7 Ways I’ve Learned to Keep My Energy Level Up in New York City

New York City — there’s a reason why people say that it’s the city that never sleeps.  Why?  Because it’s absolutely true.  The city is like an ant farm that never stops working.  There are people everywhere, taxi cars honking, music blasting, subways rumbling underground, and lights everywhere.  How in the world is someone supposed to rest in a city where it feels like you constantly have to be on-the-go and always working.  How are you supposed to recharge?  This is definitely something that I’ve had to learn since moving to the city back in February.  And at times, I’m not very good at giving my body the rest and recovery it needs to feel energized and ready for a new day.  But here are a few helpful tips I’ve learned along the way that have helped me keep my energy level up and committed to a brand new day, every day of the week.

  1. REST.  This may seem like a no-brainer.  But you’d be surprised how many people don’t get the recommended 8-9 hours of sleep per day.  Sleep is so vital to your help.  For me, it truly makes a difference between feeling energized and clear headed or groggy and dazed.
  2. A HEALTHY DIET.  Over the past 15 years, I have spent hours researching nutrition and different types of diet plans.  For me, a plant-based vegan diet gives me the necessary nutrients and energy so I can power through my day.  It is amazing what fresh produce can do for the body.  Nutrient-dense food has been my saving grace when I’m feeling groggy, my blood sugar levels are low, or I just need a quick pick-me-up to get me through a dance call.  I’ve also heard from several close friends that when they changed their diet and stopped eating out a lot (which is very easy to do in NYC), they felt so much better physically and mentally.
  3. NAPS.  I’ve never been much of a napping kind of guy.  However, since I moved to NYC, napping has been a necessity. Whenever I have some down time in my schedule and I have an hour or two to take a power nap, I take it.  It is amazing how much better I feel.  I wake up feeling energetic and mentally clear to continue on my day.   Though, one of the main reasons why I love taking naps is because I get to pat myself on the back a little bit.  Why?  Because by resting, I’m ensuring that I’m keeping my body healthy, my immune system strong, and the possibility of getting sick low.  In my history, whenever I get run down and exhausted (both physically and mentally) is when I am the most susceptible to getting ill.  Most of the time, I do end of getting ill.  So take naps, folks and enjoy that boost of energy when you wake back up.
  4. TIME MANAGEMENT:  Living in New York City these past 6 months has taught me to use my time more wisely.  In Chicago I had so much time to chill, get work down, visit with friends, explore, etc.  In New York, with a part-time job, spending quality time with my girlfriend, and going to 4 auditions (on average) per week, having time to be able to get everything you need to get done (i.e. groceries, errands, meal-prep, audition prep, etc.) can be very challenging.  What’s been helpful for me is to take advantage of the small moments of free time I have in my schedule to get work done or even do errands.  I also really enjoy planning things out and putting tasks into my calendar for when I want to work on new rep, do errands, go to the gym, and take dance classes.  That way I’m keeping myself accountable to do those tasks.  Lastly, always make sure you are giving yourself one day per week where you can literally do nothing if you choose.  Make sure you have a day where you can just enjoy some quiet time, or be with friends, or go see that movie you’ve been wanting to see on the big screen for weeks.  Life is so much more than just work.  So give yourself some grace and go have some fun.  Which brings me to my next point…
  5. DO SOMETHING FUN EVERY DAY THAT BRING YOU JOY.  This could be as simple as watching a movie before bed, talking on the phone with a loved one, or taking a nice relaxing bath.  The city can be “soul-sucking” as some people say.  I don’t prefer that term because I find it very negative.  I like to think of it as you control your life in New York City.  The city doesn’t control you.  You control your perspective and your attitude on how your day is going moment to moment.  I like to stay positive.  Part of that positivity and optimism is encouraged by allowing myself to have some fun.  So take the reins and do something that brings you joy or that makes you happy every single day.  You’ll thank me.
  6. ROUTINE.  This one was extremely hard for me to find in New York City.  I feel as though I am still finding what my routine is.  I truly feel like every day is completely different.  As actors, our days are never the same.  We could be going to 3 auditions one day and 1 the next.  We could be in New York City waiting table and the next day flown out to Los Angeles to film a movie or asked to come be a replacement at a regional theatre.  You just never know where your career is going to take you.    So finding a routine for yourself can be so meditative and grounding for your soul.  That’s important.  Having a morning and evening routine can also help you have a more restful sleep and can bring peace to your day before you head to work.  Honestly, I’m still in need of figuring out my own routine.  Maybe when I find it/create it… I’ll let you guys know what my morning and evening routines are.
  7. STARBUCKS.  But, only when I’m desperate.  I don’t drink coffee.  I’m actually very surprised I don’t like it, because everyone in my family is a coffee drinker.  But me?  I’m a tea kind of guy.  At Starbucks, a quick pick-me-up when I’m in need of something to get me through the day is a Grande Chai Tea Latte made with Almond Milk.

If you found any of the above information helpful, please let me know.  If you have ideas that are not on my list, please share them.  I’d love to start a conversation.  Feel free to leave me a comment.

Be Happy.  Be Happy.

Collin Sanderson

 


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