**Welcome to the self-care series! This series will discuss self-care practices that have brought me joy and healing. This series will highlight self-care practitioners that brighten my journey and help me nurture my whole self. If you plan to try or start any of these practices, please consult with your physical and mental health providers! Thanks for reading!**
Relaxed shoulders. A calm, balanced mind. A joyous smile. Open arms. Dancing joy. Strength in mind, body, and soul. This is movement.
My self-care journey with movement began years ago in high school. The fabulous time of emotions, future life-decisions, frustration, confusion, and relationships (or lack thereof). Many of my friends had an outlet such as music, sports, or art, but I had little that I participated in. I had done dance, gymnastics, and cheer when I was in elementary school but did not continue into my teen years. Reality television was beginning to highlight dance in a new way which very much sparked an interest. I found that the (ballroom) dance studio was where I was called to be. This became my joy, my release, my outlet, and a place to take care of me.
Movement became my therapy. I learned to dance, for exercise, competition, and for fun. It was where I felt I could just be myself and it was the best self-care a teen such as myself could ever find. I literally called my dance lessons my therapy because it would be so joyous. My dance journey was such an incredible one filled with many wonderful memories. I met so many wonderful people, including my dance instructor and dear friend, Jake Fisher.
After getting married, helping raise children, working as a nurse, furthering my education, etc., I was unable to dance nearly as much as in my teen years. In the midst of all the above life changes, I pretty much let go of all self-care measures I had known. Jump to 2020 and I had begun to find that personal acceptance that it was OK to take care of myself. I needed time just for me and I had missed the feeling of movement and connection that dance had brought me many years ago. I found that Jake was teaching Zumba at a nearby studio. It was time to move my body again.
Fitness and movement activities like dance are an excellent option for physical and mental self-care and wellness. Moving the body is of course an excellent way to maintain or lose weight but there are many other mind/body benefits. Fitness is a mood enhancer, balances the mind, aids in immunity, aids in better sleep/improved relaxation, boosts energy, improves body image, is beneficial in prevention and management of some diseases, decreases stress, and it is really fun (in my opinion). Fitness is a mind-body practice that is good for the mind, healing to the body, and nurturing to the soul.
Unfortunately, the pandemic meant at home fitness options. I had hoped to pick up my dancing with Jake but it was not in my comfort level during the pandemic. But if anyone took lemons and made lemonade, it was Jake. Jake developed Fitness with Jake providing online fitness classes and private personal training sessions. Staying safe at home days had meaning. The thought of waking up and going down to the basement to attend a fitness class with Jake and fellow students was what kept me moving each day. It was refreshing to know that we had a place to go to experience joy, movement, wellness, friendship, and fun just as I had experienced back in my teen days.
Work related position and lifting requirements, long commutes, and years of online school had caught up to me meaning back pain and soreness every single day. Until fitness with Jake. Jake is extremely knowledgeable in the body and fitness. Any trouble I experience, Jake knows what to do leaving me feeling relaxed and my muscles relieved of pain. He provides an explanation and things to work on outside of sessions to keep the body safe and relaxed. He doesn’t look at the person as a client he is working with for a half an hour. He looks at everyone as a unique individual. You feel like you are working out with your best friend when you work with Jake. He takes time to ask and listen to what each and every client or student is needing for their whole self. Body, mind, and soul. He asks. He listens. He ensures safety. He guarantees joy. And he brings healing, mentally and physically, to everyone he works with.
My body felt like new. My mind felt calm. Fitness with Jake meant a recharge for the whole body and the whole mind. After each session, I feel refreshed, physically and mentally.
Fitness with Jake and when the time is right, dancing with Jake, is my go to for physical self-care.
Physical self-care means taking care of your body. Resting when it needs to rest. Moving when it needs to move. When your body is ready and needing to move, may you find a movement activity that is healing for you.
Jake Fisher teaches dance lessons, personal training sessions, and several Zumba and fitness classes. Sign-up is easy right on his website!
For more information on dancing and Fitness with Jake, please visit: https://jfdance.com/