Summer is approaching, and as we continue to adapt to the altered landscape of a COVID-19 world, maintaining our own health and the health and wellbeing of our employees is more important than ever.
With the stay-at-home orders that went into effect at the end of the first quarter, fitness gyms, yoga studios, and other wellbeing practitioners moved online en masse with their offerings practically overnight. This sudden glut of content has led to an enormous wave of free or low cost options, as many of these companies that once relied on a brick-and-mortar presence seek to retain long-time customers and attract new markets to their offerings. This means wellness is more financially accessible than ever before!
But with so many opportunities available, the problem has become a tsunami of online webinars, classes, tutorials, and more, which can make choosing a seemingly overwhelming task.
So with the overabundance of virtual options that lay at your fingertips, how do you best optimize your time to manage your wellness?
Determine your personal wellness priorities
You are the expert in understanding what you need from any kind of wellness event, so start with what you want to get from attending.
Maybe you’re determined to leverage your time to achieve a fitness goal, learn how to cook healthier foods at home, or find a way to manage stress or anxiety. Maybe you want to learn how to fix up your workstation, develop your emotional intelligence, or challenge yourself to finally learn how to wield a lightsaber (might we suggest some excellent Youtube tutorials, if so?)
For many entrepreneurs with a busy schedule and long to-do list, maximizing value means targeting the impact or change desire with as little trade in time or energy as possible. So we recommend picking one wellness objective to work on at a time.
For example, if you find yourself struggling to drum up energy to care about a program or project, focus your wellness goals around boosting your energy levels — whether through strategies and behavior hacks or through self-understanding and health education.
Once you’re aware of the wellness objective you want to focus on, then you can filter through the noise by seeking out events that align with your top priorities.
Optimizing your virtual wellness choices
As we mentioned, there’s no shortage of classes, workshops, webinars, and other forms of content to help you develop successful wellness strategies that suit your goals. The trick is — how do we pick the right ones?
While this list is by no means exhaustive, it should give you a starting point for making sure that you’re connecting to an event that will serve your purposes and offer a good value in exchange for your time.
1. Does the event topic align with your wellness objectives?
If your goal is to have more energy or focus, spending your time on something unrelated isn’t going to help you. Try to choose events that are directly linked to your personalized goals.
Here are some examples of how your objective can translate into an appropriate event for you:
You’re feeling fatigued → attend a webinar on sleep hygiene to improve quality of sleep
You want to eat more health-boosting foods but you’re not sure how → sign up for a virtual cooking class on basic kitchen skills
You want to get moving more but lack motivation → join a 30-day fitness challenge
2. Does the event format work for you?
Some people learn better from a lecture or presentation, while others prefer engaging roundtable discussions. To make sure you’re spending your time well, consider the format of the event and that it’s an effective format for you. This isn’t to say you can’t or shouldn’t try new formats, but if you’re really looking for optimization, stick with things that you already know are successful for you.
3. What’s the commitment level?
Some virtual events are short and others span days. It’s important to understand the time, energy, and resources that may be required to help you get the most out of the event. For example, a 30-minute bodyweight training class requires less commitment than a weekend or month long mindfulness course.
Picking something with a commitment level that aligns with your current capacities helps to ensure that you can see it through, stay motivated, and get the outcomes you’re looking for.
Finding Wellness Events
Not sure where to start looking for events? Try some of the following places as a jumping off point:
Changing the world by empowering local economies is something we believe in, so we would be remiss if we didn’t suggest looking within your own community for events. Many local businesses have made the jump to virtual offerings, so a quick google search for the type of wellness you’re looking for and your geographical location prove very fruitful, in addition to being local-supporting. Examples would include your neighborhood gyms, studios, personal trainers, and meditation classes.
From nonprofits and social service organizations to regional connector groups, attending virtual wellness events offered by these organizations can also help you network around in your area even while staying remote. These could be public organizations, such as local libraries or public health departments. They could also be nonprofits or charitable groups organized around larger wellness issues, such as mental health, health accessibility, and so on. They could even be local chapters of entrepreneur and startup networking orgs.
National and global organizations like The National Alliance on Mental Illness, SCORE, APHA, and Founder Institute all have virtual resources and wider reach than more community-based organizations. Due to the large strain COVID-19 has placed on the world at this time, many of these organizations are hosting education events, workshops, and strategy seminars as people from around the world face new and rising levels of stress. SmartHustle also posted a list of 20+ organizations specifically for entrepreneurs, so you can get connected to organizations that are already focused on your work experiences.
Social calendars and networking groups
Meetup, LinkedIn, The Boston Calendar, and various networking groups you already belong to may be offering wellness-related events. Oftentimes these events are free or very low cost to attend, and they are a great way to shake things up by exploring a new topic, studio, or approach.