Self-Care for Dancers

Self-Care for Dancers

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Self-care is important in all aspects. 

If you are like me, you have many responsibilities on your plate and on your mind. Sometimes it is hard for me to even remember to take care of myself properly. 

With dance, I am ALWAYS busy. Here is a rough look at what takes up my days and weeks when I am in college: 

– Morning technique class(es) 

Dance pedagogy classes (afternoon/evening) 

– {homework in-between} 

– Rehearsals (1-2, sometimes maybe THREE, in the late evening to the night) 

– Rehearsals on weekends 

Now, this doesn’t look like a lot, but trust me when I organize the days, the times, and put together the work that needs to be done- it adds up quickly. Sooner or later I begin to wonder where did my time go?? 

It’s a good thing I love what I do. 

Honestly, it can/does get overwhelming. It’s all about balancing your time and balancing your life. With this balance, I realized that there are different ways I can take care of myself along the way; not just a dedicated hour every 3 weeks. 

I think that the term, “self-care” has multiple definitions now. Self-care can mean something totally different to you than what I think it means. 

What Self-Care Means to Me: 

Taking a pause or a break from your normal routine to unwind and be in tune with your mind and body. (Deep right?!) 

To others, self-care might mean hanging out with friends, going out, shopping for a little, watching YouTube, etc. 

The first step to self-care is understanding your definition of self-care.

Then, you can implement some simple steps into your current lifestyle that helps you take better care of your mind & body. 

As a dancer, it is SUPER important to take care of your mind and your body. There is always that frustrating period in any dance season that being in the studio gets tiring and we feel guilty for not wanting to be there for hours at a time working and moving. It can get strenuous. I’ve been there. 

During moments & struggles like these is when I remind myself to pause, breathe, and figure out what I can do to help myself. 

Sometimes during these periods I have less energy, I have more aches & pains, less motivation, etc. 

Here are some ways I combat these challenges while I am in and out of the studio:

Ideas for Self-Care

Vitamins & supplements- this is hard. I have a bad habit of ignoring it. TAKE THEM. Get into the habit of setting them aside the night before. Here are my go-to supplements:

  1. Vitamin C
  2. Iron
  3. FLO Vitamins (for girly things:) )
  4. Vitamin D
  5. Biotin

Dancers exert a lot from their bodies- physically and mentally. Proper vitamins & supplements replenish what you put out! Remember to give back to your body.

DRINK WATER!- STAY HYDRATED! I just bought a new water bottle! As funny as it sounds, so far it’s kept me in check for being hydrated!

Showers, baths (if you can), Epsom salt for the feet- I absolutely look forward to a nice hot shower. That is always the highlight of my long days when I am out dancing and sweating. It is one of my favorite ways to unwind and think about my day. I even started to get different scents of body washes that help me unwind in the shower or even a nice shower bomb! Epsom salt is the BEST remedy for tired and sore feet. Giving my feet a good soak before I go to bed relaxes my body and rejuvenates my feet for another day at the studio!

Invest in good skincare! This has helped me tremendously. I personally wanted to give up makeup and let my skin breathe (especially when we had to wear masks). I invested in some new products that have helped refresh my skin and have given me new confidence! Doing a nightly face routine keeps me in check and I feel good knowing I am taking care of my skin and not damaging it. 

Journaling is one of my favorite things to do in bed on a weekend. I write all my thoughts, adventures, worries, and prayers… it truly lets me get personal and translate my thoughts into words. This helps me especially when I am overwhelmed with a busy schedule. 

Eating properly but don’t be too restricting! Over the past year, I started meal prepping. Not only did this help me time-wise, but it kept my nutrition in check. I was eating good foods that fueled me throughout the day and I felt energized and ready to take on tasks! It’s crazy how simple life adjustments can help in big ways. It just takes a determined mindset and a good plan! (I still ate candy/popcorn almost every night!) Even THAT is self-care too- indulging in my favorite junk foods (with limits of course!) 

Self-Care Advice

Again, these are MY methods and ideas for self-care. I implement each of these throughout my life and I have never been happier with myself at the moment! It does take practice and remember everyone is different! We each have our own pace, our own habits, and our own lives! Don’t compare yourself. (& and yes I still take days off when I need to and sleep in!) 

Taking these steps can improve your everyday life and especially your performance and attitude while dancing on and off-stage!

To me, the biggest takeaway is to ALWAYS listen to your body. It will tell you what you need to do!

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