Self-care is essential for coaches (and students who wish to become a coach), as it helps to prevent emotional burnout and coaching fatigue.
While these days the very subject of “self-care” may sound like a cliche, remember that self-care—in other words, taking care of yourself—is not selfish.
It’s necessary in order to be the best coach you can be for your clients.
Think of the oxygen bags on a plane. In the event of an emergency, you’re instructed to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others with theirs
The same is true when it comes to self-care. You need to be well in order to best take care of others.
Just as with therapists, the accumulated stress that coaches face on a regular basis can lead to burnout faster than in many other professions.
This is particularly true for coaches who are empaths or highly-sensitive individuals.
But how do you find the time for self-care when you’re already so busy taking care of your clients and running your coaching business?
I’ll admit: it’s not always easy.
In fact, most of the time it isn’t.
But like so many things that can enrich us and our lives, it’s possible—if we make the effort.
What is the definition of “self-care,” really?
It’s different for everyone.
Self-care is anything that you do to take care of yourself, both physically and emotionally.
It can be anything that helps you to relax, recharge, or just feel good.
While it has a different meaning for everyone, some basic examples of self-care include getting regular massages, taking a yoga class, going for walks in nature, spending time with friends and family, or simply taking a few minutes each day to meditate.
It’s very important to recognize that self-care looks different for everyone—there is no “one size fits all” approach.
When many people think of self-care, they picture what they’ve seen on Instagram or Tiktok.
True, some people may find it relaxing and rejuvenating to lay back in the tub with a bowl of grapes and a New York Times bestseller balanced on a bamboo bath caddy.
Other people may find that completely nerve-wracking, and not restorative at all.
Again, what works for one coach may not work for another coach. It’s important to find what works best for you.
Why is self-care particularly important for coaches?
As a coach, you are constantly giving of yourself—emotionally, mentally, and sometimes even physically as you try to support your clients in the best way you can.
It’s important to have outlets that help you to recharge your own batteries, so to speak.
Otherwise—just as with people in the counseling profession—it’s very easy to become overwhelmed, burnt out, and resentful.
And when you’re not taking care of yourself, it can be very difficult to be the best coach possible for your clients.
How can you expect to help others if you’re not taking care of yourself?
So make sure to incorporate some self-care into your daily routine. Your clients will benefit from it—and so will you!
The different aspects of self-care
There are four different aspects of self-care that are particularly important for coaches to focus on: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
Physical self-care is all about listening to and taking care of your body’s needs. This includes getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and so forth.
Emotional self-care is about managing your emotions in a healthy way. This might include activities like journaling, talking to a therapist or counselor, spending time with supportive people, or participating in a support group.
Mental self-care is about taking care of your mind. This can be done by practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga, setting aside time each day for quiet reflection, or reading inspiring books or articles.
Spiritual self-care is about connecting with something larger than yourself. This might include attending religious services, spending time in nature, or practicing meditation or prayer. Not everyone is religious or spiritual, but for those who are, this is an important aspect of self-care.
Even for coaches who aren’t, taking some time for yourself to reflect on your place in the world can be beneficial in satisfying your “spiritual” self-care needs.
Self-care activities for coaches
Here are just a few ideas of self-care activities that may be particularly beneficial for coaches:
Get regular massages – Massage can help to relieve stress and tension, and it’s a great way to pamper yourself.
Take a yoga class – Yoga can help to improve flexibility, strength, and focus, and it’s also very calming and relaxing.
Go for walks in nature – Walking in nature can help to clear your mind and give you a sense of peace and calm.
Spend time with friends and family – Spending time with loved ones can help to reduce stress and make you feel supported.
Take some time each day for yourself – Dedicate at least 15 minutes each day to do something that you enjoy, without stress or obligations. This might include reading, taking a bath, or just sitting quietly.
Practice meditation or prayer – Meditation and prayer can help you to focus your thoughts and connect with your spirituality.
It’s also possible that you may try every one of these activities and not feel fulfilled by them. It’s worth repeating: your self-care may look very different from another coach’s self-care.
Tips for incorporating self-care into your coaching practice
The important thing is to make sure that you are making time for self-care every day. It doesn’t have to be something big or time-consuming—even just a few minutes of deep breathing can make a world of difference.
When you take care of yourself, you’ll be better able to show up as the best coach possible for your clients.
One of the best ways to make sure you have time for self-care is to set boundaries with your clients. Let them know from the beginning what your availability is, and stick to it. (Maintaining client boundaries is an especially critical skill to develop for new coaches and coaching students.)
If you need to take a day off, make sure you communicate that to your clients in advance. Most coaching clients will respect your boundaries if you are clear about them from the start.
There are many different aspects of self-care, but some of the most important include getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and spending time with loved ones.
Make sure to schedule time for these activities into your week so that you can stick to them – and don’t feel guilty about taking this time for yourself! It will make you a better coach in the long run.
Self-care is essential for all coaches, as it helps to prevent burnout and coaching fatigue. It’s important to find what works best for you, as there is no “one size fits all” approach to self-care.
Experiment with different activities and make sure to schedule time for self-care into your week. Your clients will benefit from your refreshed and rejuvenated state.