How Coaches Can Practise Self-Care

Last Updated: 

April 16, 2024

In the dynamic realm of instructional coaching, it's easy for self-care to be overshadowed by the commitment to support others. This article illuminates the path for coaches to embrace 'be well loudly', integrating self-care into their daily routines. It's not just about personal well-being; it's about setting a standard within the educational community. By addressing specific needs and advocating for well-being, coaches can lead a more sustainable and fulfilling practise.

Key Takeaways on Practising Self-Care

  1. 'Be Well Loudly' Advocacy: Embrace and advocate for self-care openly, integrating it into daily routines to set a standard within the educational community.
  2. Challenges of Prioritising Self-Care: Balancing high expectations with personal needs, navigating the lack of resources, overcoming stigma, managing burnout risks, and maintaining healthy relationships are key challenges for coaches.
  3. Ripple Effect of Well-Being Advocacy: By championing well-being, coaches inspire systemic change, leading to a culture of health and self-care within educational environments.
  4. Strategies for Integration: Incorporate mindfulness, set boundaries, manage time effectively, foster peer support, and nurture intellectual and emotional well-being at work.
  5. Physical Self-Care Adaptation: Adapt physical activities to the workplace, follow nutrition and hydration strategies, and prioritise sleep hygiene to maintain energy and focus.
  6. Organisational Support: Establish a supportive infrastructure for self-care, navigate institutional barriers, and advocate for well-being initiatives within educational settings.
  7. Success Stories: Learn from successful well-being initiatives like the Thrive Approach, emphasising the role of school leadership and joyful learning practices.
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Understanding 'Be Well Loudly' in the Coaching Context

Defining 'Be Well Loudly' for Instructional Coaches

The concept of 'Be Well Loudly' encourages instructional coaches to openly prioritise their well-being. It's not just about practising self-care in solitude; it's about confidently communicating and modelling these practises for others. By doing so, coaches not only enhance their own well-being but also inspire and empower those around them to do the same.

  • Recognise the importance of self-care
  • Integrate self-care into professional and personal life
  • Model positive behaviour and well-being habits
Embracing 'Be Well Loudly' is about making self-care a visible and integral part of the coaching ethos.

Instructional coaches often face the challenge of balancing the needs of others with their own. However, by adopting the 'Be Well Loudly' approach, they can create a sustainable and fulfilling coaching practise that also serves as a beacon for healthy work-life integration.

Challenges of Prioritising Self-Care in Educational Environments

In the demanding realm of education, coaches often confront a culture that exalts productivity at the expense of personal well-being. Organisational cultures in schools can inadvertently foster a reluctance to openly prioritise self-care, leading to a myriad of challenges for instructional coaches. Without explicit guidance or resources, integrating self-care into daily routines becomes a daunting task, and the fear of judgement from peers or superiors may cause coaches to downplay their self-care efforts.

Amid these challenges, neglecting well-being can precipitate burnout, diminished job satisfaction, and strained relationships. The neglect of self-care not only affects the physical and mental health of coaches but also sends a detrimental message to teachers about the non-essential nature of well-being.

The following points highlight key challenges faced by coaches in educational settings:

  • Balancing the high expectations of others with personal needs.
  • Navigating the lack of self-care resources and structured support.
  • Overcoming the stigma associated with taking time for self-care.
  • Managing the risk of burnout and exhaustion due to continuous stress.
  • Maintaining healthy relationships while meeting demanding work obligations.

The Ripple Effect of Well-Being Advocacy

When coaches advocate for their own well-being, they set a precedent that resonates throughout the educational environment. This proactive stance not only benefits the individual but also cultivates a broader culture of health and self-care. By modelling self-care practises, coaches implicitly encourage others to follow suit, leading to a collective uplift in well-being.

Advocacy for well-being goes beyond personal gain; it is a strategic move that can lead to systemic change. Engaging with school leadership to communicate the importance of coach well-being can result in policies that support work-life balance and provide access to necessary resources. Here are some steps coaches can take to advocate effectively:

  • Engage in open dialogue with school leadership about the importance of well-being.
  • Propose specific policies that facilitate a better work-life balance.
  • Ensure that resources for self-care are accessible and promoted within the school.
By championing well-being loudly, coaches not only protect themselves from burnout but also empower their peers to take responsibility for their own health and wellness. This collective effort can transform the educational landscape into one that values and supports the well-being of all its members.

Strategies for Integrating Self-Care into the Coaching Routine

Incorporating Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

In the fast-paced world of coaching, mindfulness and relaxation techniques are essential tools for maintaining one's mental equilibrium. Incorporating these practises into daily life can significantly reduce stress levels, fostering a sense of calm and enhancing overall well-being. Mindfulness, in particular, encourages a non-judgmental observation of our thoughts and emotions, promoting present-moment awareness.

