Instructor Burnout!!!! You know what I’m talking about! It’s that feeling of exhaustion which you just can’t shake. It’s your eyes glued to the slowly moving clock during each client session. It’s the irritating sound of your own voice saying “abdominals in & up” for the umpteenth time. BURNOUT! It’s real, and we’ve all experienced it. But there is a way to prevent it.
Here are 5 steps you can take to prevent burnout and renew your LOVE of Pilates.
1. Become a Student Again – It is common for Pilates Instructors to neglect their own personal Pilates practice once they start teaching; especially during the height of season. After spending 8 hours a day teaching clients, you just don’t have the energy for your own workout. Well, this habit MUST change. Remember why you fell in love with Pilates? You fell in love with the way Pilates felt in your body; the way Pilates shaped your body. It’s the same feeling that keeps your clients coming back to you, and it’s the same feeling that will keep YOU coming back to your clients. You MUST get Pilates back in your body! Hop into a group class at the studio where you teach. Swap sessions with another instructor. Or simply schedule 1 hour when you can put yourself through a workout in-between clients.
2. Get Out of Your Space – When work is finished, who in their right mind wants to stay at work longer than necessary? NOBODY! The same goes for Pilates Instructors. After you’ve finished teaching, GET OUT OF THE STUDIO! Go take a class at a different studio. Take your mat with you to the beach or a local park. Try a different type of exercise; yoga, barre, HIIT. Wherever you go, just get out of your space. Experiencing movement in a new environment can be rejuvenating.
3. Schedule At Least ONE Day Off –We all need at least 1 day to completely disconnect from work and enjoy life. After all, we should work to live; not live to work. So do it! Schedule 1 day off for yourself. At my studio, we are closed on Sunday, but not every studio has this same policy. If you must work on Sunday, schedule another day off during the week. Maybe Tuesday? Whatever your slowest day is, consolidate your classes and clients to other days, and say “NO” to all teaching requests on your designated Day Off! You deserve it!
4. Change your Schedule with the Season – No matter where you live, there is a busy season and a slow season. And it’s a good thing. Nobody can maintain the pace of busy season all year round. If you’re working 40 hours a week during the height of season, give yourself permission to work fewer hours during slow season. Consolidate from 5-6 working days a week to only 3……Mon/Wed/Fri has a nice ring to it. And most importantly, be sure to schedule a VACATION! Get away for at least 1 week during slow season, and maybe schedule a long weekend Staycation during busy season.
5. Continue Learning – It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Day after day, saying the same thing and teaching the same routine gets BORING! The best way to make it fresh is to continue to learn. Take workshops with Master Teacher Trainers. Enroll in Continuing Education courses. Learn from instructors OUTSIDE of your style. If you’re classically certified, take some contemporary continuing education workshops. If you’re a contemporary instructor, delve into the classical method. Step outside of your school of training and take a class through a different program. Take Continuing Education workshops to GROW and advance your knowledge; not just to renew your certificate.
Being a Pilates Instructor is VERY rewarding and fulfilling. It’s up to you to keep your passion for the method alive. By following these 5 simple steps, you can guarantee yourself a long, exciting career.