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3 Tips For a Stress-Free Nutcracker Season

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but with the marathon of Nutcracker rehearsals and performances, the holiday season can also be one of the most stressful times for dancers. It's important to carve out some downtime for yourself, but for those days that are just too hectic, try these quirky research-backed tricks for some instant relief.


Pressure Points

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According to researchers at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, applying pressure to the flesh between your index finger and thumb (called the hoku spot in traditional Chinese medicine) for 30 seconds could reduce upper-body tension and stress. Try it backstage if you're feeling stressed before your next performance.

Citrus Boost

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Certain citrus scents are thought to increase feelings of well-being and reduce stress. One study published in Psychoneuroendocrinology found that the smell of lemon oil boosted positive mood in participants by upping their levels of norepinephrine, a hormone that impacts mood.

Music

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Researchers at the University of Maryland found that listening to music you like may help blood vessels to relax, increasing blood flow and calming you down. This is also good for your heart. Put your headphones in when you have a few minutes, and listen to a song that makes you feel good.

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