5 Ways Dancers Can Look After Their Mental Health
By The Move Dance Team on 19th May 2023
It is Mental Health Awareness Week and this year's theme is anxiety, an emotion we all face from time to time but something dancers experience quite a lot. The dance world can be a tough place, therefore it's important for dancers to look after not only their bodies but also their minds. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the busy, hectic schedule of a dancer, with these 5 simple steps hopefully we can give you some tips on how to look after your mental health.
Don't put too much pressure on yourself
Often dancers strive for perfection, but it's ok not to be perfect! Of course, you want to try your best in everything you do, but if you fall out of that pirouette or mess up that routine it's ok, don't beat yourself up about it! Avoid comparing yourself to others and just focus on yourself and your journey.
Nourish your mind and body
As dancers, we need to fuel our bodies, but if our bodies are not nourished neither will our minds, believe it or not, the two are connected! A healthy, well-balanced diet can help us think clearly and feel more alert. Protein and healthy fats are perfect to keep your brain regulated and working as it should be, plus they're great slow releasing energy, muscle growth, and muscle repair so it's a win win!
Connect with others
Don't isolate yourself, make time for your friends and family. Connecting with others gives you a sense of belonging and more opportunity to have positive and fun experiences. Maybe give that friend who you haven't seen in a while a ring for a catch up or try arranging a regular time to meet up with a family member. Remember every dancer needs a strong support system cheering them on!
Take on a new hobby!
We dance because we love it but it's important not to center your whole life around that and nothing else. Having something else you enjoy is a perfect way to improve your mood and distract you from the busy, sometimes overwhelming life of a dancer. Plus it's a way of learning new skills and meeting new people!
Be kind to yourself
We all sometimes need a bit of TLC but self care isn't just about taking a hot bubble bath or putting on your favourite film and burying yourself in a blanket. Self care is also about how you treat yourself internally. Remember to treat yourself with kindness and respect, and avoid self-criticism. A good way to look at it is ‘would I say this about my best friend’ If not then you shouldn't be saying it about yourself either!
We hope this has been helpful to anyone out there who is struggling, don't forget speaking about your feelings is a sign of strength, not weakness! If you are really struggling we advise you to reach out and seek professional help - it's ok not to be ok.
Move Dance x