In a crazy, crazy world, especially at this time of year, as teachers, we often put ourselves and our needs last; trying to make sure work is completed, students’ needs are being addressed, creativity is flowing, deadlines are met, rehearsals are running smoothly, etc. There is also something to do every minute of the day if we allow it to consume us. Sometimes the hardest thing is to allow ourselves to STOP MOVING. It’s in our nature to do the complete opposite. But burn-out is prevalent when we don’t acknowledge that we are not invincible or we can keep going and keep going with no end in sight. Disaster is bound to happen and we really are serving no benefit to our students or ourselves.
There is a reason flight attendants assert that one should put their oxygen mask on first before helping others in case of an emergency; but we don’t always pay attention to that very poignant recommendation. Truthfully, (and those who are over-achievers and believe they are indestructible will find this hard to swallow) that recommendation is in place for a reason. What good are we to others if we are not good to ourselves? Do we think about the vibe we are giving off to our students in terms of self-preservation? Don’t we want them to follow our lead and teach by example, not just in terms of dance steps but in life? How do you think they view you? Do you think they believe you to be well-balanced and healthy in the way you care for yourself? I think the hardest thing to recognize is that putting yourself first every once in a while does not make you selfish. It makes you smart. It keeps you from burning out and exhausting everything you have. It allows you to maintain a more consistent mindset in which to help others, keeps your creativity flowing and allows you to walk into your classes cheerful, energized, unstressed and ready to do some dancing!
Here are some of my own recommendations I started for my own better sense of wellness. I know, I know, easier said than done, BUT…while it did take me a while to find consistency with some of them, think about it and approach it as a life-style change which in time will promote longevity, vitality and artistry for years to come! So, what are you waiting for? Take care of YOU?!
Start each morning with a glass of water
Take your daily vitamins
Keep hydrated throughout the day
Try a quick ten minute meditation to start or end your day and find “your center.”
Work-out with your own exercise regimen in the morning for at least 45 minutes.
Try a healthy smoothie or juicing for detox and energy
Aim for a solid 7-8 hours sleep.
Awake and go to bed the same time each day.
Take a personal day every now and then to just do something for you!
Maintain your own artistry, technique and craft! Keep learning and take class!
Set your personal work limits, i.e. will not teach passed 9pm, no work phone calls after 8, Sundays is a designated no work day, IPhones and laptops off on the weekend after last class.
See you in the dance studio!