Build Mindfulness Practises into your routine by setting aside time for reflexion, journaling, deep breathing exercises, and body scans. These activities not only develop greater self-awareness but also help in managing time effectively, ensuring that self-care becomes an integral part of your professional life.

Care Coach suggests a variety of relaxation techniques, such as guided meditation or gentle yoga, to be seamlessly integrated into your daily schedule. This holistic approach to self-care is both a personal and professional pursuit.

Here are some steps to get started with mindfulness and relaxation:

  • Begin with short, guided meditation sessions.
  • Practise deep breathing exercises during breaks.
  • Engage in mindful walking, even if just for a few minutes.
  • Try body scans to reconnect with physical sensations and release tension.
  • Schedule regular times for these practises to ensure consistency.

Setting and Communicating Personal Boundaries

In the demanding world of coaching, setting and communicating personal boundaries is crucial for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Coaches often find themselves at their best when they honour healthy boundaries, which allows them to serve others effectively while taking good care of themselves.

Establishing clear boundaries not only benefits the coach but also sets a positive example for those they mentor. It demonstrates the importance of self-respect and the value of one's own time and energy.

By clearly defining what is acceptable and what is not, coaches can prevent the strain on relationships that often comes from neglecting self-care. Better relationships are fostered when coaches prioritise their well-being, leading to more effective communication and a stronger sense of empathy and compassion.

Here are some steps to help coaches set and communicate their boundaries:

  1. Identify personal limits in both professional and personal spheres.
  2. Clearly articulate these boundaries to colleagues, clients, and oneself.
  3. Enforce boundaries consistently, even if it means saying no to additional responsibilities.
  4. Review and adjust boundaries as necessary to ensure they continue to serve your well-being.

Time Management for Well-Being During Professional Hours

Effective time management is pivotal for coaches to maintain their well-being amidst the demands of their professional roles. Allocating specific hours for work, self-care, and leisure can significantly enhance productivity while ensuring personal time is respected.

Integrating short 'me time' blocks into the daily schedule is not just a luxury; it's a necessity to prevent burnout and promote relaxation. These structured breaks are essential for sustaining effective coaching practises.

By using time blocking, coaches can create a balance that allows them to be more productive during working hours and fully engaged during periods of rest.

Coordinating with administrators to schedule non-negotiable 'me time' blocks is crucial. Sharing your time-blocking strategy with peers can also encourage a culture of well-being. Here's a simple way to structure your day:

  • Morning: Dedicated work block
  • Mid-morning: Short break for a walk or reading
  • Early afternoon: Focused work block
  • Mid-afternoon: 'Me time' for relaxation or a personal activity
  • Late afternoon: Final work block and preparation for the next day

Addressing the specific needs of instructional coaches with tailored self-care strategies during professional hours empowers them to prioritise their well-being, leading to a more sustainable and fulfilling coaching practise.

Nurturing Intellectual and Emotional Well-Being at Work

Fostering a Culture of Peer Support Through Coaching Circles

In the bustling world of educational coaching, the creation of peer coaching circles stands as a beacon of support and collaboration. These circles, whether convened in person or online, are pivotal in reducing professional isolation and enhancing well-being. Coaches can discuss challenges, seek advice, and offer support within a small, trusted group, fostering a culture of open sharing and peer support.

  • Create peer coaching circles for collaborative problem-solving and insight-sharing.
  • Organise peer observation exchanges to learn from diverse coaching styles.

Peer observation exchanges not only provide valuable insights but also promote a culture of continuous improvement and professional growth. By observing each other's coaching sessions and offering constructive feedback, coaches create a supportive learning environment that is rich in diverse approaches and techniques.

The establishment of these circles and exchanges is not just about professional development; it's about nurturing a community that values and actively participates in the well-being of its members.

Developing Resilience Through Reflective Practises

Cultivating resilience in the coaching profession is not just about bouncing back from adversity; it's about building a foundation that allows us to withstand the pressures of our role. Reflective practises are key to developing this kind of resilience. By engaging in regular self-reflexion, coaches can gain insights into their personal and professional experiences, leading to a deeper understanding of their own behaviours and the dynamics of their interactions with others.

