This time of year, consists of finalising the last assessments before Easter Holidays and also a new season of competitions which can be overwhelming and busy for committed dancers. Self-care is an important aspect of life in-order to maintain high performance in all areas; school, dance, health, & relationships. Finding time to stop and breathe for half an hour minimum is difficult to regulate daily. Self-care can be in many forms, such as a bath, a calming walk, creativity for yourself OR a calming stretch.
Stretching is important for dancers also, calming the muscles before bed will decrease energy levels (winding down for the day) and increase sleep satisfaction. Stretching does not have to be done with a lot of focus and does not have to be pushed to the limit of over stretching a muscle. It can be as simple as finding quiet space or in front of your favourite TV show to ease into a relaxing hold and remembering to breathe. Find what works best for you. Others might like the help of a resistant band while others may like the help of a YouTube video to get them started.
Applying change into a routine can be tricky, however note how you feel after you set time for self-care and note how you feel waking up the next day. Do you have more energy? Are your muscles less sore? Are you less angry or frustrated in the morning? These emotions and feelings should be a reward of self-care and time for yourself.
Another strategy is to set times for stretching or creativity throughout the week, it might be 3 times a week in the morning or 4 times after dinner. If you accomplish all set times, reward yourself with a desired chocolate at the end of the week. You deserve a treat for setting goals and looking after YOURSELF!
Self-care has many health benefits and once you allow time for self-care, self-love will follow. You will be loving the body you live in each and every day. XO