Wellness Coaching Australia's Blog

Four Ways of Living Through this Quieter Time




I have purposely not referred to the term that is appearing in every publication, as information on the virus that is changing the world is abundant and to be honest, I think we all can feel a bit bombarded at times - reading about what is happening and what we should be doing.  Instead, in this short article I will focus on four areas that seem to be relevant for most people.  I realise that we are all having very different experiences of what I like to think of as a “quieter time”.  There is so much sadness and loss occurring which will take us time to recover from and emerge into the new normal - whatever that looks like.  As coaches, we like to look at the positive and reframe where we can, but it is not always possible and grief is inevitable and necessary.  However, let’s consider some of the phenomena, (skill sets, qualities) that have come to the forefront during this unusual period of history!

The need to adapt –adaptability has been a buzz word in the popular field of resilience for some time and never has the need to adapt to change been more essential. We have heard some wonderful stories of how people have reinvented their businesses into new and profitable concepts that have filled a need that has suddenly been created due to our new restrictions. 
The creativity that is involved here is inspiring and generative.  The demise of one thing has led to the birth of something new. In a similar vein, I wonder how many of us have thought of “re-inventing” some part of our own lives – be it personal or professional? The advantages of being adaptable are many, not least of which is the growth of new neural pathways as we are forced to do something in a different way!  Out of change comes courage.

Compassion – the world seems to be overflowing with it.  What an unexpected outcome!  Sadness breeds empathy and a desire to reach out and connect. There are many stories of how the public are honouring the healthcare workers, how people are supporting their elderly neighbours, how we are watching countries around the world handle their unique situation and our hearts are full of love for those people. It has been said that this disease knows no boundaries and our common humanity is bringing us together – in a way that religion (and politics) have never been able to do. The other side of compassion is self- compassion. And it is something that is also very important as we struggle to take on a new set of values, be they temporary. There is now no need to measure up to the next person. We recognise that it is the luck of the draw whether we have jobs, businesses or are left with a big gap in our previously busy and purposeful lives. It makes it easier to be kind to ourselves (and others) when we know that feeling guilty is inappropriate.  Our only choice is what to do with the new situation. But starting with self love and self care are great places to begin. Our conversations with clients are going to be inevitably drawn into discussions about how we can look after ourselves with love and kindness.

Slowing down – how interesting that many of us have a sense of the world turning more slowly on its axis. Even if our routine is the same and the pressures of work and study remain, there is an innate need to take each day easier, to calm the busyness, to stop and linger.  What’s with the butterflies? The butterfly is a symbol of hope and regeneration and there is something awe-inspiring to watch them fly past in their hundreds. Were they always there? Or have we just got time to appreciate what’s going on in nature.  

We are now spending more time with friends and family (even if over zoom) than ever before!!  We’re getting to know the minor details of each others’ lives, sharing the challenges and the small wins and connecting more than ever with both empathy and humour!  Yes, when did we ever have time to watch those videos that are sent our way? Now we are amazed at the cleverness of everyday folk who can put together something that is entertaining without taking anything away from the seriousness of the situation. How many times did you cry this week when you watched a tribute to Captain Tom or heard an artist share their talents by sending a message of love and hope through their song or film making skills?

Reflection – finally, there seems to be time to reflect. Being introspective and getting to the heart of how we are feeling, looking back to the way we have been living and daring to hope that things could be different is a daily occurrence for many. Establishing what is important to us - really? And wondering (metaphorically) whether those “butterflies” will still feature in our lives when this is all over. How can we hold on to the lessons learnt, continue to live with the quietness if only in our minds?

This is a very personal account of my experience in the last five weeks. There is also disappointment, sadness and worry ever present but it comes and goes. Our conversations with clients cannot help but change and go into a much deeper exploration of what they are feeling. What they are learning from this experience?  How they are growing, what they need to come through it intact. We can’t work with clients without, at times, sharing our experiences. This is the time to work together, to share our thoughts and feelings and to help each other stay well.  

Supporting and Upskilling Fitness Professionals during COVID-19


As I finished my last work out at my gym last Monday, I felt so very sad for all the gym owners, personal trainers, instructors and members who were about to lose, hopefully temporarily, their incomes, their interest and for many, their community. As a former club owner and fitness professional I could empathise and only imagine how hard that would be to face.  

How do we fill those gaps?  I can speak from the experience of transitioning from club owner and trainer to Health and Wellness Coach Trainer and Coach (HWC).  

There are challenges for many in today’s current crisis, but I want to focus on two.

Firstly, what do our clients need in this worrying time? We know they still need to continue their fitness program, or as close to it as they can. Technology allows a wonderful opportunity of sharing group workouts and helping people create a way of bringing regular exercise into their new routine, be it at home or outdoors (in a big spacious area). Exercise professionals can help here by providing information and support remotely. But will that be enough?

There will be many people struggling with finances with worry about parents, with fear of the future and this can lead quickly to poor eating, sleeping or movement patterns. Stress can be a big obstacle to healthy living. This is where a Health and Wellness Coach can step in. HWC’S are trained not only in safe guidelines around areas of healthy living but in understanding the need for regular connection and support at the right time, and being skilled in knowing how to have those in depth conversations. 

In the UK there is a move to train health professionals in “Better conversations”.  One website stated that “Better conversations enable people to thrive by feeling more motivated, confident and in control of managing their own health and care.” (https://www.betterconversation.co.uk.). But there is a gap between telling people how to get fit and pushing them to train harder and talking to them about more personal information. Health and Wellness Coaching fills this gap. 

