How Young Actors Can Avoid Burnout
For every actor, burnout is a serious concern. This is especially true for child actors who are often juggling school as well as auditions, training, filming, and more. For young performers, building a career in showbusiness while also working to build a future for themselves can seem like an insurmountable task. Burnout is characterized by a lack of creativity, fatigue, feeling overwhelmed, and not enjoying new opportunities that would usually be a source of fun and excitement. For many, burnout gets in the way of one’s love for their art and can be incredibly discouraging.
For parents noticing any of these traits in their children, it is possible to help them to feel more like themselves and nurture a love for acting again. Burnout can be scary for any person who is trying to build a career in a creative field, but it doesn’t have to mean failure. Here are some ways child actors can recover or avoid burnout.
Hobbies. When your creativity and sense of excitement is usually tied to your work, it’s important keep some fun things for yourself. Whether that means learning how to play an instrument, or learning a new language, drawing, sports, or any other activity, having something you enjoy doing that is separate from acting can help reinvigorate and act as an outlet for frustration.
Rest. While having hobbies can help fill the creative well, the physical well needs attention too. Getting a full night’s sleep is so important, as it can help improve focus and energy throughout the day. If an actor feels so bogged down with stress and work that they sacrifice their sleep, the problem will only worsen.
Exercise. The physical and the mental are linked. Just as sleep can improve energy, having regular physical activity can do the same. Getting your body moving daily is necessary for overall good health and can in turn improve sleep and give an actor a clearer mind to tackle any problems they might be dealing with.
Watch TV or films for fun. As an actor, most of your interactions with film are in the context of your career, but it’s important to remember what got you to love the craft in the first place. Turn off the studious part of your brain and just enjoy a good show or movie on your own, no strings attached.
Write or talk it out. Putting what you’re feeling into words can help you process any frustrations and work through your thoughts in a constructive way. Bottling up your feelings will only lead to more stress. Speak to a parent, friend, or even castmate. If you feel uncomfortable talking about what you feel, writing your thoughts in a journal can be helpful as well.
Take a break. This may seem like the scary option, but if you are truly burnt out and unable to enjoy your craft, the best thing to do may be to take a step away for a little while and allow yourself to recover. There is no shame in pressing pause and working on self-improvement.
The keys to tackling burnout are self-care and taking time to understand what is causing it. Ignoring the problem will only make it worse. For parents who may observe the signs of burnout in their children, the best course of action is to talk to them, and make sure they have space to have fun and be themselves.