Self Care For Dancers - 4 Ways To Beat Burnout
Well hello there August, you've popped in quicker than I expected, but you make me feel quite relieved after 7 weeks of bi-coastal dance camps in June and July.
Anybody else feeling the fatigue as the dog days of summer arrive? Last week was my final summer dance camp, and if you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a story I did about loving camps, but being so DONE. That got me thinking about the specific kind of burnout we experience as dancers and teachers, and how we can recover in a way that feels truly restorative.
In my Instagram story, I also talked about feeling guilty for taking a day off, and how I for sure don't have all the answers on how to beat that feeling, but I do have some insights for how we can beat burnout when things are getting crazy.
#1 DELEGATE (AND REST)
Rest seems pretty obvious, but isn't really possible unless you can delegate some of your work to your trusty team. For teachers or studio owners, if you don't feel comfortable delegating tasks (social media management, responding to emails, contacting parents, etc.) then I highly encourage you to make a priority list, and be really brutal with it. Drop things down on your list that don't REALLY need your attention this day, or this week. If you burnout, those things could take months to get to instead of just taking a break now and putting them off for a week or two. For dancers, this can be a little harder if you're in the middle of an intensive or workshop where there's a set schedule, but it all comes down to time management. Put your phone down and go to bed an hour earlier, or squeeze in 10 minutes of rest between classes with your feet up on a wall and do some deep breathing. Even 10 minutes can make a massive difference in your energy.
#2 WALK AWAY FROM THE SCREEN
It's hard, I know, but our screens can be a major suckubus for energy and emotion. There are tons of apps you can use that will monitor time spent on any given site, so set yourself a timer and then walk away from your screen. If you have work to do that requires screen time, see #1 about delegating, and get super honest with yourself about if you really NEED to post that photo on Facebook. (Likely, the answer will be no.)
#3 AND GET OUTSIDE
Now that you've put the screen away, get outside! Take a stroll, bike ride, or even a drive and get some fresh air! Don't listen to a podcast while you walk, and only go with someone else if you know that chatting with them won't drain your energy stores further. Time away from our work and alone time is VITAL in filling our own well when it's feeling low.
#4 TAKE YOURSELF ON AN ARTIST'S DATE
Ooh la la, a date night for one?! Yes please! And bonus points if you make it an Artist's Date! WTH is an Artist's Date? It's only a super amazing concept introduced to the world of creatives by Juila Cameron. This book changed my life a couple years ago when I first read it, and I can't recommend it enough, especially if you're feeling uninspired and unmotivated, some time tapping into your passions is a great way to get your mojo back and also feel rejuvenated.
So which of these will you be trying? Give me a shout out and let me know, or if you have any methods to beating burnout, I'd love to hear them! Remember that it's ok to rest my friends, and you're completely allowed to take time for yourself, even if (and especially when) things get crazy. Good luck, and rest well!