Chances are, you're a couple weeks into your Nutcracker run, and the exhaustion is starting to set in. With so many performances, your joints and muscles have less time to recover between shows, and you have less time to wind down and relax. For those days that you aren't sure your body and mind can take one more performance, try these tips to fight fatigue and soreness:
Take a nap: A short power nap can give you a quick burst of energy before you get ready to take the stage. Try finding a quiet place to rest between your matinee and evening performances.
Still aching from last night's rehearsal? Don't use sore muscles as an excuse to skip today's class. In fact, getting moving again will actually help you feel better. A new study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that light activity could help ease soreness as much as a massage. Researchers believe that because exercise increases blood flow, it may help your body drain the metabolic waste and chemicals that are making your muscles sore— and it will speed up the delivery of healing nutrients.
One caveat: If you're really in pain, you might want to take class a bit easier. This recovery strategy works best when you focus on similar steps that made you sore in the first place, but perform them at a lower intensity.