IOC Fellows's picture Submitted by IOC Fellows September 9, 2020 - 1:40pm

We all know about the importance of self-care, we all have an acute awareness of our needs, and we have different ways of ensuring self-care. And yet, there are moments when we realize that we haven't properly looked after our needs. We even haven't been the best we could be for our clients. What can we do to increase our awareness of self-care? What are the different ways we look after ourselves and restore ourselves? And how do we deal with what gets in the way?

Below, 5 Fellows of the Institute of Coaching share their best advice for fresh new ways you can ensure appropriate levels of self-care - that might be helpful for your clients as well.

  1. Empty the cup AND fill-up, too

    Often we confuse self-care as being selfish. Nothing could be further from the truth. Accepting our self as we are, is key to creating the space for whatever is waiting to emerge. To be able to give off our best in the service of a shared purpose, the temple of our own Mind-Body-Spirit must be respected. Only if we can remain open with a sense of awe, can we fully discover the infinite potential we are surrounded by. 'Emptying-out' (prior conditioning) is as important as 'filling-up' from the spring of inspiration. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” I remind myself, in every moment, to empty-out (unlearn) and fill-up (re-learn) in the service of a truly interconnected AND interdependent reality. – Jaspal Bajwa, Sunya, Circle Authentic Leadership Associates

  2. Self-Care is Not a “Nice To Have”

    Do you brush your teeth once a week and assume that’s enough for them to be healthy? No, of course not! Then why treat your brain and body restoration needs like that? A yoga class on Saturdays is not enough to restore your body in the way that it needs. That’s why I believe self-care is not simply a “nice-to-have” moment to spoil yourself, but it is really a “must-have” restoration that will keep your mind and body functioning at peak performance levels. Like so many of our busy clients, it’s easy for us to accidentally prioritize the urgent matters that come up in our lives: the demands and deadlines from clients, the needs of loved ones, and so on. I’ve seen a huge shift in my efficiency, patience, and stress levels once I created a daily routine with the goal to restore my mind and body. For me, I changed my bedtime routine, added morning silence, and a brief mid-day meditation, and made a few nutritional changes and the effort has paid off immensely. - Lisa Christen, Christen Coaching & Consulting LLC

  3. My needs are important, too ...

    We often pride ourselves on our service orientation, of our attitude of "the client is the most important person in the room" as it helps us to be successful as coaches. And yet … we all have to look after ourselves as well, in order to avoid running on empty. One thing that helps me is to pause, even if only for a very short while, and center on the needs around me, and compare them to my needs at the moment. Then I can ask myself "am I willing to give your needs priority over my needs?". Over time I have learned that my needs are important, too; and that when I ignore my needs, I am unable to recognize your needs and to cater to them in my work. It’s like the recommendation before a plane takes off – first put on your own oxygen mask before helping fellow travelers. – Rolf Pfeiffer, Bernotat & Cie.

  4. Self-care could mean doing the little things that matter the most

    Self-care is important in order to continue to deliver high quality of service to those around us. The little things throughout the day are what contributes to my own self-care. Prior to our current crisis, self-care involved a different agenda with a set of practices in place. With our ever-changing circumstances and uncertainties in our environment, self-care has become small practices throughout the day that still allows for that shift of focus towards addressing my own needs as a professional coach. For example, I like to start the day with reflection and a simple cup of black tea. The process behind getting the perfect cup of tea delivers a high level of satisfaction and inner peace that enables me to begin the day with the right mindset. There is the truth that the "little things" that are meaningful in our lives are major positive contributors to our overall well-being. - Dr. X. Carmen Qadir, Coaching & Consulting Experience

  5. Self-Care as a Daily Ritual

    I must admit, taking time out to recharge and reset is not something that comes naturally to me. I have always exercised and “taken care of myself” but true mental and emotional self-care is something different. It is a conscious and deliberate effort to recognize your spirit and emotions as the primary person (if you will) in your life. One year ago, I launched a journey to incorporate this thinking into my daily life. I committed to spending 10 minutes every morning trying to meditate. It is a block of time that offers the potential for a high level of compliance. No matter how early or busy my day is, I can find 10 minutes in the morning. While I still am not great at totally clearing my mind, I have found that these 10 minutes of trying to just sit and be, make all the difference in my attitude and energy. No matter what happens with the rest of my day, I have given myself the gift of 10 minutes. One year later, I can tell you - just that small amount of time makes all the difference. There are days when I feel so positive at the end of my 10 minutes, I stay with it for another 10. Try it! – Paula Reid, Fifth Gear Coaching, LLC