Returning to A Dancer's Days is the wonderful, Amanda Howard. Some of you may know her already from her previous delightfully informative articles, but if not here are a few things to know about Amanda. She is 18, like me, and she is a ballet blogger, dance teacher, is in the process of writing a dance book, and even owns her own dance studio: Praise Him With a Dance. Listed below is her blog, website, and Facebook page.
Gardening is a great way to reduce stress. Go out and start a garden in your backyard. Put your hands in the dirt and just feel yourself relax. If gardening is not for you, draw. Drawing can reduce your stress levels and allow you to be creative. Listen to calming music. I love classical music and when I need a little pick-me-up I listen to old Broadway songs and music from some of my favorite old movies. Pick music you especially love.
Between auditions for summer intensives coming upon us, recital season, and school, life can get crazy to say the least. Sometimes it seems like it's all too much. If there's one thing the young ballerinas that are still in school at my company agree on, it's that there are few "extra-curricular activities" that take as much dedication and time as ballet does. It's hard to do it all. Amanda has given us a few tips on how to cope with the stress of our day to day activities. And whether or not you're a dancer, this is also come great general life advice.
Keeping your stress levels down
This time of year is especially stressful for dancers. We are learning our recital pieces and trying hard to perfect them in class as well as trying to eat healthy and stay fit while at home. To make sure we don’t burn out and lower our immune systems, you have to, first and foremost, keep your stress levels down to a minimum. I for one find this hard to do when there is just so much to do on a daily basis. There are some simple activities that you can do to help you relax and enjoy yourself.
Plan a night to get together with your friends to laugh and have fun. Laughing is truly the best medicine! Watch a comedy or play a fun game.
Take a walk in the sunshine. You will be getting light exercise and your daily dose of vitamin D at the same time. Take a trip to the beach and stick your feet in the sand. Read that book you’ve been putting off or haven’t finished.
Relax in a hot bath. Light candles, put essential oils in the water and Epsom salts, watch a movie, or listen to music. Give yourself a mini massage to release tension focusing on your neck and shoulders. Sing you favorite song or dance to a random song on the radio. Stay positive and give someone a big hug!
The best way to relieve stress is just plain breathing deep. Take deep breaths when you start to feel anxiety coming on. To make sure you fill your lungs completely, imagine filling your stomach then your chest and last your head. Let the air out through your mouth. Breathing deep helps you to relax and also provides your brain with lots of fresh oxygen.
Just remember to stay calm and positive throughout your day. It will make all the difference by starting your day with the right attitude. I hope this helps during these next few months.