Being a dance major in college is no piece of cake. My first class starts at 8 a.m. everyday, and my last class ends at 4:45 p.m. Not only do I have to stay physically fit for my dance technique classes, but mentally fit for my academic classes as well. Throw in some late night rehearsals, and crewing for shows, and you have yourself one tired college freshman. Having this hectic schedule, I had to learn the hard way that coffee is not always the best source for constant energy. So, here are my top five things that I do throughout the day/week to keep myself (healthily) energized, and ready to take on anything!
- Drink water. It’s so simple, yet it is neglected all the time. Our bodies are made up of almost 80% water, and when we deprive ourselves from this liquid, we become fatigued! I’ve noticed the more H2O I guzzle, the more aware and awake I feel throughout the day (especially during hard Anatomy exams!)
- Beware of the Cookie Monster and his sugar. Just kidding about the monster. Sugar is a great source when you feel tired because it will automatically give your body a boost of energy. But, it does not last long, and you will end up having a “sugar crash.” Try natural sugars in foods like apples and oranges! I know when I hit that 2 o’clock slump, I grab an orange for a fresh, sweet boost that definitely gets me through the next three hours of dance classes.
- Four words: Thirty second dance party. Whenever I feel like I just can’t make it through the day (and my bed looks so inviting) I stop what I’m doing, and I dance around. No, not “technical” dancing, but fun, “throw your arms all over the place” type of dancing. This burst of energy automatically wakes me up! P.S.- It’s even more fun when you do it with friends!
- Read a little. It’s important that every night, you get solid sleep. Whether that’s six hours or ten hours, every hour counts! Instead of staring at your phone screen texting, or looking at Facebook on your laptop before bed, grab a book! I’ve found that reading before bed puts me into a more relaxed mood, and I’m able to fall asleep easier!
- Don’t stress (if only it were that simple!) But seriously. When we stress about the small things, our mind can’t focus on the present and we end up exhausting ourselves without even noticing that it’s happening! When something doesn’t go as planned, just step back, take a deep breath, and continue. I know that when I stress, I begin to feel mentally and even physically drained! But, I have learned to overcome it by counting my blessings, and remembering that everything will work itself out in the end! Plus, it’s more fun to not be stressed out, right?
Marin Helppie-Schmieder is a college freshman at the Conservatory of Performing Arts at Point Park University in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania majoring in Modern Dance. Originally from Carrollton, Texas, Marin was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Texas for 2012. Learn more about Marin here!