Marilena Minucci has been a coach for more than 25 years and trains other coaches. Her focus is on health and wellness, and she is the author of “Quantum Coaching Questions.”
She recently shared her advice for professional coaches and their clients during difficult times .
“The best education I have received about wellness has been a result of striving to keep my own self-care and well-being at the top of my list in the face of life’s most challenging moments, like the one we are living through now,” she says. “We can reframe self-care to include anything we need to do or not do to bring calm out of chaos and help us feel lighter and more centered. Resiliency is the key to managing long-term stress so we thrive, not just survive.”
Here are some of Minucci’s self-care tips:
Stick to a daily routine. Having a regular time for waking up and going to bed, working, eating meals, exercising, and other things you do each day helps to create structure in your life.
Get outdoors, if possible. Enjoy some fresh air and sunshine, even if that means just sitting by your window for a little while. Take a walk and experience nature if you can.
Set boundaries. “We need healthy boundaries around negative people, the news, social media and politics,” Minucci says. “Limit yourself to avoid the ‘P&P,’ pandemic and politics. We’re in a time where it’s very polarizing; we want to make people right or wrong, which stirs up fear.”
Set small goals. Even something as simple as washing dishes, tidying up or doing laundry can be a way to stay centered, calm and focused.
Nourish your body. Eat meals that are healthy. “You might try a new recipe, even cook with a family member on Zoom or Skype, or eat meals together this way if you’re apart. Hydration is important, too.”
Stay connected and help others when you can. “We are animals of connection, and we need to reach out to other people,” she says. “It’s important to have compassion. Volunteer if you can or make donations to help those who are out doing hard work. Even calling a friend to check in can be the biggest act of kindness.”
Relax and take breaks. Minucci recommends meditation, but says even taking five deep breaths can be helpful. “Take time away from electronics and replace numbing out with too much food or TV with more positive, uplifting activities. Let some things go, and have faith that things are going to work out.”
Recognize when you or others need support. Notice your feelings and your level of burnout. “We need to lean into habits and beliefs that support us,” Minucci says. “As a coach, mind your scope of practice and share resources for handling depression. What’s good for the coach is good for the client. As coaches, we need to ‘walk our talk,’ and keep self-care at the top of our minds. To be able to help others do that is a wonderful gift.”