Self-care tips from ALMA NYC

On January 14, ALMA NYC hosted a wellness seminar at Broadway Dance Center. The seminar featured a five-person panel of nutrition, fitness, life-coaching and holistic living specialists. The afternoon focused on the meaning of self-care, a concept that has become a very trendy topic in today’s society.   

ALMA NYC is a not-for-profit dance collective with philanthropic initiatives. Its mission is to support artists, create important work as creatives and connect with various communities to empower through art. Its seminars are part of its programming to support artists in pursuit of their goals. ALMA NYC is passionate about supporting artists in their pursuit of health, both mentally and physically. The NYC-based non-profit artists’ collective knows how tough the balance can be while navigating the obstacles of living in NYC, in addition to pursuing an artistic career. 

That’s why ALMA NYC gathered some of the greatest minds we know to have a frank conversation about all things health…beyond the broccoli. There is no way to give all we can as artists without taking the time and care to nurture and invest in ourselves. During this seminar at BDC, ALMA’s hope was to unpack and explore small changes for big results, share efficiencies that can lower overall stress, and share resources and tools for staying healthy and happy this 2019. 

If you were not able to attend the seminar or catch the live-stream on the @_almanyc Instagram, here are some key takeaways from the informative and empowering afternoon:

dance

Self-care

  • Self-care is not all bath-bombs and green smoothies. It is completely individualized.
  • Think about self-care as the “inhale” to your “exhale” (external commitments like auditions, work and school). You have to fill up your cup before you can share with others.
  • Self-care is not selfish. It is vital to prevent burnout. Be audacious in caring for yourself.
  • Instead of framing yourself as a “victim” of time, consciously choose where you put your energy.
  • Self-care includes four parts: goals, nutrition, fitness and enlightenment.

Goal-setting

  • What’s a dream that you forgot about (meaning, you let the tough stuff get in the way of this pursuit)?
  • Compassion is needed for us to reach our goals (whether they’re career goals, relationship goals, health goals or other personal goals). Beating yourself up will sabotage your journey.
  • Acknowledge the process rather than focusing solely on the destination. Two steps forward and one step back is still movement in the right direction.
  • Find your “flow”—when you feel most “alive” and in-sync.

Nutrition

  • Dancers are athletes and need to fuel accordingly.
  • A proper fuel mix includes carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats.
  • Understanding hunger cues can help you understand when your body needs fuel. (This might not always be a rumbling in your stomach. It can also be tiredness, irritability, blurred vision, forgetfulness and inability to dance to your fullest potential.)
  • Intuitive eating is a key practice to developing a healthy and positive relationship with food.

Fitness

  • Think beyond weight loss and toning. Your body is an incredible instrument that is capable of great things. More empowering areas to focus on include strength, mobility, flexibility and endurance.
  • Figure out what motivates you — the scientific and physiological information behind working out, accountability from a friend or trainer, or really tapping in to whyyou’re doing it.  

Self-knowledge (or Enlightenment)

  • Be wary of measuring your self-worth in achievements. This is an especially common and detrimental habit for dancers (as well as athletes and other performing artists).
  • The journey of self-acceptance and understanding is never-ending (and that’s an exciting thing!).

To learn more about ALMA NYC, visit www.almanyc.org.

By Mary Callahan of Dance Informa. 

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