I have written many posts about having difficult days, having very low self-esteem, gaining weight, and being insecure with myself. Yes, dancers are all insecure sometimes, but this time I want to be more positive and write about the things that make me happy.
As dancers, it is very hard to keep ourselves motivated. We need to find the best way we can enjoy life in and outside the studio. We know that hard work will pay off, but sometimes we just have more downs than up.
I am still in the process of having a more positive mindset. These things that I do (or think about) keep me up whenever I am having a bad day, and thus help me in the process.
Talk to the people I love
There is nothing like receiving the right messages at the right time. Sometimes, I reach out to the people I know are always there for me: my mom, boyfriend, best friends, my step-sister, and other family members. Maybe just a "How are you today?" or a Skype/FaceTime call will make my day. Most of them are very far away from me: Venezuela, Spain, England, or another city in Florida. So reaching out always makes me feel good.
Read a book
Even when I take such a long time to finish a book, it is one of my favorite pass times. I enjoy relaxing on the couch or bed and living the story I have in my hands. Just like performing a character on stage, you can live in another world for hours when reading a good book.
Look for inspiration through watching videos
Watching ballet videos are always an amazing way to get inspired (especially when they are Royal Ballet videos... or World Ballet Day). My generation is blessed with technology, so I take advantage of YouTube and my Royal Ballet DVD Collection to sit down and watch my idols perform.
Learning something new
Also, apart from reading novels, I enjoy reading books to which I can learn from. For instance, I am now reading "Apollo's Angels" by Jennifer Homans (History of Ballet) and "Writing Tools" by Roy Peter Clark. I take much more time to finish these, but I love the learning process.
Think of my strengths
A dancer has to learn about his or her abilities and weaknesses to make the most out of them. I might not have long muscles, a good arabesque, turnout or coordination for my turns, but I do have flexible feet, the ability to jump very high, and stage presence. These are the things that make me unique as a dancer; so whenever I feel frustrated with my weaknesses, I try to think of these things while still breaking down those that are harder for me.
Distraction: Whatever keeps me occupied or "doing nothing"
Since I moved alone, YouTube has been a good pal. Sometimes you will find me watching my favorite YouTubers' vlogs, Kathryn Morgan's ballet videos, a certain tutorial or The Royal Opera House's interviews and insights of rehearsals. I am very slow when catching up with Netflix, but it serves as a good distraction. Scrolling through social media, Pinterest or Tumblr are some spare time things I do for a distraction as well. Sometimes "doing nothing" is all you need to relax.
Cooking and tiding
I do like to spend hours in the kitchen cooking my food for the week. This way I know exactly what I am putting in my body while relaxing during the cooking process. Also, I recently discover that tiding up my workspace, my ballet bag, my room, and the kitchen itself puts me in a very good mood. I am more relaxed when I see everything organized.
A good coffee always makes me happy!
Journaling and planning
This is a new habit that I have been doing since last summer. A year ago or so, my friend introduced me to the Bullet Journal, but it was not until last July that I discovered how the system works and the whole community behind it. Every night, you will find me planning for the following day, week or month while having fun with color pens, markers, journals and all stationery alike. I will take you through my planning process in a future post!
Last but not least: Writing!
I am very glad I discovered my love for writing back when I was 16 or 17. I had a few years with my blog in Spanish, but never thought it could become more than a hobby. Writing a blog post, editing an interview, and writing for social media (everything but writing essays for school) put me in an excellent mood.
What are the things that help you on difficult days?