This month I have been focusing on writing about habits in my blog and on my other Social Media postings. Of course, habits are simply lifestyle choices we make that become so routine we do not have to think about them – they just become an extension of our daily and weekly lives. But what happens when an out-of-control Pandemic stops us in our tracks. Some people have gained a windfall because of the crises while others have suffered immeasurably.
My daughter is a dancer and she introduced me to a very poignant article posted in Dance Magazine, Got Quarantine Burnout? Here Are 4 Ways to Deal by Claudia Bauer, Oct 26, 2020. Below is an excerpt I have extracted from this article that I believe speaks to new habits that can be transformative during this extraordinary time we face.
“Give It a Rest”
Rest is a key tool for recovering from and preventing burnout. Dancers are used to a varied schedule throughout the year, with periods of intensity followed by downtime: Students might spend summers at intensives and then vacation with family, while company dancers can use off-seasons to travel and do guest performances. Sheltering in place is not normal, so dancers need to take mental and physical breaks that add refreshing variety and counteract the draining routine.”
“Growing Beyond Burnout”
The next step in staving off burnout is taking action: Reframe the frustrating limitations of COVID-19 as creative challenges that can help you grow. Claudia Bauer quotes psychologist and dance therapist Anginese Phillips, MS, LCAT, BC-DMT, co-founder of Full Force Wellness Repertory in Manhattan as saying ‘As human beings, we don’t necessarily grow from a place of stillness. We grow from things evolving and changing, and from moving through our resistance. It’s your decision whether to experience it as something bad or something good.’
Braeden Barnes, a contemporary dancer with Visceral Dance Chicago is inspired by Move, an improv class he teaches on Zoom. ‘We focus on little movements, breathing, relaxing—stuff that wouldn’t get as much attention in a big studio,’ he says. ‘I’m learning for myself how I can feel all these details when I’m performing in the future.’ He’s also exploring other art forms, like literature and music, that he usually doesn’t have time for. ‘What’s really helped my mindset is, What can I learn during this period? What can I take with me back to the studio and the stage?’”
The takeaway from these performers and teachers is worth noting. Our most valuable resource during this Pandemic is resilience and permission to take breaks. There is hope we are entering the beginning of the reopening with vaccines and more appreciation for mask wearing. Our attitude must remain steadfast in understanding that we can not only make it to the other side but be stronger by adhering to consideration of habits we can change to keep us grounded.
Contact Captured Clutter if you think coaching might help you get through this period 678-294-7813 or, here are some other sources cited in Dance Magazine if you need more help during these days of COVID-19 crises.