Why might a person require coaching?
The people I often coach are those who are suffering continually from physical and mental conditions or stress that has reached burnout or are at a transitional time in their life that means their health and wellness has suffered and holding them back from achieving the life they desire. Simply put as a coach, what I do is aid them their way forward in achieving their optimum health and wellness, whatever that is to them.
What is ‘health’?
As a medic, the simplest definition of health is the absence of illness. Often, when people go to GP surgeries or hospital it is due to ill health – they have an illness that is showing symptoms. A physical example could be diabetes where a person shows the symptoms of feeling sluggish and having poor immune system, while a mental illness such as depression or anxiety could be holding someone back from progressing in a life they desire.
What is wellness?
The concept of wellness is more to do with the direction a person is facing on the illness continuum. Whether or not a person is facing towards the positives of wellness or towards the negatives of illness determines so much. For instance, though a person may physically and mentally be healthy, they could be facing the direction of illness and therefore be less ‘well’ in overall. On flip side, a person could be physically and mentally ill but be facing the direction of wellness and therefore actually be far more ‘well’.
Why do I focus on wellness as well as health?
When talking about the concept of ‘health’ it is most straightforward to depict it as a continuum – with good physical and mental wellness being on one side and illness being on the other, the middle being a kind of ‘neutral’ health (or lack of illness) – which most medics will work towards with ill patients. In my role as a doctor, a person’s health will always be integral in what I do. However, only stabilising symptoms and providing medication for short term results is not the approach I focus on as a coach.
Wellness is fundamental – it allows a person to create their best optimum life, whatever this manifests as for each individual.
In my experience, using wellness within my coaching has enabled my client to be empowered to live the most ‘well’ life they can. As a coach I can work with this with the client,
By addressing wellness in coaching, does it accelerate the improvement of health?
Yes. Wellness can definitely affect a person’s health.
An example is that of diabetes, an illness that might need treatment. Yet, through my coaching a diabetics’ approach may shift to address some of their limiting belief systems and beliefs of what they are able to do or develop more positive attitude. This is incredibly key in their recovery as this can shift towards wellness and readiness for change often leads them to taking action – some examples being in their diet, their activities, their way of interacting and their feelings of being satisfied or happy- which has knock on affect to physical factors such as sleep.
This overall reorientation with a new focus on wellness can reverse their diabetes, thus reducing their illness and therefore improving their health.
Why come to a coaching session with me rather than a normal medical appointment?
As a coach I don’t treat illness. Instead I focus on the goals and aspirations in life of the person I see in terms of their whole life wheel. In the life wheel (an idea frequently used in the field of coaching) there are a total of eight segments. I widen my focus to include not just health but the other key concept in play – wellness.
How is lifestyle medicine used in my coaching?
Due to my position as a lifestyle medicine practitioner, I apply the knowledge of lifestyle benefits to my coaching – which are evidence-based activities within the main pillars of sleep and stress management, physical activity, relationships, and nutrition.
What does my coaching offer for physical and mental health?
My coaching offers life-changing opportunity to shift an individual who is pointing in a direction of illness towards their definition of wellness. My focus is on the transition of belief and actions. In this direction shift I work with clients to ‘co-create’ their ideal state of optimum wellness. My role as a coach is to create clarity about this place of wellness, to build up strategies to get there while breaking down limiting factors in their way.
How does health and career success impact each other?
Time and time again I see people who are in respect to their career very successful but in terms of their health not at all. Our ability to keep both in the air takes balance and choice. This is such an important arena in which a coach can have huge impact overall.
What are transitional life events?
Any time in our life where what was our version of health and wellness is changed. This can be physiological, emotional, physical or situational. For example, menopause, postnatal depression, post cancer diagnosis and treatment or loss of job and role in life respectively. Coaching looks at the whole person and creates the step going forward to create a new way of being.
What does Thriving in the Pandemic aim to do?
The pandemic has been a significant change we have all faced at the same time – each of us from a different perspective is the Covid19 pandemic. This has affected us at home and work, as a family and as an individual.
Coaching has the ability to support and empower a person to make sense of this and find a way to their new definition of their well life. The unique situation is that I too have been part of this collective experience and will be able to understand the restrictions and challenges it brought to us all.