Maintaining strong immune systems and helping people to manage their current illnesses is part of the vital work that health & wellness coaches are doing every day. COVID-19 is causing much higher mortality rates among people with chronic health challenges – the very population that health & wellness coaches and wellness professionals serve. The world needs the work you do now more than ever.
There are two issues at play during this pandemic crisis: how can we best serve our clients/members, etc.; and how can we remain healthy and well enough to be of service and maintain our own wellness?
Serving Your Clients/Members/Patients
As wellness professionals face the new realities and restrictions of the pandemic and our responses to it unique challenges confront us.
- Remaining in contact with your clients/members/patients while both you and they are working remotely.
- Adjusting to remote contact when you’ve always worked in-person with those you serve.
- Helping people who work on the frontlines of the medical world’s response to the pandemic.
- Dealing with clients, members, or patients who are reporting more stress, depression and anxiety.
- Helping people who feel frightened and helpless in the face of this crisis.
- Helping people get the services they need, including your own, when those services are overwhelmed.
At the end of this piece I’ve listed some great resources to help with some of these challenges.
What Do You Need Now?
Many of us who are in the human-helping business tend to step up and be there for others with little hesitation. The other side of this is our own tendency to not attend enough to our own needs during this time. What kinds of demands are you facing in your workplace? Some wellness and coaching services are under greater demand and stress. Independent coaches, fitness trainers, etc., may be facing a reduced number of clients. What are you up against?
What are you doing for your own wellness and self-care now?
As each of us reach out to our clients and others to be an ally we also need to nourish ourselves. In time of crisis, when it seems that we don’t have time for our own care, it is actually time for extreme self-care. Stress has a terrible toll on the immune system and that is exactly what we all need to work on maintaining right now.
We are also not invulnerable to the same fears, anxieties and stresses that our clients and members are facing. Perhaps you are working at home trying to juggle your work obligations with having a house full of family members trapped by social distancing guidelines.
Be compassionate with yourself. As you work with others during this crisis the emotional toll it takes upon you may be not just exhausting, it may be traumatic. Secondary traumatization takes place when we are exposed to the trauma that others are going through. It can have many of the same symptoms and effects upon us as direct exposure to trauma. Here is an excellent resource for learning more about this. Emergency Responders: Tips for taking care of yourself. (https://emergency.cdc.gov/coping/responders.asp)
People that go through any kind of wellness training always develop a wonderful appreciation for their fellow classmates. We see this when we all attend professional conferences and feel the support of like-minded colleagues. Attempts to keep in touch are usually hard to maintain as everyone returns to their busy lives. Now, with the cancelation of live conferences and such, we are left without that usual opportunity for rejuvenation and support. You may be feeling alone, but you are not.
We know that the way through crisis, the way to build resilience is through CONNECTION, through reaching out and support. As you saw in my previous blog post, (Social Distancing – Not Social Isolation: Coaching for Connectedness in the age of COVID-19 https://wp.me/pUi2y-p5 ) social distancing is not the same as social isolation. Reach out to friends, but also reach out to your wellness colleagues. They are going through many of the same experiences as you and can be primary sources of support.
Let me invite you to connect in many ways. One way is to GET A SUPPORTIVE CONVERSATION GOING by engaging in conversation about your concerns, fears, hopes and stresses that you are experiencing right now with COVID-19 happening worldwide.
Connect on Facebook with the REAL BALANCE STUDENTS, ALUMNI & FRIENDS GROUP – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1581133502099770/ This group is open to all wellness-related professionals.
Connect on Linkedin with the Real Balance Wellness Coach Training Institute Group:https://www.linkedin.com/groups/3808651/ This group is also open to all wellness-related professionals.
Let’s make these forums one place where we can do that. Please contribute to these conversations. Building COMMUNITY takes participation.
Another opportunity will be April 24th. Our April Free Monthly Webinar will be: Wellness Coaching in the Time of Covid 19: Self-care and Helping Others with very special guests James and Janice Prochaska and Pat Williams.
RESOURCES for helping others and helping ourselves during this crisis:
- Managing anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak. https://socialwork.wayne.edu/coronavirus/anxiety
- Tips for Coaches and Therapists during times of crisis with Dr. Patrick Williams (https://youtu.be/VoiufoD_HNA)
- HOW COVID-19 IS IMPACTING THE WORKPLACE: Resources for employees and employers during this time. (https://www.welcoa.org/covid/)
- Living With Mental Illness During COVID-19 Outbreak– Preparing For Your Wellness (https://mhanational.org/living-mental-illness-during-covid-19-outbreak-preparing-your-wellness)
- Food safety, nutrition, and wellness during COVID-19. (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2020/03/25/food-safety-nutrition-and-wellness-during-covid-19/)
- Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19 | CDC. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html)
Also, please feel free to contact us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (1-866-568-4702) to let us know how we may be of support at this time.
Be well and stay well!