I sat down with Filmmakers Academy mentor Joaquin Elizondo for episode 35 of his Hollywood Editing Mentor Podcast. Post-production is full of its own unique challenges separate from production. But let’s face it, sometimes they get overshadowed compared to some of the harrowing stories we hear from life on set. Together, Joaquin and I take a closer look at the health challenges inside the edit bay and what positive changes you can make to improve clarity, wellness, and creativity!
As some of you may know, my background is in nursing, and I later became a life coach obsessed with business before earning my certification as a master-level Reiki practitioner. In fact, one of my specialties involves invoking my combined experience to advise various industries from law enforcement and entrepreneurs to film and entertainment.
Joaquin is not only a positive and energetic person, but he’s also a remarkable editor. But, like a lot of people, Joaquin struggled with his health for over a decade. It was when he introduced healthy habits into his daily routine that he achieved his dream job in film and scripted television. We’re going to explore some of those healthy changes below, so keep reading!
HEALTHY MORNING ROUTINE
Careful time management plays a huge role in your success. Joaquin keeps an eye on the clock, knows what he must do each day, and keeps up with his daily routine. Such an approach boosts his productivity while reducing his stress so he does not fall behind.
There is a real benefit to starting your day off right. You know what they say about waking up on the wrong side of the bed.
Allow me to use myself as an example. My routine is simple, gratifying, and prepares me for what’s to come in five simple steps.
First of all, I wake up and drink two glasses of water – that means before coffee. We lose water overnight and must replenish ourselves.
The second thing I do is meditate on the spot so I don’t have an excuse to skip it. I will even drink my water while I meditate, and when it’s an especially busy morning, I’ll cut it back to 3-5 minutes. (But, more on meditation below…)
Third, I have my coffee complete with protein powder, turmeric, Benefiber, and probiotics. Fourth, I stretch to loosen my muscles to prevent injury while also building my core. And last, I go on a walk to let the dog out and get sunlight and that much-needed melatonin.
Sometimes we are so concerned with maintaining ourselves physically that we overlook our mental health. Pushing everything out of your head helps quiet your mind at work so you can focus.
Our mindset impacts everything we do. Confidence is the ability to see ourselves as successful. If we feel that we cannot do something or we might mess up, it’s because of our mindset. You can expand mindset through techniques like meditation.
Joaquin believes meditation makes you a nicer person to be around because you’re not as quick to the trigger when you receive criticism or notes you may disagree with from the director.
Meditation helps you keep from personalizing things so that you’re steadier and let things roll off your back. People love being around you because you’re calm, steady, and positive. That energy is attractive to everyone and you get more work, which allows you to attract the jobs you want and produces a long career.
MANAGE YOUR ENERGY
Vampires are those really toxic people where you’re just like, “Oh, get away from me!” We are energetic beings who must manage our energy. Our cells and mitochondria have energy and we have to understand that our energy literally impacts other people. And it can impact whether or not you get the job.
Your negativity or the vibe that you put out is what causes you to lose a job, whether it’s because you’re impatient, frustrated, or have a scarcity mindset. Meditation combats negative energy so you can keep your mind clear and open.
As an editor, Joaquin notes how you’re in an intimate setting for long periods of time. And yes, you’re often criticized and have your decisions questioned while remaining quiet. You can’t take it personally, it’s part of the job.
Meditation helps create space in your mind and calms it down. In fact, introspection even helps with neural connectivity in the brain and decreases Alzheimer’s disease. However, if you’re one of those people who shudder at the notion or don’t know where to begin, don’t worry, there are apps for that. One such app is Insight Timer which supplies you with guided meditations.
It’s best not to have an all-or-nothing approach to meditation. You don’t have to find time to just do it all in the morning. Try the times that work best for you and your schedule. That might be in the evening or you can break it up into twice a day.
GET THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF SLEEP
Sleep is an obvious factor in improving health and advancing in your career. Long nights at the computer may seem productive. But without the rest to heal your body and mind, you will only dull your senses. Joaquin makes sure that he gets the right amount of sleep to stay sharp the next day.
You might be surprised at what quality sleep can cure. Maybe you feel hungry all the time. Or you feel groggy and unfocused. We all have the same 24 hours in the day but running on five or six hours isn’t typically optimal. And even if you can do it for a little while, it will catch up to you. It’s important to understand that impact on your overall health.
A consistent sleep routine promotes better quality sleep. If you struggle, try and calm your mind before bed. If you can only get six and a half hours, you don’t want to waste a minute tossing and turning. This is where meditation comes in handy. And to stay asleep, try eyeshades, earplugs, and a sound machine.
As editors, you are exposed to blue light all day long. The last thing you want is to be on your phone before bed. Smartphones and tablets emit so much blue light that it overstimulates your mind which requires darkness at night to produce melatonin.
Rather than pass out after a heavy lunch, Joaquin keeps his meal light and nutritious so he has the energy to perform. While Joaquin loves coffee he had to trim it down due to caffeine overload. Now, he has his big cup in the morning but leaves it at that. In the afternoons, he made the switch to tea and hasn’t looked back.
Do you feel like you are constantly eating? If you feel low energy, you might think that you need to eat more to refuel yourself. But it might not be food that you lack. Instead, you might really be dehydrated, depressed, or lacking quality sleep.
When you do eat during meals, try and be selective with your food and serving size. You want meals to boost your energy. So, beware of consuming lots of sugar for energy, you will crash and feel even worse. Plus, the pancreas must work harder to put out insulin to combat the sugar in your body.
OPTIMIZE YOUR ENVIRONMENT FOR HEALTH
Joaquin began making changes around his environment, starting with his office. He swapped his old desk out for a standing desk and brought in small weights and a yoga mat. That way, he could take breaks to stretch and do lightweight exercises.
He does this in addition to taking walks and getting sunlight. This, combined with editing mentorships, helped Joaquin advance in his career and make positive strides forward. He has more energy and feels less foggy mentally.
Joaquin mentions how he was just contacted the other day by someone seeking mentorship. They hit a wall and felt burned out and were in need of someone to talk them through it. In fact, Joaquin even recalls his own experience and coming close to quitting. Thankfully he stuck it out – and it was through the help of mentorships.
At the time, he had panic attacks and was left with the feeling of uncertainty about his career. He then found key mentorships in the post-production community that motivated him to power through the hard times.
“I realized that it wasn’t just me out there alone. For a while, I thought no one understood me. I’m trying to figure it out but I’m lost. Then, suddenly, having a mentor, it’s like, now this person has helped me pick a path. And now I can achieve my goals. There’s a lot of emotional support that comes through mentorship.” –Joaquin Elizondo, Filmmakers Academy Editing Mentor
Joaquin has mentors that aren’t just in post-production but in other areas of his life. For instance, one of his mentors is his personal trainer. Editing involves a lot of sitting and squinting in dark edit bays. Not only did Joaquin lose 20 pounds with his trainer’s help, but he also gained more clarity, energy, and creativity because he is active and eating healthy.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Joaquin’s approach to healthy living is a lifestyle and it takes commitment. One of the secrets to landing the job and meeting your career goals is to ensure that you are mentally and physically fit. Without clear health goals, you may not be able to keep up with the demands of such a fast-paced industry.
At the end of the day, only you can determine the best choices for your journey. We hope you can benefit from our personal stories and remedies to maintain a long and healthy career in the film industry. Remember, fuel your success with inspiration and positivity and start with little changes to boost your health and creativity!
Check out HollywoodEditingMentor.com for more on post-production. It’s free to sign up! And if this episode helped, please share it! Let’s help our fellow filmmakers.