One important lesson I learned while in quarantine: Less is More
Like many I struggle with wanting to do the most in the least amount of time. I'm driven, result oriented and always told myself that I work "better" under pressure. When the pandemic took over the United States in March and we were forced to quarantine ; I was so used to running back and forth from the gym to home to either take care of my clients, my studio, my children, get my workouts in... It took me some time to realize I needed to push the STOP button.
The realization of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and the stay at home order brought some anxiety I was not prepared for. In his book " Resilience: Handling anxiety in times of crisis" Author George Hofmann writes that in any period of crisis anxiety is a given. It's a real challenge for people with anxiety disorders, but even psychologically healthy people are finding their moods are getting the better of them.
As I became more aware of my anxiety, I started to implement strategies that I knew would help me cope. One thing I knew for sure was my need to workout and keep a routine. Exercise has always been one of the ways I use to relieve stress and anxiety. Without access to the gym equipment I was used to, I had to be creative to come up with efficient workouts that would require minimum to no equipment! Another anxiety inducing factor was to know I was not going to be able to serve all of my clients; while a few embraced the idea of online workouts; I lost many during those 4 months. I understood online workouts were not for everyone and that the social aspect of working out with others is the reason why so many choose to join a gym. Every time I received a notice of a cancelled membership I would take a deep breath, and decided to focus my energy on the few I had left. Finally having more time on my hands came with feelings of not being useful at first but as days went on I enjoyed spending un-pressed time with my girls, taking long walks in nature each day with them allowed us to reconnect in ways I didn't think possible.
LESS IS MORE
My first thought when I had to close the gym was : "How the h*#@ am i supposed to workout? I've been a personal trainer for 9 years so of course I knew the answer to that; I was just filled with so much anxiety that It took me a whole week to start a new fitness routine. I decided to create a 30 minute at home workout program which would include dumbbells and body weight exercises. Keeping it simple ensured everyone at home could join in but still get a challenging program. I went back to my roots... Pilates. It is what got me into working out after my first child. I love Pilates because it requires little to no equipment but can really kick your butt!:) It focuses on strengthening the core and building long lean muscles which is what most women want ; am I right or am I right ladies?
I also Incorporated dumbbells into the workout as it would allow to increase the intensity and the load of each exercise. Movement is needed to improve the mind but weight bearing exercises improve your body composition. After 4 months of at home workouts, I am extremely pleased with he results my clients and myself have been able to achieve.
LESS IS MORE
As I said I am a driven, result oriented person. I dream of so many things I want to do to help as many women as I can to get Fit that the idea of losing my clients due to the pandemic got me down. I had to go back to my anxiety reducing strategies to help me focus on the positive and with much meditation and reflection it became clear... there is somebody out there that needs me more. It helped me realize that less clients meant more attention and focus on the ones that need me the most. This " coming to Jesus moment" allowed me to be my best self to show up and make a difference for me and the women I served. Just like me; I knew they needed to workout to get through this crisis; just like me they were stuck at home and anxiety would get the best of them if they didn't make time for self-care. I enjoyed every minute of it as it brought us even closer.
LESS IS MORE
I always knew I wanted to work for myself because of my personality traits. I'm an Aries... we're independent, we like to do things ourselves, and easily get bored with routines:) But most importantly I wanted to be able to spend time with my girls. Being in quarantine made me realized even though I was able to spend time with them; my mind was always at work. I was spreading myself way to thin by trying to do too much by myself. I had to really disconnect from the gym to have real conversations with them, help them with school work, and learn to delegate chores. We started taking daily short walks to the park to get some fresh air which then turned to hikes to the nearby trail. I read that nature is one of the best medicine for difficult times. It helped calm my anxieties about the future, it brought peace in our daily routine, joy and opportunities for deeper conversations.
This past four months have been emotionally challenging for many of us; We all have a natural instinct to help others who may suffer more than us and that brings me so much hope and positivity for the future. I feel blessed for my community that supported me in any way they could and I hope I helped them in any way I could too. So not to sound like an Instagram meme but maybe 2020 was meant to help us grow, be there for others, be Strong, be Safe, stay productive by not spreading ourselves so thin. To teach us that LESS IS MORE.