As a dance teacher, some things come with the territory–and one is that you’re constantly on the go. From frantically preparing for upcoming dance recitals to rushing from one class to the next, if you’re not careful, it’s easy to find yourself on the edge of burn-out. This is why taking time for self-care is essential as a dance teacher.
While self-care looks different for everyone, the principles for self-care apply to everyone. Here are 5 ways to practice self care as a dance teacher:
1. Make Time For Hobbies
While dance may be your passion (after all, there’s a reason you became a dance teacher), too much of the same thing without a break can ultimately lead to burn-out. Making time for other creative outlets and hobbies you enjoy is an important part of self-care.
This could mean setting aside time to try a new recipe if you enjoy cooking, reading that book that’s collecting dust on your shelf, or planning a weekend getaway to one of the destinations on your bucket list. Setting aside time for activities that you enjoy outside of dance is an important part of staying emotionally, mentally, and physically healthy.
2. Invest In Relationships Outside of Work
Although it may be easy for the dance studio to become your world, it’s essential to invest in relationships outside of the dance studio too. Call that friend from high school you’ve been meaning to catch up with or schedule lunch with a family member–making time for relationships outside of work is an important part of taking care of yourself.
3. Get Enough Sleep
After a long day at the studio (especially around recital time), getting to bed on time isn’t always easy. However, investing in your sleep will help you feel better, increase your body’s ability to fight off infection, and help you show up to work as the best version of yourself. Here are some tips for getting better sleep:
Avoid screens for 30 minutes before bed: Although it’s hard to put your phone down when you want to catch up on your texts after a hectic day, doing so is necessary for helping your brain recognize it’s time to fall asleep. Bright screens before bed will keep your brain alert and can delay sleep for up to several hours.
Go to sleep at the same time every night: Setting a bedtime schedule that you adhere to will help you train your body to fall asleep at the same time every night.
Check the temperature: One of the most common culprits for a bad night’s sleep is a temperature that’s too hot or too cold. Setting the temperature to an ideal spot will not only help you fall asleep more quickly, but stay asleep longer.
Avoid sugar and caffeine before bed: Although that pint of chocolate ice cream in the back of the freezer might be calling your name, if it’s close to your bedtime, it can wait. Large amounts of sugar or caffeine right before bed can make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
4. Do Your Own Exercise Routine
Although chances are good that you get plenty of exercise during class, taking time for your own exercise is an essential part of self-care. Set aside an hour to stretch out your sore muscles from class or attend a cycling class at your local gym. Even taking a few minutes to practice mindfulness can bring a sense of peace and calm into your day. Enjoying your own exercise routine will rejuvenate you both physically and mentally, which will help you show up better for your students.
5. Make Time For Vacation
As a dance instructor, it’s easy to give all your time and energy to your students, and you might feel guilty taking a personal day when a recital is approaching or your students are learning a difficult technique. However, taking a personal day now and then will help you feel refreshed and well-rested so you can give your students your all when you come back.
Whether you choose to take time off for a fun trip with friends or just to spend the day at home, spending time away from work will help you return to work calmer and healthier.
Practice Self-Care Today
As a dance teacher, it’s easy to give everything to your students, but it’s important to take care of yourself too. By setting aside time for self-care, you’ll be able to show up as the best version of yourself, not only for your students, but for the other areas of your life too.