Valentine's Day

With Valentine's Day fast approaching many of you are scrambling for ideas on what to do for your loved ones. This is a day that you should also be thinking about yourself. We like to think of Valentine's Day as an excuse to practice self-care. Here are just a few ideas to treat yourself (and possibly someone in your life!) on this holiday.

1. Sleep. As dancers we don't always get as much as we should. Take this time to sleep in, maybe take a nap in the middle of the day, or go to bed early to help rest your body. When you give your body proper rest that is when your muscles have a chance to recover.

* Gift Idea: Let your parents or siblings sleep in or take a nap. It's a win-win for everybody!

2. Nutritious Meal. Start the day off (or maybe for the afternoon, or maybe the evening...) with a good meal. Giving your body proper fuel makes you feel better. Go ahead, indulge in a donut or cinnamon roll, but make sure that you are also giving yourself something good like fresh fruit, a smoothie, quinoa, or steamed veggies. Taking the time to give yourself food that is full of vitamins might not sound like the most appealing thing but your body will thank you for it later. We're not saying that's all you should have -- but make sure that all those yummy sugary treats are eaten in moderation.

* Gift Idea: Make a snack for the entire family. A nut tray or a veggie tray is a simple way to snack together.

* Gift Idea #2: Make a meal as a family. Everyone could be in charge of their own dish for dinner and you can cook together.

3. Meditation. Ten minutes of mediation a day is a great way to clear your head and destress. If you are new to meditation there are apps you can use to help you. Whether it's just to work on breathing or if there is something specific you want to work on (like anxiety or stress) there are a lot of options out there.

* Gift Idea: Do a guided meditation with everyone in your family. After it's done you can discuss if you feel any different. No matter your experience I bet it will put a smile on your face!

4. Yoga or Stretching. Much like meditation, yoga or stretching can help destress the body. As a dancer focussing on this at home helps muscles that are tight from hours of dancing and can release trigger points that might be causing pain. While stretching itself is good and should be worked on at home, doing something more structured like yoga can release muscle tension in a much more holistic way, helping the entire body and not just a specific thing like a sore calf muscle.

* Gift Idea: Either with your family or over a video platform with a friend, do an online yoga class together. There are practices ranging from 5 minutes to two hours. Find one that works for you!

5. Walk. Walking is a great way to show your body some love. Getting up and moving helps get the blood flowing making all of your muscles happy. Plus if the weather isn't too bad then getting outside and moving helps improve both your physical state and your mental state.

* Gift Idea: After lunch go on a walk as a family. Or you could pack a lunch and take a walk somewhere and have a picnic afterwards.