I have at least five clients at the gym who have had to alter their exercise regime to take care of loved ones.

Some people only have to miss one or two classes a week in order to drive for doctor’s appointments. Others have had to drop out for a month at a time or a session at a time because they must focus all of their attention on caring for family.

I know first hand how hard it is to fit in time for ourselves when we find ourselves in this position. It can happen to us more than once in our lives and it is often very taxing and physically draining.

The good news is that if you are one of my students, you are in great shape to be able to deal with this challenge.  Remember that ‘waiting time’ can be used to meditate, no matter where you are. I have been in busy emergency wards, where we try to take in every single situation around us. If it has nothing to do with you or your loved one, close your eyes while you sit and wait. Find your breath. Breathe deeply two or three times. Notice the tension in your shoulders, roll them forward and backward, tilt your head side to side and pull them down. Breathe again.

If you are in my stretch class, you know that you can do many wonderful stretches in a chair or while standing that do not take up much space. Do a few squats in and out of the chair and then use the chair for balance while you do the standing stretches that you remember.

My blog from May 14, 2015, shows you three stretches that you can do right now in a chair. If you are in my class you know many more.

I spent a year visiting my dad almost daily in the hospital. The physical effects of stress can sneak up on us gradually so make sure that you are taking whatever time you can for yourself. Try to walk often if your loved one has someone else with them. Get fresh air whenever you can.

Remember that all of us are holding your spot and cannot wait for you to return. We all notice when you are away. You are in our thoughts.

Have a great day.