In times of uncertainty or stress, self-care is often the last thing we focus on. For fitness and wellness professionals who make a living helping others live their most active and healthy lives, it’s essential to keep your body (and mind) running effectively.

Whether you’re still teaching or taking a break, we’re compiled a few ways you can focus on you. Read on for a few strategies to treat yourself.

Set a check-in

Stress is unavoidable — but letting it build up to a point that becomes unmanageable doesn’t have to be. Just as you’d set regular check-ins with staff and clients on the job, organize a daily reminder to turn inward, reflect and on how you’re feeling without judgment. This can look different depending on what works for you. Maybe it’s a five-minute journal exercise when you wake up. Perhaps you set a mid-day alarm on your phone to take a moment wherever you are.

Let breath in

Breathing can be an incredible tool to de-stress and give yourself a bit of care. It’s easy, free and can be done just about anywhere. If you’re game to try mindful meditation, explore YouTube, guided audio sessions or podcasts. Or, try a few of these breathing exercises:

  • Inhale for a count of three, exhale for a count of four
  • Try the 4-7-8 method, a sure-fire way to relax
  • Take a big breath in through your nose, exhale through the mouth

Pick up a hobby

In our day-to-day, we’re often consumed with work, commitments, and obligations — leaving very little time for anything else. Now more than ever, investing time and energy into a hobby that brings you joy is paramount. While you may love fitness, try something that gets you out of your everyday. Spend time doing art (coloring books count!), working your brain with a puzzle, try a new recipe, etc.

Dare to disconnect

Set a regular time each day that’s technology-free. No smartphone, no computer, no television. Not only does screen time hurt our vision, being overly-connected in a time of international turmoil can heighten anxiety. While it’s understandable — and encouraged — to continue running your business online, ensure you’re getting enough time offline.

Get outside

Taking a walk outside can be a great way to get out of your head, shake negative thoughts and change your mindset. What your ‘outside’ looks like isn’t important — it could be a nature walk through a forest, a stroll through your backyard, sitting on a balcony or walking a few blocks on the sidewalk. Use your senses to be present with what’s around you — the smell of the air, the sensation of wind or sun on your skin, the sights and sound around you. Being outside is another free and easy way to practice self-care.

Find your community

As social distancing has become imperative, you may think to be social has to go, as well. There are other ways to foster connections within your business community, amongst friends and family. Regular video chats (via FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, etc.) allow for connection without physical contact. Writing letters and postcards is another way to keep in touch. Using social media to spread hope, positivity and share solutions is another way to get together without being in the same room.

Self-care is more important than ever. Learn how to fill your own cup so you can stay motivated, inspired and healthy through whatever comes next.