Self-care for coaches – 3 practical ideas
Is it an indulgence to look after your own wellbeing at a time of a pandemic or, indeed, at any time?
As coaches, the focus is mainly on the client and, in these unsettling Covid 19 times, there is fear about both our physical and economic health. Set out below are three simple ideas to help you take a healthier approach to your wellbeing, whatever pressures you may be under at present:
1. Give yourself ‘permission’ to relax
With 24/7 news coverage of the Covid 19 pandemic, it can be difficult to switch off or gain perspective. By setting small amounts of time aside to rest, you notice more of your inner dialogue and so can gain insight into your patterns of thinking. Understand for yourself the signs that you need to gain a wider perspective and allow for some recharging, before your physical or mental health is impacted. Focus on what you can control, including ways of promoting greater balance, and remind yourself that these exceptional and stressful times will eventually come to pass.
2. Connect with the rhythms of the natural world and observe the changes to understand your own human nature
Nature is a self-balancing system that is constantly changing. There are core conditions required for nature to thrive and the same is true, for us, as humans. A well-balanced eco-system respects the fragility of the natural world and is a good way to view our own human nature. Being in nature can lift you out of the pressures and stresses of the current times and allow you to process your worries and gain some ‘quiet time’ for your mind. Recognising that not everyone is able to go into nature, research has shown that even looking at images of nature, or a view of nature from a window, can promote feelings of wellbeing. Listening to sounds of the natural world, like birdsong, can also calm and soothe us.
3. Use a range of self-care ideas to find the ones which are best for you
Rather than discount the need for self-care, find something which works for you and your unique needs. Some of the most enduring ideas include:
• Stay connected to those who love you and support you (via technology, where necessary). Gain support and know that you are not alone.
• Exercise (ideally in green space), helps to work through stress and keep our bodies healthy. Pilates and yoga are very good at re-connecting and working with any stress in your body.
• Eat and drink in nourishing ways.
• Meditation/mindfulness remind us that breath is the anchor to help calm our minds and return to the present moment.
• Reading is good to ‘lose yourself’ and be transported and absorbed in a story/poem or to develop an interest or expertise further.
Being in balance, where we are often at our most effective and happiest, requires constant care and adjustment for us all. Self-care is an important part of this process.