Keep Dancing on the Hard Days
I hope you are well and staying home as much as possible!
With the current restrictions due to the coronavirus, many places are closed, including dance and fitness centers!
Which means it is necessary to dance at home (more than usual!).
Last year, friends who refurbished their bathrooms gave me two 3’ x 3’ mirrors. I also have a 6’ x 6’ portable dance floor.
With no where to work this weekend, I finally had time to convert part of the garage into my own personal dance and fitness space!
With my husband’s assistance, we got the mirrors on the wall of the garage. I then added a shelf for a fan and a whiteboard to make notes on the patterns, skills, or routines I want to work on that day. I moved my DIY ballet bar out there and have a space for my tablet to watch practice videos. We added some hooks above the mirrors and made a way to lift the dance floor onto the wall when not in use. That way I can still park the car in the garage!
I now have a space to focus on practicing my dances, working on my fitness routines, and a place to put the stress out of my mind for a bit.
While these days are difficult, they are also an opportunity to reevaluate our lives and find where our real fulfillment exists.
For me, I can dance anywhere and anytime. I encourage you to do the same.
Dance on the good days, and especially on the hard days. Through dance, we are able to express what words cannot. We give our mind and body an outlet through which it can pour any emotion.
Stay well and keep dancing forward!
A thought on Hoarding and COVID-19
(Disclaimer – this is a VERY BRIEF look into Abraham Maslow’s theory. There is much more depth and understanding that go into the interrelated stages. In the interest of this being a blog and not a comprehensive work, I decided to just brush the surface of the concepts. Please research more if you are interested in human motivation. I recommend starting with the YouTube video at the bottom of this article.)
If you follow me on Instagram (and you should! @dancergirl1983), earlier this week I posted a quote from psychologist Abraham Maslow: “In any given moment we have two options: To step forward into growth, or to step back into safety. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.”
Maslow put forth a theory of self-actualization, which is known as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. His five-stage theory (which has been expanded since, but for now we will stick to the five stages) puts forth the motivations that drive people in their actions. In his theory the lower levels of needs must be met before the higher levels can be initiated. These five stages are 1) physiological 2) safety 3) love/belonging 4) esteem and 5) self-actualization.
For the purpose of today’s blog, I am only going to focus on the first two levels: physiological and safety.
As we have seen in the stores, on the news, on social media these past few weeks, people have been purchasing excessive amounts of household essentials, such as toilet paper, disinfectants, and meat. Many others have made fun of those who have stocked up, referring to them as “hoarders.” This is a response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic that we are facing.
I wondered why people are selecting the items that they are selecting to stock up on. Then I remembered Maslow.
During this time, there is an immense uncertainty in our lives. We are being told to flip our lives upside down to help protect the world and to survive. This is frightening to people. Their very way of life is threatened and changing.
In Maslow’s first stage, physiological needs must be met before any other higher level can begin. Physiological needs include things such as food, shelter, water, sleep – all the things humans need to survive.
The second stage is safety. People seek order and predictability in their lives. We find comfort in our routine and feel threatened if our routine is messed up, especially for extended periods of time.
In looking at how people are reacting in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, I find it easy to see why. This crisis is threatening our way of life, our very lives. People are needing to find ways to meet their basic physiological and safety needs.
We are insecure about our finances (just look at the stock market this month), we are uncertain about our health, we are being asked to remove ourselves from society (stage three is belonging).
What I see when I see the empty shelves on the toilet paper aisle is not that greedy hoarders came through; I see that people are trying to feel safe and secure and that they will have those basic human needs met. Stock up on meat? That means you will have food. Stock up on cleaners? You want to keep yourself and others safe from disease.
It isn’t about hoarding or greed or keeping things from others. The motivation is our basic human drives to survive. We MUST be safe and have our basic needs met. Yes, we may not think logically at this time, but that is because we cannot. We cannot think outside of ourselves until those needs are fulfilled.
So think about this the next time you judge the person with four packs of toilet paper and 30 pounds of meat – they are not being greedy; they are not trying to keep it from others; they are simply trying to feel secure in life. They are not acting against another with malicious intent. They just want what we all want – security, predictability, and belonging.
For more information about Abraham Maslow:
https://youtu.be/L0PKWTta7lU (7 minute video – easiest way to get an overview!)
Be Kind to One Another
I want to briefly ask you to be kind to each other.
With the chaos regarding the COVID-19 pandemic this past week, we have seen many different sides of our human nature.
Some have used humor to diffuse uncomfortable situations or release tension. Some are trying to prepare in the only way they can think of. Some are in denial and some are living out the hell of the illness right now.
Regardless of where your opinion lies regarding other individuals’ actions, you do not need to be mean about it. If you think what someone else is doing is crazy, that is fine. However, you do not need to broadcast it and try to make it seem as if you are superior. You have your own crazy parts to your personality.
We are all different and we are all the same. We only want to feel secure and when security is threatened, we each respond differently.
So just be nice to one another. When you are kind, you are beautiful. Fill the world with beauty.
Have a great week!
Keep dancing forward!
Happy Sunday, Everyone!
I was asked a question this week: “What did you do to lose your weight? What did you eat?”
This is a hard question and part of the motivation in my quest to become a certified nutrition consultant. It is a difficult question because there is no one answer that will be the solution to everyone. There are no quick tricks, no special pills, nothing that will just “fix” the problem in a few weeks.
Fad diets are not lifelong sustainable for the average person. Diets that restrict or remove foods that you love will not be long-term sustainable. Diets that make you feel like you are on a “diet” are not good. Any diet that increases your risk for other problems is definitely not good.
However, when I tell people that I didn’t alter my eating significantly all at once, and I explain my process, I think they are a bit reassured that slow progress is still progress.
What did I do?
I logged everything I at in my LoseIt! App. Every day, every bite, every drink.
I discovered dancing and increased the amount and type of physical activity I got every week.
I reduced stress by leaving an unhealthy job setting.
I paid attention to what I ate and how different foods made me feel.
I found a supportive environment where people didn’t care what you look like, they just all have fun dancing together.
I found a place where I could discover myself, be supported to become the best version of myself.
I found a place – physically and mentally – where I could be me.
What does this mean for the average person?
If you want to find a healthier and stronger you, don’t worry so much about the number on the scale.
Log what you eat normally for at least 2 weeks and evaluate. What nutrients are you missing? How can you add more healthy nutrition to your daily routine? Can you drink more water?
How can you add more movement to your day every day? (It doesn’t have to be the gym – try different things!)
A few resources to help get you started:
Choosemyplate.gov (especially the My Plate Plan under Resources tab)
Allrecipes Healthy Recipes
Google or Facebook search for
Free Exercise Opportunities in My Community
Dance near me
Exercise near me
Local YMCA and church groups also offer activities and opportunities for the local communities
The best thing I can advise when asked “What did you do?” is this:
I DID NOT QUIT.
Just keep moving forward. It may take longer than you like, but if you keep going forward, you will get there and feel even better when you do!
Have a great week!
Keep Dancing Forward!