Updated: May 16
If I’m being completely honest, these past few months have been a whirlwind of emotions for the world. Since the rise of the pandemic of Covid, another epidemic of declining mental health has been creeping in. With so much news surrounding the virus and the effects it has on millions of people and their communities, it is important to look into how we can take care of ourselves. A therapeutic method that has helped so many individuals lives in the freedom of expression through music and movement. Dance is a special form of therapy that can help with mental health.
1. Express yourself without words
When words fail to express how you feel and you want to let it all out, music and movement will always be there for you. Sometimes all you need is a good song that you connect with to let all your thoughts out—whatever it is. Sometimes we don’t know exactly what we are feeling but the emotions are there and we have a hard time dealing with them. Let your thoughts flow. By finding a corner in your bedroom or living room, play your favourite song and just move. What makes dance so special is it allows you to be creative and convey your feelings without having to really think about them. So do so, express, connect with the music and let dance help you.
2. Helps reduce stress and anxiety
In a time where stress and anxiety is through the roof due to Covid, finding something to help control and reduce our stress or anxiety can be challenging. One thing that has helped me throughout my own quarantine journey is dance. Dance helps take your mind off of things, it helps you take a moment for yourself and heal from the effects of the sudden changes in your life. With so much going on in your mind, being able to take a breather every now and then is needed. So take a moment for yourself, if it’s in the morning or right before you go to bed; push some of that furniture to the side and start dancing. It will help you relax and have fun.
3. Makes you feel not so alone
Being quarantined is hard to begin with, and the constant days of feeling trapped in doors all day every day can definitely take a toll on you. For those of us who are quarantining alone, feeling the effects of not having much social interaction also does not help. Taking a moment to dance and connect with movement and music helps you feel not so alone. Whether you are just jumping up and down to the beat or connecting with the words of the artist, dance helps you connect with others when we’re not really having much of it lately.
4. A little boost of serotonin.
It has been noted that dancing can help boost one’s happiness. When feeling low, stressed or anxious, dancing to your favourite upbeat song can help you gain that boost of serotonin and energy that your body is craving during these times. It may feel that you are repeating the same day over and over and your body and mind can definitely feel the effects of this, thoughts of when things will get back to normal can be overwhelming. So taking your mind off this and dancing to some of your favourite songs can help give you that boost of serotonin and help you feel a little bit better.
Tip: What has helped me is listening to some of my old favourite songs, it instantly reminds me of some of my favourite memories and dancing to these songs gives me a boost of energy.
5. Being alone together.
The feeling of being alone and disconnected from your friends and family is tough, and the idea of not being able to connect with your community can definitely take a toll on your mental health. The beautiful thing about the dance community is you can take classes online and still feel connected to your friends and teacher. Being able to have that one time a week to feel somewhat close to life before Corona can help a lot with your mental health. Being a part of a community to connect to with dance can really help you get through these tough times.
With the sudden shift in our world mental illness is something that needs to be looked at a little closer. The constant worry and stress over probable outcomes after Covid will take a toll on you and you need something to help you cope. Take some time out of your day to Dance and relieve some of that stress from your mind and body. If you are interested in starting your dance journey and an online dance community to help you get your mind off of everything else, be sure to check out STU Arts Dance here.