Self-awareness is the cornerstone of reflective practise. It enables coaches to identify areas for personal growth and to understand the impact of their actions. Incorporating mindfulness techniques, such as journaling and deep breathing exercises, can enhance this self-awareness. Here is a simple list to get started with reflective practises:

  • Build Mindfulness Practises: Start with simple mindfulness exercises to stay present and aware.
  • Seek Feedback: Regularly ask for feedback to gain different perspectives.
  • Pursue Learning: Always look for opportunities to learn and grow.
  • Utilise Supervision: Engage with a supervisor or mentor to reflect on your coaching.
  • Join Peer Support: Participate in groups that offer support and shared learning.
Resilience is not just about recovery; it's about proactively strengthening our ability to cope with the challenges of coaching. By making reflective practises a regular part of our routine, we can foster a more resilient mindset that benefits both ourselves and those we coach.

Encouraging Creative and Intellectual Pursuits

In the bustling environment of educational coaching, it's essential to carve out space for creative and intellectual growth. Integrating joyful learning practises into coaching sessions not only enhances the atmosphere but also promotes a positive learning environment. This approach benefits both teachers and coaches, infusing sessions with interactive activities that encourage creativity and playfulness.

Reflective practises, such as maintaining a written or video journal, allow coaches to engage in self-examination and continuous learning. This habit can lead to deeper insights and a more profound understanding of one's coaching style and its impact on others.

By nurturing our intellectual and emotional well-being at work, we not only enrich our professional lives but also set a powerful example for those we mentor.

It's also vital to acknowledge the importance of indulging in activities that bring joy and satisfaction, often referred to as "guilty pleasures." These moments of personal enjoyment are crucial for maintaining balance and should be embraced without guilt. Here's how coaches can integrate these pursuits into their routine:

  • Schedule regular time slots for reading, research, or creative hobbies.
  • Participate in peer coaching circles to exchange ideas and experiences.
  • Allow for moments of playfulness and joy within the coaching process.

Physical Self-Care: Beyond the Basics

Adapting Physical Activities to the Workplace

In the bustling environment of educational coaching, finding time for gym sessions or outdoor activities can be a challenge. Adapting physical activities to the workplace is not only convenient but also promotes a culture of health among colleagues. Simple strategies such as using the stairs instead of the lift, or organising 'walk and talk' meetings, can be seamlessly integrated into the workday.

Deskercise routines, for instance, are a set of exercises specifically designed to be done in limited spaces and can include stretches, leg lifts, or even seated dance moves. Here's a quick list to get started:

  • Seated leg lifts while answering emails
  • Calf raises when photocopying documents
  • Desk push-ups during short breaks
Embracing these small changes can lead to significant improvements in physical well-being without overwhelming the daily schedule.

It's crucial to remember that these activities should not add to the stress of the workday but rather serve as a refreshing break. Allocating specific times for these exercises can ensure they become a regular part of the routine, reinforcing the importance of self-care.

Nutrition and Hydration Strategies for Busy Schedules

For coaches with demanding schedules, maintaining a balanced diet and staying hydrated can be a formidable challenge. Planning is key to ensuring that nutrition and hydration are not sidelined in the hustle of daily responsibilities. A proactive approach to meal preparation and fluid intake can make a significant difference in maintaining energy levels and overall health.

  • Start by preparing a weekly meal plan that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods.
  • Utilise Sunday evenings or any other convenient time to pre-cook and portion meals for the week.
  • Keep healthy snacks, such as nuts and fruit, easily accessible for times when you're on the go.
  • Invest in a reusable water bottle and set reminders to refill it throughout the day to stay hydrated.
It's not just about the food on your plate or the water in your bottle; it's about creating sustainable habits that support your well-being even during the busiest of days.

Remember, self-care is not a luxury but a necessity. By setting and communicating clear boundaries around meal times, coaches can ensure they have the opportunity to nourish their bodies adequately. Encouraging hydration breaks during coaching sessions not only benefits the coach but also sets a positive example for clients.

The Importance of Sleep Hygiene for Coaches

For coaches, sleep is not a luxury, but a fundamental component of self-care that directly impacts their ability to perform and support others. Good sleep hygiene is essential for cognitive function, emotional regulation, and overall health. It's not just about the quantity of sleep, but also the quality.

Sleep hygiene practises for coaches might include establishing a consistent sleep schedule, creating a restful environment, and avoiding stimulants before bedtime. Here are some practical steps to improve sleep hygiene:

  • Stick to a sleep schedule, even on weekends.
  • Ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool.
  • Avoid screens at least an hour before bed.
  • Wind down with a relaxing pre-sleep routine.
Remember, as a coach, your well-being is a model for others. Prioritising sleep is a clear message that you value your health and the health of those you guide.

By addressing sleep hygiene, coaches can better manage stress, maintain a clear mind, and approach each day with renewed energy. This is not just beneficial for the individual coach, but also sets a precedent for a healthier coaching culture within educational environments.

