If you’re seeking a deeper wellbeing journey and feeling like an extra bit of support will get you further along this year, you’ve definitely started the year off with some good stuff in mind! Personal development is an ongoing journey, and the more tools you can add to your arsenal to help you along the way, the better. Coaching is one of the best ways to help you set goals, to stay encouraged to execute them, and to start thinking about your overall health in a variety of different ways.
I recently got the chance to sit down with the Hello Happiest editorial team to do a quick Q&A about the type of coaching I offer to clients, namely holistic health coaching. I touched on my personal experience with coaching, talked about how important personal development is during the pandemic, as well as mentioning the one thing you need to start a coaching journey this year.
What does the term "holistic health" mean to you?
CW: In my experience, holistic health is grounded in the absence of illness. But! Achieving a natural state of health, or a balance of energy, requires more than just focusing on the body and physical ailments. True health stems from the energy brought about through mental, emotional, physical and spiritual experiences.
In simpler terms, holistic health manifests in the things you think, how your interpersonal relationships are going, whether you enjoy your job, and so forth. It also has to do with things like what you eat, how you feel about what you’re eating, where you live, what you do to relax, and how you feel about and talk to yourself. All of these (and so many more that I explore with my clients) contribute towards an overall feeling of being well or unwell, or rather, feeling energised or depleted at any given moment.
What do you think makes coaching such a valuable tool to someone on a wellness journey?
CW: Can I answer you with a question? How often do we make commitments to ourselves and struggle to follow through with them? We generally know what we “should” be doing to become healthier and happier, but are more likely to honour work commitments than our own hearts. I see this a lot, and think that it’s part of how our society is set up.
Teaming up with someone to help you reach your goals is a valuable tool because it helps to carve out your personal wishes, goals and commitments to yourself and gives you the support to make them happen. These all form a personal, clear and achievable pathway to your own joy. The type of coaching I do offers a holistic (whole) approach, where other health branches like nutritionists, CBT therapists and doctors focus specifically on key areas. I respect these areas a lot of course, but find that something looking at the sum total of our lives can be useful in helping people get and stay motivated, and often more consistently so.
How has coaching affected you personally in your life and career?
CW: That’s an easy one! Coaching caused a full blown change in my career. It gave me purpose and perspective in a time when I was very unhappy with the way my life was going. I was 15kg overweight, sitting with a business degree and facing a life and career of doing something I didn’t want to do. This is a path that works for some people of course, but I had a feeling that I had a different set of gifts to offer the world.
So I wanted to follow those. It started with yoga, then with The Nutrition School, and finally a coaching program. Hello Happiest is the brainchild of this journey, and has exposed me to so many areas of holistic health through the retreats we hosted pre-lockdown. The process led to more training, meeting more people, and ultimately living in a way that is more in line with who I am. I should also say that I was also having so much fun trying different recipes, and solidifying my own wellness practice!
Do you think the pandemic has made it more important for people to prioritise their wellbeing and personal development?
CW: Yes, on so many levels. Firstly, the pandemic has made every person, from every sphere of life (healthy or not) take a hard look at their own health. Simply put, we all want to survive the pandemic. That fight for survival and how we use our energy each day has quite literally become our greatest form of wealth.
I also want to mention the impact the pandemic has had on mental health as a whole. Isolation, disconnection, loneliness and even boredom have become part of the norm for many people. This can cause even the most positive person to dip. It’s become so important to seek out extra support because of this. That’s where coaching can do the best work.