In the May issue of Inner IDEA Body-Mind-Spirit Review, we asked the question “When you are having a bad day personally, what strategies do you use to cope so that you can focus on providing your services to clients?” Here’s what you had to say:

“I take a deep breath, practice inner smiling from Tao yoga and focus only on my client. The most important thing, I think, is to love working with clients. So, if I do this, I generally forget the “bad day” before and after the session and things look better!”

— Uschi Moriabadi, Munich, Germany

“When I am having a stressful day, I try to do deep breathing to relax and release some of the stress I am feeling. My classes really help me to focus and forget my worries. I try to see the glass as half-full and think only nice thoughts. My clients remind me why I love my work so much, and it somehow eases any ill feelings I have. A smile doesn’t cost anything and goes a long way, so I put a smile on my face and try to keep my head high and rise above whatever it is that is bringing me down. It does help and I usually feel better.”

— Shellie Rykiss, Toronto, Canada

“I focus on totally giving to my clients. I usually find that their needs take me out of my self-centeredness. I try not to own the bad feeling. I allow it to just be like rain. It is raining and it will stop. I try to take myself out of the situation and just observe that this too shall pass. One of the things I learned from looking at myself in the mirror everyday as a ballerina, is to not focus on the negative. Instead, I use my energy to focus on technique. Think of having two little imaginary people on your shoulders: a positive one on your right shoulder and a negative one on your left. Both will try to get your attention, but it is your choice. It takes energy to choose, and needs to be constant. If you give your bad day too much energy, then you can’t focus on teaching.”

— Stephanie Herman, Menlo Park, California

“I am an older personal trainer with 28 years of experience and have had some ‘bad’ days! I have overcome breast cancer, a tumor which led to a femur transplant, and recently had a severely fractured wrist. So I have had many days where I could have had a ‘pity party.’ I had to learn to deal with the day-to-day pain and the inability to exercise and do the very things I was teaching my clients to do. I had a dilemma: could I stay in this industry and give my clients 100%?

“I decided to call all my clients and ask them if they would still want to train with me. Everyone said yes! When I arrived at their homes, I allowed them to ask me one or two short questions about my health and then the rest of the session was all about their health/fitness and lives. This worked well for me and for my clients. Not only was I able to work throughout my radiation treatments, post surgeries and rehab, but I was able to ‘get outside’ of myself! I went home feeling I had helped my clients and healed myself.”

— Diane Buchta, Del Mar, California

“I have experienced a number of large and small challenges over the years. I do my best to make it a practice to leave problems at the door once I enter the studio to teach a class or work with a private client. I find that it not only helps me be a better professional, it lightens my load to escape from whatever the current challenge is. I also try to share this approach with my students and clients if they tell me they are having a bad day. It helps me feel better naturally by giving to others.”

— Petrina Satori-Britt, Princeville, Kauai

“It’s not about you; it’s about your clients and students. Are we human? Yes, and we have ‘bad days’ just like anyone else. So how do I cope? Teaching Pilates Allegro to my class is my healing. Training my clients is my healing. Even if I don’t feel ‘up to it’ or don’t feel like ‘being there,’ I feel 100% better when I help others. They rely on me to always be there, give them a great workout and help them relax, de-stress and recover from their lives. It is therapeutic to help others reach goals and see their transformations. I have had so many students and clients say they have felt so much better after class even though they really didn’t want to come. That makes it all worth it. It is my job to help people incorporate fitness and health into their lives so that they can rely on it as an outlet, and therefore improve their overall health and quality of life. There is always someone out there who has it worse than you do. That always puts it into perspective for me.”

— Ericka M. Dawydko, Sterling Heights, Michigan

“We are all exposed to stress and problems in our personal lives. I try to deal with it before I leave home, either by meditating, journaling, talking on the phone to a friend, just moving, or changing the channel. I remind myself that my students are waiting for me to guide them, and I also think of past sessions where we have accomplished so much; we have worked our bodies, nourished our souls, and we have allowed our minds to open to new ideas. I put a smile on my face and say, ‘you have this life to live, so don’t waste a moment on negative energy.’ I always tell my students and clients to thank their bodies for working so hard for them, and to find one thing they really like about themselves. I need to take my own advice!”

— Marsha Wiersma, Yorba Linda, California