July 27, 2020

As restrictions unwind our attention moves towards getting back to normal.

Except it’s not normal.

Normal could still be a long way off and it is unlikely that everything will go back to how it was in pre Covid times for a very long time, if ever.

With this in mind it’s not surprising that a lot of people are apprehensive about going back to in person training inside.  No one wants to be responsible for somebody being seriously ill.  None of us want to be the catalyst that results in a client or a member of their family (or our own family) catching Covid. Plus there are new rules to interpret and enforce and it all relies on the behavior of other people.  None of us know how it will all play out, we have no precedents we can rely on and, whilst there are infinite opinions, it is difficult to know what to trust when it comes to making our plans.

Whether you thrive in times of chaos or like order in all things we all prefer to be able to build on strong foundations and at the moment it can feel like those foundations are made of sand.

All in all there are lots of excellent reasons why you might feel some level of anxiety about returning to in person sessions.

Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to think this is wrong.  That they shouldn’t be feeling like this.  They should be happy to return, gladly skipping into the gym and that any negative thoughts and feelings are unacceptable or something to be ashamed of. This is compounded by the positivity about being allowed to reopen being, quite rightly, shown on Social Media.

If you are feeling anxious know that you are not alone in feeling this way.

There are many people, in many industries, with concerns and it is all very reasonable in the circumstances.  It is important to recognise this and to allow yourself to feel anxious, to acknowledge there are some very good reasons for feeling this way and that it is all perfectly normal.

Of course, it is also useful to identify some ways that help manage the situation and how you feel about it and, whilst knowing you are not alone in feeling this way can definitely help, it’s not the only thing so here are a few more ideas to consider:

1 Accept that you can’t control everything

Some of us like to know we have everything under control.  The pandemic has tested us because we can’t plan with the same level of certainty as we are used to.  Understandably this makes us feel even more anxious and uncertain.  If you can work on accepting that you can’t control everything, that no one has all the answers and that is ok, you will feel a lot better.  Tasks such as identifying the areas you can influence and control and getting to the bottom of what your fear actually is can help in this.  Interrupt any mental circles you are stuck in and let it out by writing it all down or talking it through with an appropriate audience.  Make sure you are supporting your own wellbeing, looking after your health and incorporating the activities and influences that rejuvinate you into your daily life.

2 Remind yourself you are capable

When things feel overwhelming it is useful to take a step back and remind ourselves of just how good we are.  Think about your strengths and look at the evidence you have supporting them (client feedback, testimonials, results and comments, conversations with friends and family and those areas where you just know you do a good job all help here).  Find ways to build on those areas.  Look at other times when you have adapted – we’ve all already shown we can do this in the earlier stages of the pandemic so there are examples we can review and use to remind ourselves we can manage with change even if we don’t like it.

3 Allow yourself to make a choice

I appreciate that this will be easier for some than others but there are always options and if you aren’t comfortable returning to your particular working environment then it might be worth looking into them.

If you are in control of your business and environment then you could make changes to your service, maybe offer one to one only for a while or limit other factors.  You could decide to stick with an online only format.  Alternatively, you could look at delivering your service in a different environment.  We’ve had a webinar recently with LTB member Tony Cottenden about his business which he runs from a shed in his garden and have just released the Mobile Personal Training course.  Both of these options are excellent ones to consider if you don’t have the level of control over your working environment that you would like.

Each of these options has different implications elsewhere and there are other factors which will influence your decision but by spending some time brainstorming different options and looking at their pros and cons you will either feel better about your current situation or have a plan on how you want to change it.  Focusing on areas you can change and control and things you can do inevitably help us far more than focusing on what we are not allowed to do.

Above all remember it is perfectly normal to feel like this right now and there is no reason to feel guilty or bad for not being completely over the moon that you get to go back.  (Of course, if you are excited to go back, that’s fine too, we’re all different and that’s ok!).  It’s also completely normal to have a mix of positive and negative feelings and to be a bit conflicted over the whole thing.  You are allowed to feel whatever you feel.

You’ve got this!

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