Dance is incredibly demanding, especially at a professional level. Dancers give an incredible amount of mental and physical energy to their art form. For most dancers, dance is their life and sometimes they forget to nurture themselves. Here are some self-care tips for dancers:
For the dancer that feels “burnt out”:
- Have a “muscle pampering” session: start with a hot bath or shower, put on some warm clothes, turn on a movie, and spend a good couple of hours rolling out your muscles with a foam roller and a tennis ball. Follow that up with a good stretching session.
- Drop a few things from your to-do list and get a good night of sleep!
- Have a meal out at your favorite restaurant.
- Grab a friend, get a take-out tea or coffee, and go for a walk. Spending time in nature has energizing effects. But, keep the conversation light- complaining or gossiping will only leave you more drained.
- Get a deep-tissue massage.
- Use your body in a different way. Although doing more exercise can seem counter-intuitive, dancing uses muscles in a particular way and sometimes using them in a different way helps to counterbalance the stress. Go for a swim, take a yoga class, or play dodgeball.
- Take some time out to read a book or a magazine.
- Take a warm bath, light some candles, use some epsom salts for aching muscles, and treat yourself to a nice face mask to de-stress.
For the dancer that feels that their confidence is low:
- Make a list of all of your achievements so far in dance. Put it up somewhere you can see it.
- Set some goals. Stop looking back and dwelling. Keep moving forward!
- Invest a little time in shopping therapy! Get some new dance wear or a new pair of tights. What’s better than a fresh pair of tights?
- Take a beginner dance class. It will help to reground yourself.
- Be objective about your progress. Your self-worth does not depend on how many pirouettes you can do!
- Set aside some time for self-reflection. Get yourself a journal!
For the dancer who needs some inspiration:
- Watch a film that you find inspiring, even if it’s really bad!
- Make a vision board.
- Set some new goals and look at them every day.
- Go to a gallery, museum or concert: dance is an art. It can and should be influenced by other art forms.
- Take a new dance class, especially if it’s in a different dance style you haven’t tried before.
- Dance for fun!
- Get tickets to the ballet or a dance show and re-ignite your passion for the art form!
- Make a list of all the things you love about dance.
Just some everyday self-care tips…
- Have a little food treat.
- Get enough sleep!
- Start your day with meditation.
- Set aside a space that’s just for you.
- Choose some healthy habits that you want to make part of your every day life. Give yourself little rewards for doing them consistently.
- Get in touch with the friends you never see and set actual dates to meet up and see them, instead of perpetually saying “we should hang out” and feeling guilty when you don’t have time!
- Read or listen to an audio book while you stretch or walk.
- Spend some time in nature.
Dancers can easily get wrapped up in constantly working and forget to take time for themselves. Pick a couple of your favorites and spend some time on you! You are worth it!