• Stephen Chatfield

Downtime

Downtime, relaxing, taking a break, a list of things to do before your next big project. Whatever way you look at it it's as important as the money you earn, taking that time for yourself in order to unwind and process everything going on around you, especially in the modern world we live in.

A world where we're bombarded by social media, politics, news outlets and even our own thoughts on a daily basis. A large majority of people don't sit and let themselves process that information.

As an actor I struggle sometimes; especially when a character I may be playing has such an interesting life. I have a day job which most mornings I don't want to wake up to as I simply see little point int it, besides making a living. Not necessarily in a negative way but logically it does not push me toward my life goals outside of that monetary prospect.

So for myself downtime can be hard as keeping that balance between social, work life, family and acting isn't easy. Most nights I'll be working on voice work until the early hours of the morning, not because I'm rolling in work as if that were the case this blog would likely not exist. But because my head is always within that creative space and it can get a little depressive when I've auditioned and not got a part, or angry when unpaid jobs by large studios pop up paid in "exposure" usually with directors who should know better, but I'm getting off topic. I force myself to take regular time out, a lot of this year has in fact been just that - but I don't regret doing so, my brain has needed that break.

The first few days are usually quite hard, I'm quite restless and won't know what to do but eventually my mind eases somewhat and I can look back and think "actually I'm content" or not in some cases which is fine but I've allowed myself the time to come to that conclusion. If your mental health is not on point or at least managed you tend to repeat the same cycles and similar mistakes.

I sit and meditate for a few minutes, clear my thoughts of the day and practice mindfulness where I can - not necessarily toward others but more toward myself, since doing so I have been quite surprised by the outcomes of those days and my well being it better for it. I realise this has been a bit of a ramble but the main point I'm trying to make is this - look after yourself.

Don't live in your own head too much. As human beings we all do far too much of it. Don't be scared of that downtime if things are too much at the moment, it's okay to take that time out.


Be more cat! Or any animal really, they're a lot more relaxed.

As always have an amazing week

Bravster/Stephen

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