May 14th-20 is #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
For 2018, the Mental Health Foundation has chosen “stress” as their focus. As many cheerleaders end a season and prepare for tryouts for a new season, a new gym or hoping for a new level, it’s important to remember that cheerleading is supposed to enhance our lives, not be stressful or detrimental.
Here are some tips to keep yourself grounded during this time—and any time you need a little self-care!
Do anything but cheer.
Spend some time with friends outside cheerleading. Remember that there’s so much more in the world than the borders of a blue mat and the level you’re on for the season.
Eat well. Drink water.
It goes without saying, but just because the season is over doesn’t mean your healthy diet should go out the window too. Keep up your healthy Worlds/Summit eating habits to keep your body in peak condition to perform your best skills, and as the weather gets warmer make sure you stay hydrated with plenty of water—stay away from the sugary drinks!
Ok maybe you aren’t 7, but coloring has been proven to be a great stress-reliever and tool for focus used by athletes, students preparing for exams and even adults! Color before your tryout to calm your mind and let your body perform the skills you know you can do.
Focus on your strengths.
Remeber all the things you are good at! Warm-up your confident, solid skills before showing off your “reach” skills.
Cheer on a cheerleader.
See someone else trying out? Cheer them on! Encourage them. Doing so will make their day and take your mind off your own tryout.
Fake it til you make it!
Showing off new skills or trying out at a new gym? Smile! Just smile your way through it. Studies have shown that smiling can give you a boost of confidence, lower your heart-rate and calm you down. Plus, it’s CHEERleading, so show off your pearly whites and stick-and-stand.
Earn your results.
The truth is, if you’re trying out at the same gym you just finished the season with, you’ve really been trying out all season. Your coaches have a pretty good idea of where you’ll be placed for the 2018-19 season and tryouts are just a formality. Throwing a full-of-death is only going to put your knees at risk and not get you on the Worlds team. And if you have a beautiful double that you suddenly bust? Relax. It’s going to be ok. For those trying out at a new gym, the majority of gyms will move teams around until they find the right combination of skills to make a team successful. You chose the new gym for a reason, so trust them to put you on the right team.
And most of all, remember cheer is supposed to bring you joy. It’s not always easy, but the work is always worth it!