It’s difficult to be a fitness instructor. Not only do you have to actually teach 45 minutes or so of an intense workout that requires attention to detail and hands-on adjustments, but you have to remain personable, energetic and uplifting towards all your clients. But let’s be real — we’re not always feeling 100% and maintaining that persona is hard work. So what do we do when we’re in a mood and simply can’t deal with teaching? Keep reading for four tips to not letting a bad day impact your class.
1. Take Some Deep Breaths
Is there anything a long, deep exhale can’t fix? If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your bad mood and aren’t sure what to do, try focusing on your breath (hey, you’re supposed to be helping your clients do that anyways, right?). According to this article by Livestrong, “Breathing slowly and mindfully activates the hypothalamus, connected to the pituitary gland in the brain, to send out neurohormones that inhibit stress-producing hormones and trigger a relaxation response in the body.” Not only does focusing on the breath calm you down, but it also forces you to focus on something else besides your negative thoughts — which will only propel your bad mood even more.
2. Set a Time for Yourself to Deal with it After Class
If you find yourself constantly ruminating over your bad day and feeding into your negative thoughts during class, try this tip: Tell yourself that you will allot an hour to brood, overthink, worry, etc. later that day. Seriously, block off a time in your calendar if you have to! Then, whenever the negative thoughts pop up during class, you will remember that you gave yourself time to deal with that later, not now, and it will bring back your focus to the task at hand.
3. Vent to a Trustworthy Friend
If you know you’re about to teach a class and you’re seriously not feeling it, find a trustworthy friend — you know, one that’s known to be a good listener and calm you down and not rile you up — to vent to a bit before class. Sometimes a bad mood or situation is way more hyped up in your head, and your friend may be able to offer some much-needed perspective to help you realize things aren’t as bad as they seem.
4. Remember First Impressions Are Important
Have you ever taken a class at a new studio for the first time and had a less than stellar experience? More likely than not you left class deciding the studio wasn’t for you, never to return again. While you know your performance as an instructor is being impacted by your mood, not your skill, your class attendees don’t — especially ones who are first-timers. If you’re trying to stop a bad day from ruining your ability to teach class, remember that making a good first impression on a new client is so important to the growth of your business, and that alone can help you snap right out of it (or at least give you the incentive to deal with the issue later).