It’s unprecedented. We’re facing “uncertain times.” The “new normal” is here. Harvard Business Review compared the Coronavirus crisis to grief. A Canadian Member of Parliament compared it to war.
If you’re polite, you ask people how they’re doing. But they most likely respond with a generic, “I’m okay!” The reality is that none of your clients are totally okay, even if they are fortunate to be coping well, feeling financially stable, and enjoying emotional support.
In “times like these,” it’s very likely your clients are craving some positivity. Here are a few ways you can help them find a healthy mindset amid the crisis.
Lend an ear
If you’re conducting Zoom workout sessions, chatting with your clients through Trainerize or social media, or having quick check-in calls, leave space for them to vent. Not only will this be helpful for them to offload some of their stress, but it’ll also give you a sense of their current mental state.
Once you have an idea of how they are doing, you can tweak your support to suit their needs. Verbalize that you’re here to support them, and let them know that they can reach out if they need anything. That being said, asking for help is not baked into everyone’s DNA, and unfortunately, this can take a toll—so make sure to keep checking in too.
Identify safe places to get news
As a personal trainer, your clients see you as a trusted advisor, and they probably associate you with their other healthcare providers. As a result, you have a responsibility to align with healthcare officials in your region. Keep up on the official news and updates and provide them with links to official websites when they ask. Meanwhile, keep your personal perspective on yourself. Speculation and discussion about the situation have a time and place, but with your clients, it’s best to keep it professional.
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Suggest a limit to daily news intake
Once you’ve offered your clients some reputable sources for news, offer some well-intended advice to limit news intake. Psychologist Dr. Janine Kreft says that following the news too closely creates a vicious cycle of worry and stress. To minimize this impact, she says to limit time spent consuming news and prioritize positive content in your social media feeds.
It may be most effective to share this advice from a personal perspective. “I’ve noticed that the news cycle on social media is more stressful than helpful. I’ve reduced my screen time to manage my intake! Did you know you can set limits on your social media apps? It’s really made a difference for my mental health.”
Keep up the personal training
One of the best things your clients can do for a positive mindset is to stay active. Studies in the past few years have shown that even small amounts of physical activity improve happiness! So working with you, their personal trainer, already has them on the right path.
Now keep them engaged! If finances are an issue for your clients, see if you can downgrade their plan but keep them active, or offer a discount or promo, like a two-for-one deal where they can add a friend to their training plan. Offers that help them stay active and connect them with their friends or family will be especially impactful right now. As much as possible, retain them—for their sake, as well as for your business.
Integrate habit coaching
By setting some goals and implementing some habits, clients can begin to learn to prioritize their mental health as well as the physical. With habit coaching, you’ll help your clients build healthy habits, which in turn develop a routine—something that everyone is craving during this extremely unusual experience. Rather than providing structure for a single hour of their day, help them add structure to their days and weeks.
Habit coaching is particularly effective for building a healthy mindset because small steps can result in big changes. This allows clients to see big opportunities but avoids overwhelming them by focusing on small lifestyle tweaks.
In the Trainerize app, there are five categories of habits:
- Active Living
- Nutrition Portion Guides
Both Mindfulness and Sleep place a focus on mental health and well-being that your clients may be lacking! Using habit coaching to support their mission towards a healthy mindset will be a positive, encouraging step.
Many Trainerize trainers have been taking care to give their clients additional motivation and to check in on their mental wellbeing—you can do the same! Help your clients find a healthy mindset, offer them additional support as needed, and watch your relationship strengthen. It’s great to support each other through the good times—preparing for a wedding, staying active as a parent, training for a half-marathon—but sticking with them in the tough times is just as crucial. Ultimately, helping others will help you stay positive too—and make sure to take care of yourself too.