night’s sleep isn’t always possible, but I try my hardest to go to bed early especially if I have a recording session planned for the next morning. Allowing your mind, body, and vocal cords to get the rest they need can make all the difference.
Voice acting requires a lot of focus. Many of the Voices Insiders told us that practicing mindfulness and meditation played a significant role in their well-being.
Meditation is amazing. I use the Breethe app on my phone to help me meditate. Once you get the hang of it, it can give you a real buzz when you get in the zone where your mind is completely clear.
I practice 30 minutes of mindful meditation every day after I get home from the gym. I find it very grounding.
Lately, I have purposed to take time in my day to pause for the little things, no matter if it’s looking at my daughter’s art, playing with my dog, or enjoying a great cup of coffee.
I end every day by listing three of my favorite moments from the day. They can be small. But acknowledging them is important.
Another way the Voices Insiders keep their spirits raised is through flexing their creative muscles from time to time.
I found several people online that are doing group sing-alongs or playing piano and singing one part of a duet. Singing makes me feel so good!
Making beautiful things manifest. Beginning a project and seeing it through to fruition.
I’ll set a 15 minute timer and write without letting the pen off the page.
Making Healthy Choices
As we all know, when you’re stuck at home all day, you can run the risk of slipping into some not-so-great habits. The Voices Insiders make deliberate choices that help them stay healthy.
I try not to pick or snack even though I am in the house more. It took me years to stop nervous eating so I don’t want to fall into it now.
I also kinda stopped binge eating, because I’m learning I don’t have to try to escape the moment I’m in.
I eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day to make sure I’m getting all my vitamins and nutrients.
I use an app on my iPhone which I program a recurring task list each day (Productive). This reminds me to take my medicine, vitamins, do my exercise routine, and meditate.
Preserving Vocal Cords
With general health comes vocal health. For professionals working in voice over, the importance of keeping healthy vocal cords in order to do the best possible job at the mic can never be undervalued.
I save the big meals for dinner when I’m finished recording for the day.
Sounds cliché, but water, water, water! Vocal cords need to stay hydrated, but a lack of water can also lead to headaches.
Get out of your studio/booth/closet/blanket fort and go do something different for an hour or two. The auditions will still be there when you get back and you’ll be in a better headspace to read ‘em.
Do you have any special self care tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!