Spring might bring warmer weather and a greener landscape, but that doesn’t mean an instant infusion of energy. Feeling stuck knows no season. The “blah”s can strike at any time, even for the most active individuals. And after living through a pandemic for several years, we could all use a few extra motivational tools to keep us moving in a positive direction.
Dance is a proven mood booster — in fact, studies have shown that dancing for at least 2 ½ hours a week can reduce symptoms of mental distress for people of all ages — but dedicated dancers are just as susceptible to burnout as any other athletes. Exercise is a key contributor to good mental and physical health, but if you spend most of your days on the move, it’s crucial to find other ways to lift your spirits.
So, what can you do when you’re feeling run down by your routine? Here are 6 simple ways to unstick yourself in those inevitable moments of “meh”:
This might seem like a given, but we have to say it: When it comes to combating burnout, rest is non-negotiable! Whenever energy is lagging and your body is dragging, consider: Are you sleeping enough? Do you need to take more breaks, or step away for a few days?
As the saying goes, if you don’t pick a day to rest, your body will pick it for you!
Take it Outside
When you have down time, do you find yourself staring at a screen? How about gazing at the sky instead? Whether you take a walk around the neighborhood or have a picnic on a park bench, studies suggest that exposing yourself to nature can increase your attention span, decrease stress levels, improve your memory and even make you more empathetic and cooperative.
If it’s difficult for you to schedule facetime with Mother Nature, bring her beauty to your little corner of the world. You don’t have to plant an entire garden; a few houseplants or fresh-cut flowers in a vase will do.
Make a Connection
What’s better for your mood than getting “likes” on your Instagram post? Making eye contact with a friend or family member during a face-to-face conversation, warmly greeting a neighbor out on the street or exchanging a smile and nod with a complete stranger in a store.
According to psychologist Barbara Fredrickson, these brief “micro-moments” can work wonders. They spark positive emotions and make us feel seen, supported and genuinely important to the world, in meaningful ways that social media can never do.
Meditate On It
Imagine being able to escape to a quiet, peaceful oasis when everything around you seems noisy and chaotic. It’s possible with a couple taps of a phone screen, a pair of earbuds and a few deep breaths. Try downloading a meditation app on your smartphone to guide you through breathing exercises and a mindfulness practice. Before long, you’ll be able to find refuge in that Zen state of mind, anytime and anywhere.
Appreciating beauty is one way to stimulate our sense of wonder. But there’s something especially uplifting about making something beautiful with our own hands. Whether it’s drawing, painting, sewing, knitting, playing an instrument, singing, or even coloring in a coloring book — no, it’s not just for kids! — channeling our inner artist is a great way to get reinvigorated and re-inspired.
The concept of a “gratitude journal” probably isn’t new to you; psychologist Robert Emmons has been writing for many years about the benefits of an intentional gratitude practice. He and his fellow researchers found that jotting down a few things you’re grateful for every day can produce immense physical, psychological and social benefits — in just three weeks’ time!
Some of these benefits include:
- Stronger immune system
- Greater sense of optimism
- A more outgoing personality
Seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? Simply pausing for a few minutes, even in the midst of the most hectic day, can pay off in a major way. Sometimes, it takes energy to make energy.
At Motionwear, we’re grateful for the opportunity to provide dancers and athletes with the high-performance activewear they need to fuel their healthy lifestyles. We thank YOU for making us the marquee name in dance basics for three decades and counting! Stay tuned to our blog for inspiring tips and stories of people in motion.