My Zumba Teacher Is Better Than Your Fitness Instructor

Last summer I started taking my friend Carol’s Zumba class. I got hooked and became a regular. I’m very awkward at it but I love the cardio, fun music, routine, and camaraderie that the class provides — or now, I should say, provided. I haven’t been able to attend the class for several weeks in order to do my part in preventing the spread of COVID-19. I have missed it!

I was thrilled this week when Carol sent out emails with videos of her routines that I could follow from home. They aren’t done in a professional video studio with perfect sound and lighting, and the participants aren’t in matching outfits with lovely smiles. Instead they are my friends, in their workout clothes, doing the routines that are familiar to me and that make me smile.  

Carol and me, before the need for social distancing

As humans, we seek the familiar and the routine. Habitual behaviors in both humans and animals can induce relaxation to help us manage stress during these uncertain times. These patterns heighten our belief that we are in control of our situation even when we aren’t. At this time of constant change, help provide both structure and routine to your employees and colleagues by encouraging these behaviors:

  • If you typically had an in-person staff meeting on Mondays at 9am, continue with that day and time. Keep the agenda as similar as possible.
  • If you had lunch with Alex most Tuesdays, continue this plan. Just do it virtually.
  • If you previously listened to background music in the office, use the same soundtrack at home. You may never have liked it, but now is not the time to switch it up.
  • Create as many routines as possible. Work the same hours, stop for lunch at the same time, and end your work day as you always have.

Please let me know what routines you have established. What’s working?

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  • David Baldwin

    Hi Karen, I met you at a Montgomery PMI meeting a few months back. Just wanted to say that the same things you described in your article are the same “behaviors” I use whenever I am “between engagements.” Whenever I went to the Maryland Workforce Center (which was about 3-4 days per week), I dressed in a suit and tie, just like I was at work. My job was to find a job so I invested at least 6-8 hours per day.
    I thought this might help someone who is recently ‘between engagements.’
    David J. Baldwin

    • Karen Snyder

      Hi David,

      So great to hear from you! I love your term, “between engagements.” It’s all how we think about things, isn’t it?

      Be well,

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