1.26.2012

break vs burn out...{part 2}

Hi, thanks for coming back. If we're on the same page, in yesterday's post [ break vs burn out...{part1}] we've established that we absolutely all need breaks!
If dance truly is a form of expression we need to know what we're saying and not just rattling off or regurgitating what our teacher told us last week or what we remember from the last workshop. To craft meaningful and purposeful statements takes thought and time. No one but you can give you the gift of time.

Not everyone has the same creative process. You may do things differently but this is my take on the two most popular routes to this downtime I speak of:

scheduled breaks

Maybe I'm just a control freak but I feel if you work some space into your regular schedule you can last longer and save yourself some headaches and fatigue.
Breaks come in varying degrees. For example you can simply hold back from one facet of bellydancing. First decide how much time you're going to take off, you'd be surprised at how little time it takes to recharge your battery. I have a 2 year old, so I think I take a little longer but I'm always itching to get back to it by the 3rd week at the latest. After you've set your timeframe:

  • don't go to any haflas/restaurant shows/etc. {they'll still be there when you come back!}
  • or take a couple of weeks off from class/es -- and journal about it {I'm a big believer in journaling}
  • don't have middle eastern food/mediterranean for the next month
  • or stay away from youtube dance videos (sounds impossible but it's not)
  • or take an altogether different dance class, move your body in a different way
  • if you perform frequently, decide not to perform for a month, enjoy shows from a whole different perspective
  • OR completely unplug from everything, go out with friends, have fun enjoy this gift of "extra time"
pros: you will come back refreshed, replenished, new ideas, reignited passion, your time off won't be spent on the couch or being sick because you didn't push yourself to the point of exhaustion
cons: at first it's challenging to step away from your activities, but if you know you have limited time off you'll make the most of it and it becomes easy


work till burn out
Some people prefer to work hard and fast until they run out of juice. Sometimes it's unavoidable. We've all been there.
image credit
When you work to the point of burn out, you still get a break but now it's forced and not always on your terms.

pros: you get a lot done 
cons: you may be sick or exhausted {and then you won't get anything done at all}, negative emotions build up until your forced time off; moody, stressed, resentment, confusion, anger, hurt. You inadvertently cheat yourself in the long-run. 

If you try to do it all for too long, you cross this line where you begin to wonder if maybe you're "done" with bellydancing altogether. 
I can't tell you how many bellydancers I've heard announce their "farewell" gig or their resignation from bellydance. Only to realize they simply needed to rest for a bit and regain their balance. Oops! Two weeks later they're back at their regular gig. That's ok. Learning experiences are always ok.

What have you learned about your dance/work cycle? Do you take breaks? How do you stay inspired?
xo,
G

1 comment:

  1. I'm definitely more of a "do it til I burn out" than a "plan a break" sort of girl. When I'm not burned out on something, it seems silly to take a break -- why stop doing something that I'm enjoying? What if I miss something important? And then I quickly go from happy and having fun to being completely burnt out.

    I've really enjoyed your blog posts this week, they've given me a lot of food for thought.

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