2018 has been such an exciting year of change for the entertainment industry. But, like in recent years, we have seen an alarming amount of death of our industry colleagues due to overdoses, suicides, and illness. Anyone who has worked in this industry even for a few months knows how grueling, unforgiving, and just plain hard it can be to thrive and even survive. Many of us struggle with depression, drug addiction, and poor quality of life in general.
But we stay, and put our minds, bodies, and souls through the ringer because of the immeasurable love we have for our art. And it’s not just worrying about where the next paycheck is going to come from. Working long hours at a job you hate so you can create in your free time causes the stress to build. It’s the physical and emotional toll of working those long hours, missing holidays and special occasions with friends and family, and all of the many sacrifices that can accumulate.
Like so many of you, I too have experienced battles with depression, anxiety, and self-confidence. I have always considered myself a happy and confident person in most areas of my life, but upon moving to Los Angeles and building a new life and a new business from scratch, I found it all to be incredibly difficult in the beginning. The lowest points of this journey of mine have been financial hardship, weight gain, and a myriad of other health problems that I developed.
This month I wanted to share some of the things I have been doing/focusing on to not only improve the things that needed fixing in my life, but to help me grow into the loving and accomplished person I had always dreamed of being.
Know Your Worth
I never understood how much my low self-esteem effected my life until I started really taking a look at myself. There was a reason I wasn’t getting the jobs I wanted or dating the people I wanted to date. I was giving off this vibe that I wasn’t the right person for those jobs and people because deep down I didn’t believe I deserved them.
When I hit my emotional rock bottom I found myself seeking help from two incredibly helpful sources: 1) google and 2) Matthew Hussey. One night I googled “how to improve my self-esteem” and one of the first searches was an article from Psychology Today. The article was incredibly eye-opening and one particular part that changed my whole mentality was point number 8: Remember that you are not your circumstances. I had to stop comparing myself to other people because they had something that I didn’t have. If I wanted to be a badass music supervisor, a few dress sizes smaller, and a world traveler, I had to show myself that I could make these things possible in my life. Needing some tools to keep this new mentality intact, I turned to British dating coach Matthew Hussey. Matthew’s advice is focused on encouraging women to set their standards, be confident, and have a fulfilled life. The majority of his advice does pertain to dating but the tools he shares can be applied to all areas of your life. You can check out his YouTube channel here.
Stress is a normal part of life and everyone has different stress triggers. Sometimes, stress serves as a useful tool in motivating us to overcome certain things or situations. But long-term stress can really take a toll on your physical and emotional state.
A few years ago, I was working at a job that was so stressful, I would get severe headaches, upset stomach, and stopped sleeping. I developed severe knee pain from sitting all of the time and got so bad at one point I had to work from home. I knew if I didn’t make a change my body might get to a point where there was no going back. I finally quit my job that was so bad for my health and also made me severely unhappy. I focused more on building my business, started sleeping more, started exercising regularly and focused on nutrition. I also carved out more time for connecting with my family and friends. I learned to not worry about the things that weren’t in my control and focused on all of things I could improve myself. I also made it a point to take at least one day for myself, doing something that makes me happy, inspires me, or helps me recharge my batteries.
Life Is for Living
You’ll find in Los Angeles that most people have multiple jobs. Having a jam-packed schedule doesn’t leave much time for preserving hobbies and sometimes relationships. As many of you know, it can get incredibly hectic working on productions. I also have to admit I am a bit of a workaholic. I absolutely love what I do and tend to get lost in my work. Sometimes it takes someone else to pull me out of my office. I’m lucky to have incredibly understanding friends and family that keep tabs on me and remind me to take a break. As I have gotten older, I started prioritizing free time. But I don’t just mean hanging out with friends / family or catching up on “life” things. I mean making time to really experience things. I encouraged myself to try new foods, to go dancing, to watch something random on Netflix, to explore new places either around Los Angeles or around the world (when schedule permits), to venture to places where I can spark up conversations with complete strangers (and I don’t mean networking events!). Life is so incredibly short, and we were not meant to spend our precious time on this earth locked away in an office.
We’re coming up on my fifth year here in Los Angeles and I’m entering this next year of my life in better shape mentally, physically (although still a work in progress), and financially. It was all due to further developing a strong and loving relationship with myself.
So, this month, I want you to think about things you can do to show up for yourself. Whether you write it down, try something new that makes you feel good, or catch up with people in your life that you haven’t seen in a while. I encourage you to be showing yourself love on a daily basis. Try this for a solid 30 days and see what an incredible difference it makes in your life!