By now, we all know that wellness is a much overused word. And a word that is often problematic at times.
Some views of wellness seem to hone in on specific areas like body and weight. In reality, wellness is a holistic term that treats all of it's touch-points equally. And in an effort to find this equilibrium, many people are now turning to wellness coaching.
We're not here to add another "must-have" treatment to the list. Taking care of yourself is time consuming and expensive enough already. But we did want to breakdown and learn more about this new area to see if it could be helpful for some of us.
To find out more, we spoke to Katie Lowndes, a qualified wellness coach. She's completed three levels of wellness coaching training, plus she's studied nutrition and DISC behavioural profiling. Katie answers all our questions on wellness and how to balance all facets of your own wellbeing.
What is wellness coaching?
Wellness coaching looks at where you are now and where you want to be. Rather than telling someone exactly what to do, it allows you to be in the driver’s seat. I assist each of my clients to work out their values, their WHY, and then I help them align their heart and head so that they can move forward without that inward battle between the two. I find coaching to be a really positive, forward moving method for clients to make changes in their lives.
The wellness part comes into play as we focus on your wellbeing, taking into consideration your overall health in many areas of your life, using a thorough questionnaire. Of course, your overall wellness can be affected by a multitude of dimensions in your life for example, you may be stressed in your occupation which leads to sleepless nights, muscle pain and anxiety.
Who is wellness coaching suited for?
Anyone feeling stuck in a rut or looking to make changes in their life to feel happier and healthier.
What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness to me means that when making decisions in your everyday life you choose the option that makes you feel healthier and happier.
When should we consider wellness coaching? Why would someone need a wellness coach?
You should look at wellness coaching if you feel stressed, overwhelmed or have noticed a change in your health. You could be confused about all of the options out there, in regard to diet and exercise, and feel the paradox of choice. You could be looking at changing some habits and have tried in the past but slipped back into old ways.
If a client has anything going on in their life that is affecting their wellbeing, then wellness coaching is perfect to help move forward.
What can wellness coaching offer us, and how can it positively influence the way we live?
Wellness coaching offers a clear vision, long term goals and short-term mini goals to keep you on track to your destination. Through coaching we can identify support systems and also obstacles to change. It’s a safe space to work out your WHY without feeling like you have to be careful about what you say (which sometimes people feel if they are talking to friends or family).
How can we make wellness a more inclusive space?
I think through education we can make people feel more included. This is a great way of reaching more potential clients so that wellness doesn’t seem to be such a ‘woo woo’ word. Most people, especially now, are really starting to look inwards and think about their life and what they have been doing and what they want to do moving forward. Those people potentially don’t realise that this is what wellness is.
Being conscious about what you are doing and why… not simply being carried along in life by society. In reality your wellness encompasses eight dimensions of life: financial, occupational, environment, social, emotional, physical fitness, intellectual and spiritual.
What are some of the first steps we can all take towards seeing wellness as a priority?
I think the first step is actually recognising what is happening in our minds and bodies. We often have little niggles that go ignored that turn into big problems. This can be something as simple as saying NO to something that you don’t want to do. You know, when you get asked to do something and you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach that says no, but you tell yourself that you ‘should’ do it…. If you added all of these up, it’s a little like the domino effect.
Other examples would be that aching shoulder, lack of sleep, creeping weight gain. Life has been so fast, and we are so switched on all of the time, we have forgotten about rest. We are in general exhausted and living in fight/flight mode which is detrimental long term. It’s time to slow down and create small daily habits that ultimately make you feel healthier and happier.