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January 20, 2022
1. Get some sleep!
When it comes to self-care, getting enough z’s should be at the top of everyone’s list! Lack of sleep can make us more sensitive to stress, potentially leading us to overreact. Sleep deprivation can also make us moody, irritable and cause us to make poor decisions. So, if you want to stay patient and focused, get some sleep!
2. Practice positive self-talk
This one might feel weird at first, but it gets easier and it’s so worth it! A big aspect of self-care is the “self” part, and that includes how you view yourself. Find a quiet space where you can talk to yourself (internally works, but verbal is better!) and tell yourself things like “I nailed those combinations today” or “I am so close to mastering this choreo”. Give yourself props throughout the day by taking a few moments to reflect
3. Create a mood-boosting playlist
Music is likely already a big part of your day, but try truly jamming out once in a while! There is nothing quite like signing (or belting!) along to a power ballad. Creating a playlist of your favorites – not just what’s trending – can also be a go-to if you’re feeling like you need something familiar. On the flipside, if you want something more relaxing, opt for an audiobook or a new podcast.
4. Put out good energy
We talked about the importance of positive self-talk, but there are also benefits to speaking to others in a positive way. Make an effort to tell your team how well they’ve been doing in dance practice, thank your teacher for the extra help, or say something positive to each of your friends. Kindness goes a long way in making everyone a bit happier!
5. Bake something tasty
Never underestimate the power of baking! Creating anything can make you feel great – even if you’d rather paint, craft, or draw. Doing something creative can promote a sense of well-being and the focus you spend on the task can be a great way to shift away from a stressor. Baking also offers of a bonus of being able to share your goodies with friends and family!
6. Try journaling or creative writing
More fun than homework, writing about things that make you happy can, well, make you happy! While you don’t have to start things out with “Dear Diary”, writing short stories, funny memories, or even songs can build confidence and allow you to focus on something new.
7. Clean your room!
We aren’t trying to boss you around, promise! While cleaning your room is thought of as a chore, not cleaning it could actually lead to more stress! Having a disorganized space can cause higher levels of cortisol, which is related to stress levels – it can also make you feel distracted and can affect your sleep (which you need!)
8. Use social media mindfully
Social media has become such a huge part of our lives. While it’s a big source of entertainment and connection, there can be some downsides, too. If you find yourself scrolling TikTok and IG for waaaay too long (we’ve all been guilty) – try setting timers to limit your app usage. The next steps is to be mindful of how you’re using social media. Make the time you spend in the apps intentional by following friends or pages that inspire you, make you laugh, and ultimately make you feel good. Don’t be afraid to schedule time to disconnect!
9. Get silly again!
Can you believe that acting like a kid again can be a huge mood booster? Playing in any form – think hopscotch, roller blading, even tag – can release positive neurochemicals like serotonin in our brains. Even just 15 minutes of playing with our inner child can be a great pick-me-up if you’re feeling stressed.
10. Talk it out!
Though this list focuses on “self-care”, enlist the people in your life to help along the way. Always be sure to reach out to a parent, friend, or teacher if you’re feeling stressed. It’s totally normal to feel happy, excited and confident for competition season while also feeling like you need some words of encouragement. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you aren’t feeling 100%!