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Coping Strategies for Leaders in 2021

coping strategies

Kiley Mutschler shares five simple coping strategies to help leaders stay resilient, keep a clear mind and an open heart in 2021.

As a leader, you are the role model for so many, including your team. In order to bring your best each day, it is important you are taking care of yourself and coping with the challenges this year has brought.

Take this time to pause and instead of hoping for things to go back to normal, view this as an opportunity to bounce forward through adversity. Use this time to create a positive catalyst for change, with yourself, your organization and your members.

Here are simple coping strategies to help you stay resilient, keep a clear mind and an open heart this year:


Prioritize getting adequate sleep and rest so you are recharged and ready for each day ahead. When you lose an hour of sleep, it can decrease your productivity, health and ability to think. According to a study done by K. Anders Ericsson, sleep significantly influences peak performance and the best performers slept an average of eight hours and 36 minutes each night.

If you need more energy throughout the day, make sure you are getting enough sleep the night before.

Be Present

It seems simple, be present and live in the moment. But how many times have you caught yourself thinking about the past or too concerned with the future? While there are times to reflect on the past and/or plan for the future, there is also the benefit of living and acting in the now. Circumstances are different now than they were in the past and they are guaranteed to be different in the future. Strive to accept each day as it is and do your best with what you have been given. 

If you find yourself getting distracted or unable to focus, take a 90 second reset, as that is all it takes to change your thought trajectory and take control of your stress or anxiety. Some resets to add to your coping strategies you are taking five deep breaths, looking at a photo of family/friends or writing down one thing you are grateful for.


Connection not just with yourself but also with others. In this digital world, we miss so many of our day-to-day interactions that support our social well-being. Make an effort to connect with your family, friends or mentors.

Studies have shown the one thing that distinguishes the happiest 10% among us is not how much money we make or the house we live in, but the value of our social networks. The happiest people have a strong connection to others, so while it could mean connecting virtually or even from six feet apart, prioritize those relationships and invest in those who can help lift you up.

Practice Gratitude

At the heart of connection, there is gratitude. Practicing gratitude and looking for the positive things in our lives, helps us to go through the day being more creative in our problem solving and more productive in our work. While it might be easy to lose sight of all the things we have been given in a world where there is so much to be had, do not forget to be grateful for even the smallest things.

Start and end your day with three things you are grateful for or three great things that happened each day.


We all know this – it is what we preach to our members and it is why we have members to serve. Movement is medicine, and daily movement, regardless of intensity, has been proven to boost your mental health and well-being. Prioritize yourself and your health by scheduling time in your day to be active.

The best performers work in shorter periods, roughly 90 minutes, taking frequent breaks to avoid exhaustion and mental fatigue. Schedule time for yourself and get moving.

Recommended Reads: “Eat, Move, Sleep,” by Tom Rath; “I Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements,” by Tom Rath and Jim Harter.

Kiley Mutschler

Kiley Mutschler is a regional manager with Active Wellness, overseeing corporate and multi-tenant fitness centers in Texas, Arizona and Canada. She has over 10 years of experience managing people at all levels; responsible for hiring, training and building strong teams within the organization. Kiley has held many roles within Active Wellness and was named an IHRSA Rising Star in 2019. She can be reached at kiley.mutschler@activewellness.com.

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1 Comment

  1. April McCullough January 14, 2021

    Awesome article and I needed to read this at the beginning of the year! Thanks for sharing!


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