Balance & Self-Care: Are We Doing Enough For Our Clients?

Stressed out Client in the Office with laptop and phone

We live in societies that place great value on results - achievement, qualifications, status and success - often at great personal expense. Many people work themselves extremely hard - ignoring what their bodies and minds are telling them. But what's the point of success, a great career - if you're always stressed, overwhelmed, don't see your family and friends (or are grumpy/tired when you do see them)?

What I find interesting is that whilst balance and self-care are central to many life coaches' practices, it seems that in the corporate world these words are tiptoed around (even though we know people perform better when they take care of themselves).

Balance and Self-Care are Necessary, not "Nice to have"!

Although the concepts of "Life Balance" and "Self-care" have has been growing in popularity in the last decade, they are still seen as "soft" requirements. Something high achievers - and men especially - shouldn't need. We get the message over and over that we should just be able to soldier on through illness and stress (just watch adverts for cold and flu medications). The message is that if we take a holiday, sleep-in on Sundays or have a bubble bath - all will magically be well again. A successful person should have this under control.

To make it worse, many of us are also given the message that life balance and self-care is not only a sign of weakness, but selfish too! And because so few people challenge it, these negative beliefs become "the norm". It's these cultural beliefs and expectations that make it hard for people to make the necessary changes for a more balanced and self-full life.

A huge thumbs-up to all you wonderful coaches who already focus on Balance & Self-Care in your practices!

Because coaching is important: As coaches we look at the whole person and the whole life. We know that without self-care and life balance we under-perform, we get sick, we risk damaging our most important relationships. As we soldier on, our lives become more and more lacklustre and joyless - days to be "got through" rather than lived. People get stuck on the hamster wheel - or worse, head towards burn-out.

Why isn't more being done so that "Balance" and "Self-care" is taken seriously?

Balance and Self-care is important for EVERY field of Coaching:

Not just for life coaches, spiritual and health and wellness coaches, I believe balance and self-care is essential in corporate and left-brained fields like executive, leadership, career and business coaches. We owe it to our clients to ensure they're in great condition mentally, emotionally and physically - so they can be at their best in their work and careers. And relationship, teen and parent coaches all need to ensure their clients are taking good care of themselves - so they don't take their frustrations and stresses out on those around them!

"The calm and balanced mind is the strong and great mind;
the hurried and agitated mind is the weak one." Wallace D. Wattles

Make Balance and Self-care a part of Your Coaching Agenda!

When we tiptoe around balance and self-care it reinforces limiting beliefs that needing self-care is weak or selfish. How different would the world be if EVERY coach had balance and self-care openly on their agenda? What if balance and self-care were non-negotiable? What if instead of paying lip-service to it, more coaches said, "Taking care of yourself, your relationships, your health is a priority!"

How well do you know your client's inner needs? Where is their energy being drained? What gives them joy? Are your clients constantly pushing themselves so that "comfort" or "balance" seem unattainable? Where do they need to start saying no? What do they need to let go of? How could they take care of themselves, find more balance in life AND do a great job?

And what about you - do you take care of yourself?

As coaches we're role models whether we like it or not. We must BE the change we wish to see in the world.

More balance and self-care would make the world a better place:

If people learned to take better care of themselves it would reduce stress, unhappiness, depression and anxiety in the world - and improve our relationships too.

A Balance & Self-Care Rallying Cry:

  • If you're not already, make "Balance" and "Self-care" a priority with your clients - no matter what kind of coaching you do.
  • Help dispel the harmful myth in society (especially the business world) that taking care of ourselves is weak, selfish - or irrelevant to business.
  • Help your clients become the best they can be - on EVERY level - and I bet they'll be happier and achieve more too...

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Image of Stressed out Client in Office by Tom Wang via Shutterstock


  1. LauraBeth

    Very good article. I never heard the concept of no being something we should not say from an early age. I need reminders all the time on this subject. Its something I am a work in progress on. (-: Thanks!

    • Emma-Louise

      Hi LauraBeth, (Thank-you for your comment!!!) So, I moved your comment to the No Article for you. But this one is still here, so I thought I'd reply and let you know!
      Warmly, Emma-Louise

  2. LauraBeth

    I made a mistake. I read the balanced article. Good too. But then read the article on saying No. So my comment is related to that article.

  3. Lynda Monk

    Hi Emma, this is a great article! I am currently teaching an online course for the School of Social Work at Dalhousie University called The Heart of Helping: Understanding Vicarious Trauma and Compassion Fatigue - this week was devoted entirely to self-care. We explored emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual self-care as part of how helpers and healers replenish, renew and "walk their talk", as well as looking at what workplaces and caregiving organizations can do to support self-care. I have shared the link to your great article with the course participants. Thanks for all the ways you share your wisdom and gifts in the world, you are making a difference. Warmly, Lynda

    • Emma-Louise

      Thank-you so much for your kind words Lynda. I deeply respect and value the work YOU do - and am honoured you like and are sharing my article!
      Warmly, Emma-Louise


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