Rehearsal schedules, performances and other commitments can make for an exceptionally stressful time of year, especially as the weather is cold and immune systems tend to be weaker.
As the winter marching season gets underway and as rehearsals start back up after holiday break, it’s a good time to discuss stress management.
Stress has been linked to several health disorders and aliments, such as increased levels of cortisol, which can lead to more fat deposits around the lower abdomen and possibly Type II diabetes.
In order to stay in top shape for the indoor marching season, here are some tips to ward off the cold and stay extra healthy.
Start the Day Right
Try to find a routine—get up a little earlier than you typically do and start your day with some warm water and a couple of slices of lemon, meditation or stretching. It’s important to set the tone for the rest of your day.
Finding moments of calm in our ever-busy lives and schedules is important when it comes to maintaining a balanced lifestyle. These moments can be anything that you find relaxing, such as running, listening to music, reading a book, playing your instrument for pure enjoyment, or just sitting and breathing—we often forget to truly let our bodies and minds relax.
Detox From Digital Devices
Managing stress has become more difficult as fear of missing out has become more and more a part of our digital lives. Digital detoxing has become increasingly important as far as stress management is concerned—try turning your phone off for one day a week or a month. You might be surprised at how liberating it feels. As we continue to be more invested and deeply concerned with the online versions of our lives, we bring on more stress and a more confused identity. Making time to see friends and family in person has been linked to people reporting feeling more fulfilled and happy.
Get Some Sleep
Getting plenty of rest is also a key part of stress reduction. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, try some of these tips and tricks. Keep a pad of paper and a pen next to your bed to jot down any lingering thoughts that are keeping you awake. Also, eliminate digital light in the wee hours of the night and reserve your bed for only sleep. If you are still having trouble getting some zzz’s, have a warm cup of almond milk with cardamom or a cup of herbal tea.
All in all, incorporating even just a few of these suggestions into your new health routine will have you feeling a little more at ease and stress-free. When in doubt, just take a few moments for yourself and/ or a few deep calming breaths. It’s truly amazing what a few breaths with intention can do.
About the Author
After dancing since the age of 3, Haley Greenwald-Gonella thought it was time to try a new art. In elementary school, she began playing the flute and was in the marching band in middle school and for the first two years of high school. She also played the bassoon during concert season. Dance drew Haley back while in high school.
She graduated from the University of California, Irvine, with degrees in dance and English. She recently graduated from the University of Southern California with a master’s degree in Specialized Journalism (The Arts).
Haley is also a certified registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance. She draws upon her dance and yoga training when it comes to all things fitness and the arts.