Dr. Jenn Mann: Caring for Ill Parents and Not Losing Sight of Yourself

Dr. Jenn Mann: Caring for Ill Parents and Not Losing Sight of Yourself


This week, The Clip Out community had an anonymous question for Dr. Jenn – How could she care for two ill parents and still manage her own fitness goals? Stress is a normal part of life that affects everyone at some point. However, when it becomes overwhelming, it can take a toll on your overall well-being. One effective way to reduce stress is through exercise, but it can be challenging to find the motivation to do so when going through a tough time. When you are caring for an ill parent, the stress and emotional toll are at a peak. Here’s a list of tips to fit in movement during times of stress with the help of Dr. Jenn Mann: a licensed marriage, family, and child therapist, and sports psychology consultant.


  • Be Kind to Yourself: The anonymous question mentioned being an “all or nothing” person and feeling like they were failing. Dr. Jenn advises them to be easier on themselves and understand that some things are out of their control. It’s crucial to be kind to yourself during times of stress and set realistic goals for exercise. This can be something as simple as going for a 10-minute walk instead of a full workout.
  • Find an Exercise Buddy: Having someone to exercise with can make a big difference during times of stress. Dr. Jenn suggests finding a friend, family member, or joining a group fitness class for accountability and motivation. Knowing someone is expecting you at the gym or class can help you stick to your routine.
  • Mix It Up: Doing the same exercise routine every day can become mundane and make it harder to find motivation. Dr. Jenn advises changing up your workout routine to something that excites you, such as trying a new class or outdoor activity. This will not only make exercise more enjoyable but can also help alleviate stress.
  • Remember the Benefits: It’s easy to forget the benefits of exercise when stressed, but they are crucial for overall well-being. Dr. Jenn suggests keeping a list of the physical and mental benefits of exercise and referring to it when feeling unmotivated. This could include increased energy, improved mood, and better sleep.
  • Set a Goal: Having a specific goal can provide a sense of purpose and motivate you to exercise during stressful times. It doesn’t have to be anything grand, it could be as simple as increasing your step count or working towards a specific workout milestone. Dr. Jenn advises setting a SMART goal, which means it should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.

Stress and exercise are both a part of life, and it can be challenging to find the motivation to exercise during tough times. However, exercise is one of the most effective ways to alleviate stress and improve overall well-being. It’s important to be kind to yourself, find an exercise buddy, mix up your routine, remember the benefits, and set a goal. By following these tips, you can find ways to fit in movement during times of stress and come out feeling better physically and mentally. Remember, taking care of your overall well-being should always be a priority, especially during tough times.

Dr. Jenn always has great advice. But, as we now know, while giving this advice she was privately dealing with a very similar situation herself. Sadly, Dr. Jenn’s mother passed away on June 1, 2023, shortly before this episode aired. To learn more about her mother, legendary songwriter Cynthia Weil, please click here.

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