Photo Credit: Style Craze
Dancers are known for being highly dedicated to their art - to the point that they tend to ignore everything else for a performance, even basic things like practicing self-care. While there’s nothing wrong with being 100% into dancing, everyone could use a little self-care once in a while, yes?
Most dancers think a time off will affect their performance. This could not be further from the truth. The thing is, taking care of yourself will make you a better dancer. When your mind is in tune with your body, you can express yourself better through dance. Practice some self-care and become a better dancer, here are ways how:
How to Prioritize Self Care as a Dancer
Have a Morning and Nighttime Routine
If you’ve been waking up or going to bed frazzled and stressed out, perhaps it’s your body’s way of craving for structure. Developing good habits is key to a calm and healthy mindset. Start by creating a morning, and nighttime routine, then sticking to it.
AM: In the morning, start your day by putting together a healthy, nourishing breakfast. Take your time eating. Rushing will take the pleasure out of a good breakfast. Then, go through your skincare routine. Squeeze in a jog or yoga before taking a shower and dressing for the day.
PM: Just before logging off from work, plan your next-day tasks, so you don’t end up rushing the following day. Then, go home, fix yourself a filling dinner and take a nice soak. After taking a bath, bond with the kids or focus on relaxing activities like watching your favorite soap, catching up on some reading, drinking tea and bonding with your partner, etc. Prep yourself to bed by going through your nighttime skincare routine and no screen time an hour before hitting the sack.
It’s essential to get enough rest so don’t stay up too late and try to wake up early. By waking up early, you’ll be able to complete your morning routine without rushing and feeling stressed out. Remember, how you start your day will spill over to the rest of the day and onto your work.
Soaks and Facials
Treating the body well should always include at-home spa treatments! Facials and long baths are some of the most relaxing activities you can do at home for cheap. You can make your own facial treatments and bath recipes using ingredients already found in the kitchen, like olive oil, citrus fruits, essential oils, etc.
Bath soaks are best done at night, right after dancing. Here are great bath soak recipes we love. As for the facials, this can be done once a week or as often as you like if you’re using all-natural, non-irritating ingredients. You can also do the soaks and facials together for maximum indulgence. Set the tone by lighting a couple of scented candles, fixing yourself a cup of tea (or a glass of wine), and sprinkling rose petals all over the bath + a good book.
A Change of Scenery
We’re talking about going out to clear your mind, enjoy the fresh air, and get a little sun for fabulous skin. You can go for a short run, walk with Fido, take a hike with the fam, meet for coffee with friends, or head to the beach. A little change of scenery is good for the soul.
While health restrictions made it virtually impossible to enjoy the outdoors in 2020, things are looking up this year. We’ve got lots of businesses opening up once again. As long as you are wearing a mask, washing your hands, practicing social distancing, and avoiding touching surfaces, it’s safe to venture outside.
A Change of Pace
Dancing is, without a doubt, your art of choice, but on days when you’re not dancing, go to places that show different works of art. See a film, go to an art museum, watch videos of your favorite dancers, take photography -- appreciating other people’s works of art or creating your own artwork clears and inspires the mind. It’s great for your mental health, we promise!
The pandemic made it incredibly challenging to see our loved ones, but the restrictions are easing. We can finally meet with friends and family once again. But safety first - always wear a mask, wash your hands thoroughly, and practice social distancing when you’re outdoors.
If you’re cooped up at home with your family, find ways to make the extra time together more fun and meaningful. You can cook together, set a family BBQ, build a garden, organize your home, make art -- try any relaxing activity that brings you closer together as a family. If you haven’t seen your friends during quarantine, set up a Zoom call to touch base with them.
Beyond your immediate family and friends, you can seek out supportive relationships online. You can take yoga classes, healing classes, cooking workshops, art-making classes, etc., to find comfort and healing as well as to find a greater sense of balance in your life. It’s equally important to cultivate friendships outside of dance.
So simple yet something that’s often overlooked when dancers are on breaks! Drink as much water as you can to stay healthy. Not a fan of agua? Try adding fruit slices to a glass of water or drink sparkling water. Staying hydrated is the ultimate self-care!
When our careers are in the upswing, we tend to forget to be kinder to our bodies. As dancers, you are more than your art. You are a human being in dire need of self-love! Don’t feel guilty for practicing self-care; you deserve it!