As a lifeguard back in the 1980´s and 1990’s, I was trained to prevent accidents as it was so much easier than doing rescues. Learning to see risks before something happens is key to keeping yourself safe. There are dangers in this world. COVID is one of them. Plus it is always rather shocking when you realize that you are surrounded by idiots too.
One of the things recent events have allowed to become “more acceptably normal,” is the idea of self care. Although many people have used techniques (structured breathing, journals, routines) for decades, it was not as main stream as it is right now. There are so many things which can be done as part of your day in order to protect yourself from certain things and to also help yourself after something has happened.
Recognizing that something is wrong or might go wrong is part of becoming aware. It is a certain level of control which we all possess and can actually become better at it through some concentrated effort. When you become truly aware of your own environment, you start to see patterns. You start to recognize all those disruptive triggers too.
Learn to take the necessary steps to change your exposure to triggers. Decide to prepare responses to your triggers before you get set off once again… because you cannot avoid everything no matter how much you try.
During performances, we know that certain things make us feel more confident and other things zap our spirit instantly. Take a look at past experiences for your triggers and for things that make you feel strong. Start thinking about things, conversations, food, sleep, people…
- What has become a trigger for you?
- What responses can you prepare right now to help get you through a rough situation in the future?
- What can you do immediately to help save your performance when the unavoidable happens?
- What can you do to have a little more control next time?
- How can you prevent another trigger situation from ever happening again?
Learn to include this in your training plans so you can test your prevention methods and your responses too. Your physical training requires your attention but always remember to include self care too. Find what works for you and if you are stuck then ask for help when needed. Your plan does not have to be perfect… it just needs to help you a little bit more than how things went yesterday.
See SOS for some further self care ideas.