Before starting back school I knew I had to get ready for some adjustments again. My schedule had gotten so weird over the summer and over the end of Spring semester due to COVID-19. Part of me was nervous because I was not sure if I was mentally ready for this type of schedule again. Another part of me was ready for this set schedule and routine because I had gotten somewhat lazy over what didn’t even feel like a normal summer. I wasn’t even dancing as much as I should have been and that definitely took a toll on me.
Luckily, adjusting back to school and dance hasn’t been so bad… not such a harsh wake-up call. Thankfully I got some studio time at my studio back home here to dedicate to my technique classes and for choreography.
I found myself in a tough place mentally and physically the past two weeks. I was not motivated to move and physically was not capable of doing much because I was recently diagnosed with pleuritis which is some inflammation over my lungs, ultimately making it harder for me to breathe. I found it extremely difficult for myself to breathe and I think I created anxiety for myself which made it so much worse. Mentally, I was not in a healthy place either. I think I felt slightly hopeless and incapable with how I was feeling. I felt like I couldn’t push myself like I usually liked to in dance. My focus was lost and I was not performing my best in the studio and in my academic classes.
Which brings me to my point. Knowing my limits versus knowing I can or should push through. Those few weeks I tried so hard to push through and it just made it worse for me. So I decided to take a break because I felt like I had ultimately reached my limit. I took necessary breaks and naps, gave myself time to breathe and rest and spend time to myself again. I took self care moments during the day and even let myself cry. I couldn’t believe that I felt so burnt out so soon into the semester and my new schedule. This was a point where I knew I couldn’t push myself any longer. I knew that I had to take better care of myself because sometimes, believe it or not, I sometimes don’t even prioritize myself.
Knowing when to push through though is a different circumstance. I think that I personally know when to push through because I am mentally stable and excelling in my training and dancing or whatever I am doing physically. Moments like these I am mentally and physically ready to improve myself and I am motivated to better myself. Granted, I am always motivated to better myself, but I feel like some moments I work too hard on too many things that I just need a break from it in general. I think I do a mini self-check on myself when I know I am capable of pushing through and I see myself accomplishing some goals by the end of a couple weeks or the end of a certain month.
Knowing the difference between these two is one of the many factors to living a healthy life. Especially for dancers and performing artists with rigorous dance/rehearsal schedules on-top of school and work. It is important you find this balance and stop when you need to, or remove things from your life that are consuming too much of your time and energy that is not benefiting you. Your body and your mind requires rest in order for optimum functionality. This goes for all individuals in any career and in anything they are pursuing. I admit, that I sometimes forget to truly prioritize my mind and my body in this busy life I like to have and it very much takes a toll on me like I recently experienced. I think this was one of my worst battles, yet I am ready to overcome it and take you all on this journey with me. Although it was a small stumbling block in my life, I felt like it was a good reality hit that I NEED to take a better look and a better control over myself so I can ultimately be the best version of myself.