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7 Tips for Performers to Maintain Mental Health and Wellbeing

Diving into the world of mental and physical fitness, we've gathered seven expert pieces of advice from seasoned coaches and psychologists on maintaining peak mental and physical fitness. From the importance of building habits with small changes to balancing diet and exercise with a splash of laughter, these professionals offer their best tips for performers seeking holistic well-being.

7 Tips for Performers to Maintain Mental Health and Wellbeing

  • Develop a Mindfulness Practice

  • Reflect on Past Successes

  • Stress Management and Mindfulness

  • Build Habits with Small Changes

  • Prioritize Consistency in Routine

  • Seek Counseling for Mental Clarity

  • Cultivate Habit Formation and Self-Awareness

Develop a Mindfulness Practice

"Hands down, the best actionable tip for actors would be to develop a mindfulness practice. Meditation, yoga, sound baths, nature walks—anything that allows them to discover, connect with, and cultivate a relationship with their true, unchanging self (the part of them that has always been and will always be the same, regardless of any acting job they might ever get). Because when we connect with our being-ness, the essence of who we are that no person, circumstance, or job could ever take away, it becomes impossible to form an identity based on anything outside ourselves. So, acting jobs or not, we can maintain an inherent sense of worthiness, ease, peace, and a belief that the universe knows us and is supporting us in exactly what we are meant to be doing at any given time."

Lia Munson, Co-Founder, ResilientAF, LLP

Reflect on Past Successes

"It's really important to work on your trust muscles. I've found the best way to do that is to reflect on the past. Think back to all the acting jobs you've booked before (and if you haven't booked many acting jobs, then think of other situations in your life where you were worried about the outcome, but it all worked out okay). You didn't know how or when those opportunities would arrive and align for you, but they did. There's so much going on behind the scenes that we're not aware of. There are so many other factors and stages of development involved before something becomes a manifested reality; trust that the next job is getting prepared for you just as you're getting prepared for it. We can't control the timing of the next opportunity, but we can choose to believe it's on its way."

Erika Ward, Voice Actor & Coach

Stress Management and Mindfulness

"From a physical therapist’s standpoint, the concept of allostasis—the body's adaptive process to maintain balance amid stress—is foundational. In my practice, I've observed firsthand the detrimental effects of an imbalance caused by chronic stress: increased muscle tension, fatigue, and even cognitive impairments like brain fog. These symptoms are often misconstrued as signals to push through, while, scientifically, they indicate a crucial need for the body and mind to reset.

Mindfulness breaks offer a scientifically supported solution to this challenge. By temporarily stepping away from the demands of work to engage in mindfulness practices, employees can significantly reduce their levels of anxiety and stress. This reduction is not merely psychological. Recent research supports a link between decreased anxiety and alleviation of physical symptoms, such as muscle pain, showcasing the interconnectedness of mind and body wellness.

Melissa Jarzynski, Director of Physical Therapy, Stable Friendships Foundation

Build Habits with Small Changes

"One piece of advice I always give to performers is to make small, consistent changes rather than overwhelming themselves with big goals. When it comes to mental and physical fitness, it's all about building habits.

So, start by incorporating little things into your daily routine. Maybe it's taking a short walk during your lunch break or spending 10 minutes before bed doing some relaxation exercises. These small actions add up over time and can make a big difference in your overall well-being. Remember, it's not about perfection; it's about progress."

James Cunningham, Senior Coach, Total Shape

Prioritize Consistency in Routine

"As a fitness enthusiast and community lead at SQUATWOLF, I'd offer this underrated piece of advice: prioritize consistency over intensity. While intense workouts can yield quick results, they're not sustainable in the long run. Instead, focus on establishing a consistent fitness routine that includes both physical and mental exercises.

On the physical side, aim for regular, moderate-intensity workouts rather than sporadic, high-intensity sessions. Consistency in your exercise routine is key to building strength, endurance, and overall fitness over time. Whether it's a daily walk, a yoga session, or a gym workout, find activities that you enjoy and can realistically commit to on a regular basis.

Equally important is nurturing your mental well-being alongside your physical fitness. Incorporate mindfulness practices such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or journaling into your daily routine to reduce stress, improve focus, and enhance overall mental clarity.

By prioritising consistency in both your physical and mental fitness efforts, you'll create a sustainable foundation for long-term health and well-being. Remember, small, consistent actions add up to significant results over time."

Muhammad Mustafa, Community Lead, SQUATWOLF

Seek Counseling for Mental Clarity

"A clearer mind leads to better performance. This is my philosophy for health. So, how do you achieve a clearer mind, especially when working in fitness? You need to experience catharsis, which is the release of repressed emotions.

As someone who helps others, you often have to refrain from saying what you are really thinking. That tension builds inside you. Sure, working out (and by that, I mean working out the repressed emotions, of course) is effective, but talking to another person about those feelings is incredibly beneficial.

Essentially, I am advocating that counseling can be a huge positive resource for you that will enable you to be both better at your job and give you longevity in the field. The upside to having a clearer mind is that you will have greater emotional energy, which, in turn, makes your presence even more powerful. Thus, your role in fitness will be exponentially more significant. A clearer mind leads to better performance."

Jarrod Spencer, Sports Psychologist, Mind of the Athlete

Cultivate Habit Formation and Self-Awareness

"Performers can maintain their physical and mental fitness by focusing on the underestimated yet highly potent approach of habit formation. Consistently practising a small, simple technique until it becomes a habit yields greater results than attempting a drastic overhaul. Embracing incremental changes is not only easier but also allows for gradual adaptation and increases your threshold, preventing the discouragement that often accompanies failure to adhere to extreme changes. These small adjustments have a ripple effect, ultimately leading to significant impacts on overall fitness and well-being.

Another component of sustaining fitness is cultivating self-awareness and actively monitoring progress. By being attuned to one's physical and mental state, individuals can gain valuable insights into their well-being and performance. Monitoring progress serves as a compass, guiding individuals toward their goals and highlighting areas for improvement. Whether it's tracking workout milestones, noting changes in mood or energy levels, or assessing recovery patterns, this ongoing assessment fosters accountability and motivation.

Ultimately, this combination of self-awareness and progress monitoring instils a proactive mindset, empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their health and take meaningful actions to optimize their well-being."

Shruti Nair, Performance Psychologist, Behavioural Foresight



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