The second need is for exercise professionals to supplement the income that has probably been lost with the closure of their club or gym. There has never been a better time to upskill and learn how to coach people through this enforced lock out while recognising that the complexity of COVID-19 is going to raise many questions and concerns. Sometimes they may just need to talk about these concerns and a trained ear can help them make decisions about actions they take to protect both their physical and mental health. This is where training in Health and Wellness Coaching is so very valuable and can help immediately with little investment in time and money for both the trainer and the client.  


Health and Wellness Coaching Association now launched for Australian and New Zealand coaches




We are so thrilled to be announcing that an industry association for Health and Wellness Coaches in Australia has been established and officially launched this week - Health Coaches Australia and New Zealand Association (HCANZA). This is such exciting news for our graduates and current students undertaking their training knowing that you will now have an industry body working for you, to give a “voice” to your industry, increase credibility around your practice and raise exposure and promotion for coach members. 

HCANZA as a membership organisation supported by key stakeholders, such as professional medical groups, is driving the industry focus on building and setting a credible self-regulatory framework and standard that will allow health and wellness coaching to continue to flourish.

A great deal of work has been done by the Association Chair and Co-Founder, Linda Funell-Milner in bringing the association to life and we cannot thank her enough for spearheading this group together with the Board and Advisory team.  You will see our managing director, Fiona Cosgrove, holds a place on the Board in an individual status and not representative of WCA.

What does this mean for you and why you should join?

  • Join a membership body that works FOR YOU to elevate your practice by advocating to advance the development of an Australian & New Zealand Standard that is accepted by governments, the medical and allied health professional bodies, universities and other training suppliers in our region
  • Gain Professional Recognition from an Australian industry body specific to Health and Wellness Coaching, which, until now has not been available.
  • As a full member, you will have your professional profile listed on the website under the 'Find a Coach' section.
  • Gain direct links from affiliated medical and allied health professional association websites (e.g. ACNEM, AIMA) to the HCANZA 'Find a Coach' register on our website.
  • Network and support for you and your coaching practice
And much more….

Training requirements to be eligible for Full Membership with the Association

Completion of an approved training program with the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) is a training eligibility requirement to apply for full association membership. We are really happy to say that due to our Professional Certificate in Health and Wellness Coaching being an approved NBHWC program, any graduates who have completed this (together with the Independent Study Project extra module), can apply for full membership now!  Note that you do not have to have undertaken the Board certification exam to be eligible, simply completed our training.  Our Diploma is of course also an approved program as the Professional Certificate is embedded within it.

If you completed (or are currently undertaking) the Professional Certificate and chose not to undertake the additional Independent Study Project module at the time of enrolling, we are providing all past students with access to this extra module for FREE to ensure you meet the full eligibility requirements. On completion, your certificate will be re-issued with the NBHWC approved badge. Not only will this allow you to apply for full membership for the association, but also now have you eligible to apply and sit the exam to become a Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. Contact our office at info@wellnesscoachingaustralia.com.au for more information. 

Training requirements to be eligible for Associate Membership

If you are an Allied Health Professional who:
  • Holds an Advanced Diploma or higher in a health-related area, AND
  • Have undertaken professional development work in coaching (for WCA students this is completion of Levels 1, 2 and 3) and are using a coaching approach in your work you will be eligible for Associate membership.  
For more details on membership level eligibility, click here to review their quick reference guide

Level 3 certified students wishing upgrade their coaching qualifications to be eligible for Full Membership

If you have undertake studies with us in our Progressive Coach Training Pathway (Levels 1, 2 and 3) and wish to upgrade into the larger qualification of the Professional Certificate in order to be eligible for full membership, we offer a gap training program that recognises your prior studies undertaken along with prior fees paid being brought forward. Gap training requirements are reviewed on a case by case basis, so if you are interested in find out more, please contact our office at info@wellnesscoachingaustralia.com.au or 02 8006 9055 ext #1.

Membership Inclusions for Full Membership - $200 p/a 

  • Professional Recognition that your qualifications are of the highest international standards.
  • Professional profile on 'Find a Coach' listing – searchable on HCANZA website
  • Direct links from affiliated medical and allied health professional association websites (e.g. ACNEM, AIMA) to the HCANZA 'Find a Coach' section.
  • Use of HCANZA Member Logo (as defined by the guidelines) on your website and emails.
  • Discounted members rates for affiliated organisations' conferences, webinars, seminars
  • Open invitation to submit a blog article for approval and publication on the HCANZA website
  • Ability to nominate for a Board position held by an HCANZA Health & Wellness Coach when they become available
  • Advocacy to advance the development of an Australian & New Zealand Standard that is accepted by governments, the medical and allied health professional bodies, universities and other training suppliers in our region
  • Network and support for you and your coaching practice
  • Access to blogs and the latest research and industry developments
  • Quarterly Zoom Virtual Community meeting with an Expert or a Board Member
  • Monthly 'Business Hours' group discussions with a Board Member.
  • Members-only Facebook group
  • An opportunity to be a voice in a Special Interest Group (such as nursing or dementia) in the development of this new and rapidly growing industry
  • Accompanying this will be the support to assist you to increase the level of your qualifications with guidance and advice from qualified Health & Wellness Coaches.
  • Coming soon Discounted Professional Insurance

There are two other membership tiers available for those who are currently still studying, or those who have undertaken some study but have yet to completed an approved training program to give them access to the full membership. To find out more visit https://hcanza.org/membership-benefits/



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