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Self-care for coaches - 3 practical ideas

Posted By Margaret Walsh, Margaret Walsh Consulting Ltd, 14 April 2020
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.

Tags:  Covid 19  self-care  wellbeing 

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Achieving Work Life Balance - 6 ideas to consider

Posted By Margaret Walsh, Margaret Walsh Consulting Ltd, 25 July 2017

Achieving Work Life Balance (WLB) – six ideas to improve your WLB Who doesn’t want to achieve better balance in their life? Yet, this requires conscious thought and effort on our part so that we place our attention on those aspects of our lives that matter most to us. I know that the ‘Wheel of Life’, is a helpful tool to use in coaching as it provides clients with useful feedback points and can jolt them into action to focus on those parts of our lives where they want to spend more time.

Wheel of Life As a short reminder, to complete the wheel of life you simply allocate a score (from 0-10) to the different headings and see your distribution and where there are low scores. I particularly like the fact that this tool also allows a client to place a focus on the future and consider the changes he/she might make to the different areas and thus set goals to make those changes.

I have set out below six ideas to consider for achieving balance. These ideas emerge both my studies and my work with coaching clients and from good practice in this field:

1. Be consciously aware of where you spend your time and judge whether you are happy with this allocation. Using the Wheel of Life may be a useful starting point in this respect, and enables you to look at where you are and where you would like to be with your WLB and allows you to keep both under review.

2. Consider the ‘doing’ nature of balance, and the need to adjust to stay in balance. One useful visual of constant readjustment, that can appear effortless, is a red kite (or similar large bird), in flight. To soar in this way, a red kite needs to ‘read’ the thermals and adjust.

3. Know your patterns and where you spend your time automatically. It may be that you have a message from childhood that you constantly try to live up to of ‘work harder and provide for others’. This is important, but so is finding joy in family times and having space to think and reflect, as well as simply relaxing.

4. Take control of how you allocate your time. Put structure into your calendar that allocates balance for you.

5. Review and reflect regularly on whether you are happy with your life and the balance within it. This requires insight and self-awareness into what is important for you both now and into the future. We are constantly changing (through ageing and hopefully growing in wisdom) and it makes sense that we reflect that in the way we live our lives.

6. Not wanting to sound too fatalistic, but for each of us life will come to an end. How we spend our time shapes who we are and it pays for us to consider whether we are content with who we are now in the world and where we spend our time.

Margaret Walsh is a registered member of the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy, a Member of the Association of Coaching and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development. She works with individuals and groups using a mixture of coaching and psychotherapy to help deepen self-awareness from which to bring about change. She works face-to-face as well as by Skype and telephone and can be contacted on Margaret also maintain a regular blog:

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Tags:  balance  contentment  life  wellbeing  wheel of life  work 

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