THE BLOG

Creating a Work Life Balance in Toronto

06/24/2013 05:21 EDT | Updated 08/21/2013 05:12 EDT

As a director working in the field, my job is very hectic. Anyone who has ever been exposed to a TV or film set would tell you that there is a LOT of standing around. But the job can be very physical too, especially when you work in documentary and lifestyle television, as I currently do. They call it "run and gun" shooting for a reason!

When I first started in this business, a director whom I have tremendous respect for gave me a valuable piece of advice. She said: "Keep your core strong or your career will be very short-lived." When I threw my back out last winter, I understood exactly what she meant. I will admit, I am a clumsy person (my parents didn't nickname me Calamity Jane for nothing) but I have realized that most of my injuries have been stress-related. Therefore, I've made it a priority to create a good foundation for a healthy work life balance.

Taking care of your body

I always say that the hardest thing about going to the gym is getting there. Being confined to a traditional fitness setting bores me, so I try to get outside as often as I can. I'm a big fan of running along Toronto's waterfront, doing the stairs at Casa Loma and riding my bike through the Rosedale Ravine.

When I hurt my back, a friend referred me to St. George Physio as they had done wonders for her. When I called and explained what happened, the therapist, a miracle worker named Sameer Chunara, agreed to skip his lunch break and see me as a walk-in patient. Like most people, I was under the impression that physiotherapy was something your doctor prescribed a result of surgery or a sports injury. I was wrong. Thankfully, it took very few treatments to get me back on my feet again. And now, if I ever strain myself in any way, I skip racing to the doctor or breaking out the heating pad and go straight to the clinic!

Eating good food

Eating fresh, sustainable food is very important to me. I am a huge supporter of farmer's markets and Toronto has some of the best around. My personal favourites are: Dufferin Grove, the Evergreen Brick Works and Sorauren Markets.

I love the vegetarian dishes at Campagnolo, Fresh, and Urban Herbivore. And my favourite indulgence is the 'Filet A Fish' sandwich at The One That Got Away on King

West -- yum!

Staying connected to the arts

The easiest way to stay connected to Canadian cinema is quite simply to make a point of watching it. The Canadian film industry, as we know, is overshadowed and often under-appreciated. As a member of this community, supporting it is one of my greatest passions and pleasures. The group of industry leaders behind the recently proposed Starlight TV and Starlight Film Fund are fighting to support and promote Canadian cinema. Not enough people seem to be familiar with their cause and it is something we should all educate ourselves about and stand behind.

Spending time with the people who make my life complete

During the summer months, one of my favourite ways to relax is to spread out a blanket in Trinity Bellwoods Park and spend the afternoon reading alongside my #1 companion. Early evening, I love going to friends' houses for dinner parties and summer BBQs. Now, if only one of them would install a pool!

Late night, I'll hit up my local haunt, 416 Snack Bar. The place has an amazing vibe and plays great music. If you go in summer, dress light -- when the temperature rises, it gets good and warm, but that's all part of the charm!

Escaping to the lake

Sometimes, one of the best things about the city is the opportunity to escape it! As Torontonians, we are fortunate to have so many beautiful freshwater lakes in our proximity. Two of my dearest friends bought a cedar cabin on a secluded island 3 hours outside of Toronto. With no running water, TV, or internet access and no conveniently located corner store, it sounds fairly daunting, but is honestly one of the most peaceful and fulfilling ways to spend a weekend. The daily reward is a sunset boat ride followed by hours spent laying on the dock looking up at a sky full of stars. Simply the best, ever!