So, here I am, prepping for my first full evening of films at FIN: Atlantic International Film Festival and I thought I’d outline some self-care strategies for those, like me, who take in numerous movies across an eight days period!
Park Lane is THE BEST location for a Film Festival! It allows for great self-care implementation! Although I’ll miss the Oxford Theatre, I always struggled with the back and forth, tug-o-war that was rushing between theatres and having to make tough choices! Now, the entire festival is in one space and completely convenient. There are still some close calls, as I race between films, but that’s to be expected.
Here are my strategies and tips for surviving a busy festival schedule!
- Always, always, always bring water! I know we aren’t running a marathon, but staying hydrated in key! I never leave home without a water bottle. I also make use of my gym membership to regularly refill that water bottle. The convenience of the Park Lane location cannot be understated (More about the gym membership later).
- Don’t pressure yourself to see everything! Allow yourself to have gaps and breaks! Years ago, when I first started attending the entire festival, I tried to do EVERYTHING! I was run ragged! Take your time to savour key moments! Sometimes, you may decide against a screening because you just want to have a clear mind for that must see movie on the horizon, or maybe a screening sparked some creativity or curiosity and you opt to bask in that glory. Be open to changing your mind. I’m Type A, so I can sometimes get bogged down by an itinerary, but I’ve worked on this over the years, and loosened up a little.
- Invite friends! Sure, not everyone wants to spend entire days in the cinema, but encourage people to join you for a screening every now and then. Some people are fearful of the “film festival” concept, but try to ease their minds and offer them an opportunity to try something new. I love sharing my movie-going experience!
- Variety is the spice of life, so they say! Select something from all categories. Catch a documentary, some shorts, foreign language films (my personal favourite), and locally made films. Try to avoid heavy topic after heavy topic, without any room to breathe mentally. I recall a night in recent years where I saw three extremely heavy, serious, and emotional films back to back. I became mentally exhausted. As much as I loved those films, I had to take a step back and adjust my plans.
- Find time to exercise! I said I’d get back to my gym membership! My membership has more purpose than staying hydrated. I try to carve out some time for a workout. The Public Gardens are nearby, so consider taking a walk and soaking up some rays. Don’t just spend eight days, sitting in theatre chairs, eating copious amounts of candy, as appealing as that sounds! Try to exercise and bring some healthy snacks to compliment your Milk Duds.
- Have fun! FIN