Anyways, today's post was requested by my sister Jaimi (you can read her interview here). She thinks she might be dealing with burnout as a performer and so I decided to write a post that might shed some light on the situation.
Before I begin the signs of burnout I wanted to note that Type A personalities (high achievers who tend to overcommit themselves, such as myself) are at especially high risk for burnout.
Early signs include:
1. Not enjoying dancing
2. Tension, depression, frustration at not improving
3. Anger, fatigue, and feeling out-of-whack
4. An inability to bounce back like you used to and forgetfulness or confusion.
Take a few days off from dancing entirely. Fake the stomach flu if you have to. Just don't go to class. Rest your body, do yoga, eat and drink right and most importantly, get enough sleep.
Full-blown burnout signs include:
1. Pushing yourself through exhaustion
2. Physical pain and feeling emotionally shot
3. Feelings of negativity, being catty towards others and depressed
4. This could result in injury and even worse complete disdain for dance
Take more than a few days off of dancing. Take the summer off if you have to. Just don't dance, as hard as that may be. Sure, you can do conditioning to keep yourself from losing muscle tone, just don't dance at all.
According to an old Dance Spirt magazine I have here are seven things you can do to beat burnout:
1. During days of rest, nurture yourself
Get a massage, sit in a hot tub or sauna, go for acupuncture and have some fun. That doesn't mean you can go nuts at a club. Instead try having a nice dinner with friends.
2. Maintain a workout regimen
This must have lots of variety to stay mentally stimulated and to increase the probability of success.
3. Don’t be so hard on yourself and try to be less goal-oriented
If there was such a thing as being perfect it would be a category in the Guinness Book of World Records. Unfortunately, perfection just doesn’t exist...unless you're Jesus of course.
4. See a professional dance performance
When I was going through dance burnout, rereading my favorite dance novels and watching my favorite ballets on DVD really helped bring back my love for dance.
5. Take a dance workout class such as Zumba
It's so much fun, even if no one else are dancers. Sometimes being next to other dancers having fun and rekindle your love for dance.
6. Switch studios
If worst comes to worst, try switching to a new studio. You may be burned out because your studio is not meeting your needs anymore. That's how it was for me at one studio, so instead of leaving I took classes with a different teacher and at a level lower than what I was taking before. Not only was I the best dancer in the class, but it also helped me focus on my technique and all the nice praise I got really helped me feel better about my dancing.
7. Evaluate your commitment to dance
If you’re burning out, you might need a new venue for dance. Such as joining a dance team at your school which will allow you to continue dancing at a lesser intensity than at your studio.
(Credit: Ballerina Project).
So that concludes my post about how to deal with burnout. I really hope this post helped you Jaimi, as well as any other dancers who are dealing with burnout. As always, please share this post if you liked it and leave a comment for me below if you would like me to do a post on a particular topic pertaining to mental health. Have a great week and I’ll catch you all in my next post!
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