Social Wellness and Balance
Social wellbeing is a very important part of creating and maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle for your client. Just think back to a difficult time in your life….did it make it better knowing that you had a support network or the special consideration and encouragement from being part of a strong social network? Some components of social wellness include:
• The caring and healthy relationships your client has as part of their everyday life
• Your client’s social network, such as what clubs and/or organizations they belong to
• Your client’s level of safety
• Your client’s housing or living situation
• Your client’s level of interdependence, and if your client is willing to accept and give help to other people when in need
• Positive interactions within the client’s community (i.e. volunteer work)
Is your client accepting of diversity? If you sense that your client has trouble accepting diversity, it’s important to understand its roots, as it does run the potential of being an obstacle in their pathway to behavior change. Furthermore, the ability to accept diversity in others is something that your client is most likely to learn more from you, as their coach. In this way, the wellness coach will need to know the client very well and will also have an additional opportunity to coach the client through this obstacle. There can be no judgment in this process from the coach. From the client’s perspective, this means that some of their values related to accepting people regardless of their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, abilities or religion will be addressed if a change is required to improve or change the client’s social wellness.
During stressful times, the client may become so overwhelmed with their circumstances, leading them to forget the connection to their friends, family, and community as an important part of maintaining balance in their day-to-day life.
The social component of wellness can also be facilitated through a number of multi-participant programs such as sports activities (basketball, running clubs, senior trips, group exercise or cooking classes). If your client has access to such events as personal development workshops, you may want to encourage them to participate in that way. Social and athletic clubs, group studies, mentoring and volunteering opportunities allow friendships and partnerships to develop among participants. Some of these group dynamics will reinforce your wellness coaching strategies for your client. An example would be a client who seems to respond better to group work for some parts of the coaching experience, instead of one-on-one encounters. Ideally, the wellness coach would have access to facilities and classes to encourage social interaction, stimulate self-examination and cultivate confidence, as clients explore personal growth opportunities.
In general, you should try to informally assess from your client through conversation and active listening where they stand in terms of their social wellness. Does your client have at least one close friend that they can confide in or be close to? Does your client ever express any sentiments about family or friends and the relationships they have with them? When considering your clients’ daily activities, do they report having friends at home, work or school where they can get support or talk with regularly? What kind of involvement does your client have in either school or community activities? Does your client ever do anything that they find enjoyable for themselves?
These are just a few components of social wellness. Others might also include your client’s ability to have a holistic approach to their wellness. This relates to their ability to have intimate relationships and to show interest in the views, activities, opinions, and accomplishments of other people in their social network. It’s not until your client can present healthy indicators of their social wellness that they will be able to provide social support to other people in return.
The time is now for you to enjoy this exciting and rewarding career, which offers you personal fulfillment while improving the lives of others.
The time is now for you to enjoy this exciting and rewarding career as a Certified Wellness Coach, which offers you personal fulfillment while improving the lives of others.