6 Ways to Make the Most of Your Winter Break

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Happy holidays! If you’re not performing in The Nutcracker, these few weeks off of school and normal dance classes are likely a welcome intermission in the middle of a very busy year. Dance Spirit has compiled a few suggestions for how you can maximize this breather and enter January rested and ready to go.

Adjust your sleep schedule

Between your school schedule, rehearsals, dance classes and performances, you’ve probably fallen into a less-than-optimal sleep schedule this semester. Take advantage of your time off from academics to get back on track. Your January self will thank you.

Tie up loose ends

If you have any academic or dance homework with deadlines after the holidays, try completing them early in the break to avoid the Sunday scaries right before the new year begins. Then you can focus on enjoying your downtime, knowing that you’re caught up on your responsibilities.

Take a break

Give yourself permission to take a real rest, at least for a little while. Did you know you actually need to give your muscles rest in order for them to repair and become stronger? So don’t think of watching holiday movies on the couch as a waste of time. You’re giving your body permission to heal.

Practice gratitude

Gratitude isn’t just for Thanksgiving. Taking a few moments each day to reflect on what you’re thankful for can improve your health, both mentally and physically. Try writing down three things you are grateful for each night before bed.

Try some self-care

Use some of your free time to treat yourself with kindness. Turn off social media and take a hot bath. Read a book for enjoyment, not for school. Take a walk or bike ride for some fresh air and vitamin D. Try a nondance activity that’s piqued your interest. After all, we know that being well-rounded doesn’t make you less passionate about dance.

Look to the future

Are you gearing up for competition season? Prepping for summer intensive auditions? Dedicate some time—at least an hour—to planning your busy future. Mark those audition dates into your calendar. Organize your costume pieces into garment bags for the first comp of the season. It won’t take you very long now, and it will save you time and stress in the future. Don’t be afraid to enlist help from a parent or dance teacher—they will appreciate your advanced planning.