5-Step Plan to help dancers wind down and chill out in Summer

5 ways for dancers to relax

Dance teacher Katrena Cohea shares her tips for winding down and chilling out!

Far from restful and relaxing, summer can be a strenuous season for dancers.

There’s intensives, master classes, private classes, prepping for Nutcrackers and holiday performances, and competitions for the coming year. Whew! It’s exhausting just writing about it!

So what’s a dancer, or a dance teacher, to do to find a little R&R after summer and before heading into a whirlwind fall season?

Today I’m sharing a 5-step plan to embrace more ‘ahhhh’ and less ‘ughhhh’ to get you rested, rejuvenated, and ready to go for whatever the rest of 2017 throws your way!

1. Take Stock

It’s worthwhile to take some time to take stock of all you did and accomplished over the past few months.

Whether you’re a teacher or a student, chances are the summer held lots of activities for you.

Allow yourself some space and time to really think about all that you did and accomplished.

Whatever you did was sure to set solid foundations for whatever comes next in your dance life, and that’s something to celebrate!

You can journal this, talk it out with a friend, even blog or vlog about it, but do yourself a favor and thank yourself and your body for showing up as you have the past few months.

2. Take a Daydream

Ok, now we get to have a little fun.

When your mind wanders off to a ‘perfect’ day, what do you envision? Waking up late? Driving to the beach? Maybe having a coffee date with a good friend?

Take a daydream and see yourself living out that perfect day. Now go about making it happen!

You may not get to do everything in your daydream, but even if you don’t, part of you will get to experience it through the act of visualization, so it’s a win-win!

3. Take Something New For A Spin

Dance is our love language; it’s in us inside and out, 24-7. But sometimes we need a break even from the things we love.

Doing something new can be as simple as taking a walk in a new place, or going to the local pool for a swim. I personally get some of my best ideas doing yoga.

We do some of our best growing (and can find unexpected relaxation) in places that are new and out of the ordinary for us.

It activates our senses and can give us a jolt of those feel good hormones like dopamine.

And who knows, you may just find inspiration and connections for your next project or goal within your new experience.

4. Take Time To Plan

This is also a good time to set any goals or intentions for yourself for the coming months.

Want to nail that upcoming audition or make a lead role yours? Great! Now get specific about how you can make that happen.

What tangible steps can you take today, this week, the next 2 weeks to move you toward your goal?

Giving yourself actionable steps to accomplish will rev up not only your motivation, but your spirit and inspiration for whatever comes your way!

5. Get Some Sleep (and Tune Out)

This sounds basic, but it’s so important.

Scientists are learning more and more about the effect sleep (and lack thereof) has on the body.

While all these other steps are great for decompressing and taking time for yourself, there’s really nothing like a good night’s sleep. Or 7 night’s good sleep, for that matter.

Check out this article on the benefits of getting a full night’s rest, and do what you need to do to get those extra Z’s.

Turn off Netflix earlier, take a nap, or invest in some dark curtains to block the light. Bonus points if you can turn off your devices as well!

Completely unplugging may feel weird, but between that and getting extra sleep, you’ll be sure to feel more rested, more ready, and more motivated when fall rolls around.  

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