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What is Wellness in Wellness Coaching?

According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), wellness is the personal journey toward the mental, physical, social, and emotional betterment of life.

This means it’s an ongoing process requiring both growth and maintenance.

It’s about balance. And balance is about shifting energy to where it’s needed when it’s needed since there’s no even distribution in life.

Sometimes growth in one area means you enter maintenance mode in another. It’s not inherently a good or bad thing. It just is — like a season in life.

To climb the corporate ladder, you may need to put in more hours and redistribute the hours left based on what’s most important (based on your values).

If you have a fitness goal, you may need to increase your sleep and change your diet. This means you may not partake in as many social outings as you used to.

Related: 6 Signs You Need a Coach to Achieve Your Goals

5 Domains of Wellness

wellness written in sand, coaches whistle laying on sand in foreground

Here’s a super brief look at NASM’s five domains of wellness:

  • Movement – Exercise is just one example of movement.
  • Mental and emotional wellbeing – Brain health and regulation of states
  • Nutrition – Establishing and maintaining a healthy dietary pattern
  • Recovery and regeneration – How your mind and body recover and rebuild from stressors
  • Sleep – Habit hygiene, brain processes, disease and risk mitigation, performance

A wellness coach helps you develop strategies to change these dimensions for a better quality of life.

A good wellness coach asks more questions and offers less solutions. It’s about finding what works for you so you develop habits and patterns that stick.

Be wary of wellness coaches that claim to write nutrition plans and workouts but don’t have any accompanying credentials (certified personal trainer, dietician, nutritionist, etc.).

If you encounter someone you’d like to work with who doesn’t have formal training or certification, it’s worth asking why they’ve chosen not to pursue any of the various certifications and accreditation programs out there.

This is worth shouting: wellness coaches are not mental health professionals!

While a good wellness coach is an adept listener, they shouldn’t diagnose, recommend or prescribe any treatment or regimen to manage mental health conditions. If they offer opinions instead of referrals, get out of there.

A good wellness coach will also kick things off by aligning on how to best work together within the agreed on package or selected coaching option.

If they rely on a “proven method” instead of designing a custom alliance that works best for both of you, consider looking into other options. You can’t have someone’s best interest in mind when you try to force or manipulate them down a path instead of understanding their needs.

Look into wellness coaching if you’re ready for a sustained lifestyle change. Whether it’s wanting to feel better daily or living a long life to see your grandkids grow up, a wellness coach can help you develop the habits to get you there.

Next: The Mental Side of Boosting Performance

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