Fitness & Mind-Body Collaboration Takeaways

The Global Wellness Collaborations bring industry leaders together in meaningful dialogue to share ideas and best practices for navigating the COVID-19 crisis around a specific industry segment.

Topic: Fitness & Mind-Body
Date of Discussion:  March 19, 2020
Countries/Regions Represented: Andorra, Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, UAE, UK, USA

  • Shield yourself from the barrage of information that can be causing us stress and making our immune system less robust. Offer practical tips, stay connected, do art therapy, take cooking classes, be creative, and bolster hope.
  • Reframe “social distancing” to “physical distancing.” We have the technology platforms to be absolutely connected. We are busy rearranging the deck chairs when we actually should be building a new boat.
  • Right now, there is a deep desire to connect because everybody is so scared and feeling isolated in many ways.
  • There’s mindfulness and generosity, caring, extending our hand, and just becoming more human. I think this is really a big lesson that we’re learning because we’ve never seen anything like it; take a breath; wellness is caring for each other.
  • I’ve been calling it “social well-being”, or “social wellness”.
  • If you have to make changes, and you’ve got heavy overheads, the general thought is cut once and cut deep because you’ll never regret the fact that you aren’t carrying too much overhead.
  • If businesses don’t put their businesses first, they will have a very sad future. Make the difficult decision now. Be human about it, communicate it with integrity, and do it professionally. Inhale and then do the brave thing.
  • Every CEO should write a letter. Authenticity and transparency are going to be even more important now.
  • This is an existential crisis; people have to make hugely difficult decisions. It was our decision, as a board, to close all of our business locations. It’s not an easy decision to make, but you have to make it if you want to have a business that they can come back to, hopefully relatively shortly.
  • I think that the whole method of consumption of wellness and fitness is going to change. And we, as an industry and as industry leaders and thought leaders, have to be prepared for that. We have to lead that educational shift and that business transformation.
  • How do you sell now without appearing to be profiteering or taking advantage? If you’re trying to be sensitive about the messaging, one of the things to consider is asking people to buy gift cards in support of the employees, creating a fund for the employees to keep them on to give them benefits.
  • It’s about creating a sanctuary at home, for mindfulness, for exercise. And I think having the capability of communicating socially and online is really powerful.
  • If you’re trying to be sensitive about the messaging, one of the things is asking people to buy gift cards in support of the employees, creating a fund for the employees to keep them on to give them benefits. I would think that in this industry, to ask people buy retail online, and put a portion of that towards a fund that could support people. I think people would feel good about it. It’s not that we’ve stopped buying stuff. I mean, in fact there’s a tremendous surge of online buying. I think if you can link purchasing products to supporting people that would make people feel better to maybe make you feel better about promoting something.
  • I’ve just been picking up the phone and calling. A lot of my neighbors are older, and they live alone. I’ve just picked up the phone and called them and said, we’re here if you need anything. If you need to make a grocery run, please let us know.
  • It’s about finding what inspires people because all of a sudden, there’s all these people who don’t have a daily commute anymore. They’ve got time on their side.
  • What I’m seeing is fear. And that’s a more pervasive epidemic than the coronavirus. And the corrosive effects are astounding, and I’ve really thought about it. The one thing that is happening to all of us is that in this pandemic, all of our external supports, job travel distractions, restaurants, movies are being removed. And by being at home and alone, we’re really forced inward and to reflect. So, it’s a good time for meditation. We know that meditation is an immune booster.
  • There are practices and tools to help strengthen immunity; some of the deeper teachings from the practice of yoga, and some very powerful meditations and pranayama practices, do help us in terms of our mental health and wellness and also our spiritual purpose and faith.
  • Do you have the discipline to be wild? It really does take discipline to come inward and quiet our minds. It also takes discipline to let go and lose yourself.
  • There’s a great film of Desmond Tutu meeting the Dalai Lama for the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday. And Desmond Tutu was a major dancer; he loved to dance with children at public events. And the Dalai Lama is very meditative, very quiet. And Desmond Tutu, at one point, had tried to tease the Dalai Lama into dancing. And he actually uses the movement of the head that you’ve described to try to engage him. Eventually he does!
  • We’ve experienced something opposite of others. We’ve had guests at our property who were supposed to leave this week or early next week, and many of them are now extending until the end of April. They feel safer here. They don’t want to go back to Europe or Australia.
  • If you ever had grandparents that went through the depression, that was a life-changing moment, where they made $17 a week, saved $10. They never forgot it. It informed everything they did from then on. This will likely happen to all of us going through this pandemic.
  • Work on development. Use this extra time for something creative in your business.
  • Maybe explore your own city in new ways. Run a “virtual race” where people run on their own, contribute to the events and the results, and feel a sense of camaraderie.

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