I have suffered from panic attacks, depression and anxiety for the majority of my life. Why am I telling you this? Firstly, because mental illness / mental disorders are more common than you may think. Secondly, because we need to end the stigma around talking about mental health. I want you to know that It’s ok to discuss your feelings and it’s ok to ask for help when it’s needed.
Working as an exotic dancer can really take its toll on your mental health. The words “burn out” are used so often and so casually amongst dancers that it almost seems to be the norm. Dancing can be hard for a number of reasons: The shifts are long, The hours are unsociable, Oh, and dating ? I think that deserves its own blog post!
The good news is that I have worked as a dancer throughout the ups and downs and I’ve come up with a system that works for me (I hope it will work for you too). This information can benefit people from all walks of life, so get comfortable because here are my top 5 tips for managing your mental health.
1.Cut back on Drinking: I know it’s easier said than done, especially in our line of work but sometimes you just need to kick the habit. Ask your bartender for a non alcoholic drink instead or dump it out when nobody’s looking. It was only a few weeks ago when I was throwing tequila shots over my shoulder because my customer insisted on having them.
2.Get out of bed: I hear you, your body hurts, you don’t want to see other humans and you really just want to sleep. I’m here to bring the tough love. Get out of the house for a while, grab a coffee, get some air and meet a friend. Your bed will still be there when you get back.
3.Build a support network: Know who you can confide in. I’m lucky that I have some good friends working in this industry because they truly understand what I’m talking about. If your friends and family don’t know what you do for a living, try reaching out online. I’ve been added to a few groups over the years and I have found them to be so helpful. If you’d like an invite just drop me a message. (These groups are usually secret to protect members identity).
4.Burst the work bubble: You know how it is, It’s hard to talk about anything else but the job when you’re hanging out with your work friends but it’s also not very healthy. After all, you spend enough time at work, so give your mind some proper time off. Reach out to your pals outside of the club, Arrange a dinner date or a movie night. Your brain will thank you for it later.
5.Eat well: I honestly believe that our mentality can be affected by what we are putting into our bodies. Take the time to plan your meals. A fruit smoothie or vegetable soup is quick to make and easy to carry around on the go. It’s also easier to say no to temptation when you have a diet rich in nutrients. Finding a balance is important.
If you’re feeling depressed or having thoughts of suicide or self harm, please visit your medical practitioner.
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