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Working in showbiz isn’t easy. While the entertainment industry offers many perks – good money, possible fame, and a glamorous life – it has its fair share of downsides, like stress.

Careers in this competitive industry can be extremely demanding and challenging, adding a level of stress that if you’re not prepared for can literally wear you down. But it doesn’t mean you can’t survive, and even thrive in such a career.

Whether you want to be in front of the camera or behind the scenes, stress is inevitable for anyone who works in the entertainment industry. But the way you react to it will make all the difference. As an experienced model, actress and TV host, I’ve come to rely on a few fundamental stress management techniques that help me combat stress in the one of the most challenging and rewarding industries in the world.

Here are three tips on how to survive and even thrive in the stressful entertainment industry.

Take time to de-stress. Many professionals in the entertainment industry work around the clock without taking proper breaks. Models especially don’t have regular lunch hours or 15 minute breaks. What’s worse, many people end a hectic day without taking the time to unwind and relax — to allow the body to de-stress. But if you want to avoid a breakdown, de-stressing should be a regular part of your life. While it might seem like an obvious tip, it’s not. Too many people forget to de-stress and pay for it later.

Take time to de-stress every single day, whether you go on a brisk walk, practice yoga, or get a massage. I de-stress by going on scenic walks, whether it’s a hike in Los Angles or a brisk walk in New York’s Central Park. The key is to choose an activity or technique that works for you.

Eat a healthy diet. During stressful times, many of us reach for comfort foods, such as ice cream and cookies that aren’t very healthy. According to the Mayo Clinic, a healthy diet can help manage times of high stress.

Along with eating healthy meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I usually make sure to snack on fruits and vegetables throughout the day, such as sliced apples and peanut butter, carrots and humus, or celery and home-made guacamole.

Create or take advantage of a support system. The famous poet John Donne couldn’t have expressed it better when he wrote, “No man is an island.” We all need a support system, a group of trusted friends and/or family members we can rely on and go to for support. During stressful times, make sure to go to these people for the support that you need. Whether it’s via email, a phone call, or a lunch date, take the time to talk and enjoy the company of someone that makes you happy.

If you don’t have a support system yet, now is the time to create one. Pay special attention to making healthy friendships and nourish these friendships regularly. At the very least, you can join a support group with members who are going through the same challenges as you are. You’re never alone, and taking advantage of a support system is a great way to combat stress and help bring balance to your life. While you might be extremely devoted to your career, the entertainment industry won’t give you a hug at the end of a hard day. Your spouse, friend, or child, will.

Bio: An international model, Kaki West has been featured on 16 magazine covers including the men’s magazine FHM. She is also a talented SAG actress and television host, currently interviewing celebrities for RealTV Films and Fox Sports. Kaki spends most of her time between her two favorite cities: Los Angeles and New York City.

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