Pilates Teacher Self-Care
Self-care is so hyped these days, especially when directed toward the fitness professional. I am the first to eye-roll at blogs entitled “self-care tips and tricks.” Why? Because there is no universal one-size fits all self-care routine that will magically make you feel amazing. But here I am, sharing my secrets in hopes that it will help at least one person.
Like most things in life, taking care of yourself is hard-work. It takes a lot of thought, effort, and time. It involves making tough decisions for your well being, and taking the time to find out what works best for YOU. There is a lot of proverbial eating of the vegetables that has to happen before you can have desert.
I like to think of self-care as a gas tank. But unlike fossil fuel, the energy going into my tank is renewable. The more activities I do, the more full my tank becomes, and in turn I have that energy to burn, or give away during my teaching in service to my clients. Here are the 5 things that fill my tank the most, and why they are important to me as a Pilates Teacher…
1- Time. I set and stick to very clear boundaries about when I teach and when I don’t teach. This boundary is HUGE for me, and is constantly tested with requests. Whenever I say yes to a client during a time that I have reserved for NOT teaching, I always regret it. Not once was the money worth it. I have also found, that even though sometimes to keep this boundary, it feels like I am saying no to income (Which is SO HARD, I know!), usually a client will reschedule whatever they have going on in order to make an appointment with me at a time I do teach, and everyone wins.
2- Pilates. I make sure to fit in at least 3 proper Pilates workouts per week in my schedule, whether its a self-practice, a private session, or a class. This has become so important to me lately because 1- It keeps me excited about what I am teaching people. 2- Feeling the work in my body on a regular basis makes it easier for me to relate to what my clients are feeling. 3- It keeps me from movement envy during my teaching, and bars any resentment toward my clients on busy days that they get a workout and I don’t.
3- Sleep. If I know one thing about myself, it’s that I need AT LEAST 7 hours of good sleep to function. Any less, and my cognitive function becomes abysmal. And you better believe I never make exceptions on this. I am serious about my bedtimes.
4 - Food. I’ve gotten good at a lot of things in this life, but making sure I am meal prepping and eating properly all the time is a constant struggle. I am still finding out what works best for me, but even that extra piece of fruit, or making sure I’ve had breakfast before a morning stack of clients makes all the difference in how much gas I have in my tank.
5- Love thyself. This is the most important. Making sure that I meet myself everyday with self-support and unconditional love is a huge factor in keeping my tank full. I constantly work on deleting the negative self-talk and self-doubt in my brain and replacing it with the opposite. I also make sure I forgive myself for not completing steps 1-4 above, because no one is perfect, and sometimes not doing all of the things is a radical act of self-care.
I would love to live in a world where every Pilates teacher is taking the same amount of care of themselves as they are their clients, so as a close to this post, I want to ask: What good thing have you done for yourself this week? Is there one thing that you always make sure you do as an act of self-care that you want to share, or is there one thing that you are working on adding? Let me know in the comments below.