Life in the Coronavirus pandemic involves navigating every day with changing parameters, which can lead to stress, uncertainty and fear. But it is possible to find and acknowledge the positives of this largely negative situation.
It is difficult to manage uncertainty. In ‘normal’ times, we would be thrilled to be told to take four weeks away from work or school. But our current situation comes with ever-changing rules, restrictions and regulations which mean we cannot socialise, dance, play sport or do many of the day-to-day activities we take for granted. Ambiguity tends to create pessimism, fear and confusion and many people are struggling with the amount of negativity around right now. It is up to us to try to change it.
Let’s take this pervasive fear and turn it into inspiration.
Enforced down-time is a great opportunity to strive for something we want to change, start or achieve. As dancers, fitness professionals and creative-types, we are naturally busy and motivated. When we are not in the studio, we run through routines at home, stretch while watching television, go to the gym to work on our fitness levels, make up choreography to every song we hear and constantly think about what we are going to do next. As a professionally trained dancer and Pilates instructor, I find it hard to take the time to stop and reset, even though I practice mindfulness on a daily basis.
I challenge you to embrace the change of pace.
Slow down and tap into your thoughts and desires. Ask yourself, ‘How can I come out of this a better version of me?’ We have been given the gift of time to figure this out.
I can no longer physically see my clients or teach classes so, like many of us, I am taking this time to transition my services online and build my social media and YouTube presence. I have also started gardening, even though I have no idea what I am doing. The peace and quiet in the sun has quickly become my Zen-time; something I did not have in the ‘before’.
Here are five ways for dancers and fitness lovers to embrace change during the pandemic:
Take online dance classes
Almost every creative and artist has transitioned to online dance and fitness classes. That means there is no shortage of classes which can help you achieve your fitness goals and train in new dance styles.
Exercise is important to maintain mental and physical health. When we move our bodies chemicals including endorphins, dopamine and serotonin release which help to regulate your mood. My go-to right now is Yoga. It is great for working on your mind-to-body connection and improving flexibility and strength. It will work wonders alongside dancing.
Find a new hobby
Everyone needs a creative outlet! When dance or fitness becomes your profession, you will forever love your job because it is your passion. But, during times like these, it is essential to have something separate purely for enjoyment with no pressure attached. Try anything that takes your fancy—drawing, video editing, designing, baking—you could surprise yourself. I never thought I would enjoy gardening!
Find an online course
This is the perfect time to work towards developing your career or working towards a new path. Nothing is normal right now, but think about whether you are happy with the life you lived before COVID-19. What would you change? What is now within your power? We never stop learning and it is always useful to have many strings to your bow. If you apply yourself, a whole new life could be possible once this is over.
Stop and reset
The morning is my favourite time to stop and reset. My way of resetting is to sit in the sun for a little while and reflect on how I am feeling today, what I am going to do and what I really want. By slowing down and reflecting, you will start to slowly figure out what you want from yourself and your life and make choices that lead you down that path. Taking this time is just as important as being busy and productive.
This does not have to be a time consumed by fear. While days of Netflix binges are perfectly acceptable, it is important to focus on the positives of the situation. Use your energy, drive and creativity to turn uncertainty into inspiration.