Have you heard, “Health is a state of mind, wellness is a state of being?” We tend to manage a lot of things simultaneously but don’t realize that everything impacts our health and wellness in the long run. Some of us even seek professional help — perhaps with a dietitian or nutritionist — to rejuvenate our minds, and sometimes, they prescribe healthy lifestyle changes that seem much easier said than done.
Yes, change is challenging and can be overwhelming. If a patient has a health condition or is working toward achieving a wellness goal, they can’t simply say to themself, “just quit smoking,” or “stop stressing.” They may need a support system that can outline realistic objectives.
That’s where they need to seek help from health and wellness coaches who specialize in supporting clients progress toward the goals a healthcare professional or therapist has advised. While these coaches aren’t physical or mental health professionals, they create a comfortable environment for clients, helping them achieve their goals.
Sounds like exciting work? It is. Here’s an in-depth overview of what a health and wellness coach does and the competencies that make one great.
What are health and wellness coaches?
Health and wellness coaches help clients work toward their best life, providing medical and mental health advice and breaking it down into bite-sized chunks. In other words, it means taking a comprehensive look at a client’s life, finding out what’s important to them and where they excel, and using these points to encourage them to achieve their goals.
For example, a client who’s fantastic at mediation might be able to use these skills on the journey to quitting smoking. Or, an individual who’s great at cooking for others might find pleasure in making new, healthier meals for themself.
Coaches serve as mentors, guides, and motivators. They get clients to open up about their strengths, desires, and roadblocks and help them find a way through.
What does a wellness coach do?
Wellness coaches motivate clients and help them chart a route to their goals, given the context and constraints of their lives. But what does this look like in practice?
First, health and wellness coaches perform motivational interviewing techniques with their clients. A doctor asking a patient to make a lifestyle change usually ends at “you should make a change.” But a health coach can contextualize this change in the realities of the client’s life, and provide a step-by-step plan that’s reasonable and keep them accountable to that plan.
- Provide support
- Help clients set goals and encourage them to achieve those goals
- Focus on fostering healthy habits instead of making express changes
- Enable clients to rechart when they hit an obstacle
- Refer to a medical or mental health professional when they’re out of their depth
What makes an excellent health and wellness coach?
Board-certified health and wellness coaches not only motivate their clients to work toward their goals but also become part of the team that helps people lead a healthy life. Think of it as someone supporting you in all your endeavors while also looking after your well-being. Here are a few qualities of health and wellness coaches:
- Client-centered: Coaches are an ear for their clients. Active listening helps these professionals create a coaching program and action items that work for each individual.
- Vigilant: Good coaches follow up and catch clients before they fall. A coach who messages a client to see how they’re keeping up with their training program at the gym or making healthier lifestyle choices between sessions provides motivation and support for any hurdles the person may encounter.
- Focused on self-discovery: Health coaches want to know who their clients are so they can make bespoke wellness plans for them, but part of asking these individuals the right questions is helping them come to answers on their own. It’s a eureka moment for clients when they say something true about themselves in their own words, and this type of self-discovery can become motivation in and of itself.
- Accountable: Health and wellness coaches always want their clients to succeed. It’s one thing to motivate these clients and help them rechart during a rough moment, but it’s another to build accountability into the action plan. Good coaches help their clients from the first by encouraging self-check-ins and awareness around milestones.
- Role models: Excellent health coaches practice what they preach and have experience taking care of themselves, reaching fitness and weight loss goals, implementing stress management techniques, and finding time for self-care. After all, you need to give your clients a chance to reap the benefits of getting a health and wellness coach.
What are the benefits of health and wellness coaching?
Yes, helping people feels undeniably great, but that’s not the only perk of becoming a health and wellness coach. Here are some other benefits of working in this capacity:
- You could prevent a major health issue: A client may come to you with a condition that could worsen if they don’t change their habits. This is where your noble job can help the individual emerge a winner.
- You feel good: Remember when we said good health coaches are strong role models? If you’re living right to set an example for your clients, your wellness and work-life balance may improve, too.
- The job outlook is great: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a positive outlook for health education specialists in general, projecting a “much faster than average” growth rate of 12% for careers in this field. This projection is suitable for anyone considering offering health and wellness coach services.
Securing your success
If we’d recommend one core point to any aspiring coach, it would be to stay organized. Especially when providing care to many clients simultaneously, it could become challenging to keep track of their medical histories and progress.
Set yourself up for success with a customer relationship management (CRM) system, such as Practice’s, which helps you organize client data, take bookings, and receive secure payments. You’ll go into your coaching sessions better prepared, feel confident about your projected income, and know that all your information is safe and in one place. Try it today.