The Role of Organisational Support in Coach Well-Being

Creating a Supportive Infrastructure for Self-Care

To foster a culture where self-care is not just encouraged but integrated into the fabric of the coaching profession, organisations must create a supportive infrastructure. A robust self-care infrastructure provides coaches with the necessary tools and resources to maintain their well-being. This includes access to mentoring, professional development opportunities, and time allocated for self-care activities during the workday.

  • Establish clear guidelines for self-care practises within the organisation.
  • Offer regular workshops and training sessions focused on well-being.
  • Provide resources such as free coaching sessions to promote personal growth.
By embedding self-care into the organisational ethos, coaches are more likely to view it as a legitimate part of their professional responsibilities, rather than an afterthought.

Creating this environment requires not just policies, but a shift in mindset where the well-being of staff is seen as paramount to the success of the institution. It's about moving beyond the basics and ensuring that every coach has the support they need to thrive, both professionally and personally.

Navigating Institutional Barriers to Well-Being

In the quest for self-care, coaches often confront institutional barriers that can seem insurmountable. Organisational cultures that equate busyness with productivity can inadvertently discourage coaches from practising self-care openly. Without explicit guidance or resources, integrating self-care into daily routines becomes a challenge, often leading to a reluctance to advocate for personal well-being.

Advocacy for coach well-being is crucial in navigating these barriers. Engaging with school leadership to communicate the importance of coach well-being and proposing policies that support work-life balance are essential steps. This not only ensures access to necessary resources but also fosters an environment where self-care is recognised and valued.

By actively engaging with school leadership and proposing policies that foster work-life balance, coaches can safeguard themselves from burnout and set a precedent for a healthier work culture.

Here are some strategies to engage in diverse self-care practises at work:

  • Intellectual well-being through peer coaching circles
  • Community-centred design to ensure a supportive coaching environment
  • Continuous dialogue with stakeholders to maintain a focus on well-being

Case Studies: Successful Well-Being Initiatives in Schools

Exploring the success stories of well-being initiatives within educational settings offers invaluable insights for coaches looking to implement self-care strategies during professional hours. The Thrive Approach is one such initiative that has been documented in case studies, highlighting the partnership between coaches and schools to support the mental and emotional well-being of children and young people.

The importance of school leadership in advocating for coach well-being cannot be overstated. By proposing policies that promote work-life balance and ensuring access to necessary resources, coaches can safeguard themselves from burnout while reinforcing their role in effective teaching practises.

Incorporating joyful learning practises into coaching sessions not only enhances the learning environment but also significantly boosts the satisfaction and overall well-being of both teachers and coaches.

Reflective practises, such as maintaining a written or video journal, are also pivotal in developing resilience and fostering a culture of peer support among coaches. These practises encourage continuous personal and professional growth, which is essential for sustaining a high level of well-being.


In conclusion, the journey of an instructional coach is one of dedication and service, yet it must not come at the cost of personal well-being. This article has underscored the necessity for coaches to 'be well loudly'—to advocate for their own health and integrate self-care into their daily routines. By embracing the strategies discussed, coaches can model positive well-being practises, enhance their professional longevity, and foster a culture that values the health of its educators. It is only through prioritising self-care that coaches can truly empower others and maintain a sustainable, fulfilling career in educational leadership.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does 'Be Well Loudly' mean for instructional coaches?

For instructional coaches, 'Be Well Loudly' means actively prioritising and integrating self-care practises into both professional and personal lives, advocating for well-being, and modelling positive behaviour to sustain coaching practises and build positive teacher relationships.

Why is it often challenging for coaches to prioritise self-care in educational environments?

Organisational cultures in schools frequently value productivity over well-being, leading to a reluctance to prioritise self-care openly. Coaches may also face a lack of resources, fear of judgement, and lack of explicit guidance, which hinders the integration of self-care into routines.

What are the consequences if coaches neglect their well-being?

If coaches neglect their well-being, it can lead to burnout, decreased effectiveness in coaching, strained relationships with teachers, and a failure to model positive self-care behaviours for others.

Can self-care practises be integrated into a coach's professional hours?

Yes, self-care practises can be integrated into professional hours through strategies such as mindfulness and relaxation techniques, setting personal boundaries, effective time management, and engaging in activities that promote intellectual and emotional well-being at work.

How can physical self-care be adapted to the workplace for coaches?

Coaches can adapt physical self-care to the workplace by incorporating short, desk-based physical activities, following nutrition and hydration strategies tailored for busy schedules, and practising good sleep hygiene to maintain energy and focus during work hours.

What role does organisational support play in coach well-being?

Organisational support is crucial for coach well-being as it creates a supportive infrastructure for self-care, helps navigate institutional barriers, and can foster successful well-being initiatives in schools, leading to a more sustainable and fulfilling coaching practise.

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