6 Tips for Preventing Burnout as a Pilates teacher

Teaching Pilates means wearing many different hats throughout your day. Being a Pilates teacher is not just going in each day and teaching those clients on your schedule and then heading home leaving it all for the next day. Many Pilates teachers get overwhelmed and soon find that they are burnt out and stressed so much that they lose that passion for teaching because they are on such overload and all those different hats get exhausting. I have some tips that I have learned over the years to keep you from that burnout and keeps you teaching as a happy and grounded Pilates teacher.

When you start out as a Pilates teacher it is all about building that clientele and finding your studio to make your home. Yet, there is now so much more to the job of teaching Pilates. There are hours of doing marketing for yourself or the studio, keeping up on social media, maintaining your teaching schedule, continuing education and also trying to have your own personal life. It is enough to be a full time job on top of teaching Pilates.

When I was starting out as a Pilates teacher it was very different than it is today. No cell phones, no online, no social media like Facebook or Instagram. There was truly one hat you wore (2 if you owned a studio) and that was to teach your clients. I had my schedule and went in the studio and was able to focus 100 percent on the clients ( no one pulled out the phone to snap a picture of a Teaser) and then at the end of my day left the studio and didn’t think about it again until the next day. The studio got the calls from clients and gave them to the teachers and it was mostly referrals or drive by’s.

Today there is so much pressure as a teacher than all those years ago as Instagram, get the clients, keep your own knowledge going with workshops and if possible your own Pilates practice each week (again posting on Instagram). How are you as a teacher able to wear all those hats and still have something left for you? To have energy and passion to teach and also enjoy your own private life? I talk to many teachers who feel such pressure from social media that they are almost frozen and spend hours on the perfect verbiage or picture.

I have learned a few tips over the years and want to share them with you to help keep you from that burnout as you continue your Pilates career. It takes stepping away from the computer, the phone, the social media but, in the long run, it will keep you being the best teacher you can be which will keep those clients coming and happy.

  1. Social Media Schedule: Pick a time each day for an hour to do your social media whatever that is for you. Commenting, taking pics, posting or videos. Maybe first thing in your morning or your lunch break. Then don’t think about it and let it go. This may be hard at first but, the time you save may give you time for the next tip!

  2. Making time for your own Pilates practice: This is time for you to breathe, move and get lost in the work. Refresh and recharge with your own movement and to feel the work in your own body. Find a teacher and make that weekly appointment as the client. Keep it each week. You will be amazed at how much better not only your body will feel but, your mind as well.

  3. Meditate or Read: Take 15-30 minutes every day to find this time to clear your mind, sit quietly with no computer, no phone, and no distractions. Fill your mind and soul with this time of quiet. Close your eyes and find some way to just breathe deeper and let your mind wander and then just become quiet. If Meditation is something that is challenging find a good book and sit and enjoy getting lost in your thoughts and the words.

  4. Set your boundaries- keeping your boundaries is key to preventing burnout. Keep your 24-hour cancellation policy, if clients are late their session is shorter, end on time. If you have an appointment and they want to move and get that spot to say no. Keep your personal appointments once they are set. Your schedule should be something that isn’t at the whim of others but, a schedule you can rely on and be set and know what your week or day is like when you wake up.

  5. Every 6 months take a few days off- Even if it is a weekend at home, do it! You need time to step away from the routine and just enjoy your life. No studio, no clients you are on vacation. If you do social media make it fun and don’t feel pressure to post or get it done.

  6. Workshops or Mentoring– This is one I tell all my students in Teacher training as they begin their careers. Keep learning and this keeps you inspired, recharged, excited and loving your job. Take workshops that excite you even if not Pilates but you can apply to yourself or your teaching. Find a Mentor who will guide you and support you if you are feeling something missing or wanting more. To be able to be the student is something that will continue to inspire you!

    The Pilates world has changed a lot and sometimes it is easy to get caught up and find yourself putting on and taking off hats to the point you just don’t see a way to keep it going. Remember You became a teacher because you love Pilates and if that love gets clouded or lost the burnout begins.

    Take the next week and pick one of these tips that speak to you and take that one step and see what happens. Ask yourself what is holding me back from doing this now? Maybe take one of those hats and put it away for the week.

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