The popularity of corporate wellness, and specifically wellness coaches, increases year after year, but what does it mean to be a wellness coach? Well, you’re in luck! Miron’s recently hired a new wellness coach, Meredith Baciak, and she provided us with great insight into her role of promoting healthy lifestyles to Miron employees. Here is what she had to say:
How long have you been in the wellness field?
I have been in the wellness field for more than 21 years. During that time, I have seen a large shift in corporations that not only focus on physical fitness, but on the overall well-being of employees.
What does the “typical day” look like for you?
Truthfully, there is no typical day in the field of wellness. Being a wellness coach requires hard work, preparation, communication, networking, and dedication. I find it to be the most rewarding when I am able to help people achieve lifelong well-being through the programs I develop on a daily basis. Daily programming may include personalized exercise plans, group training, overall health coaching, or programs that make well-being more achievable for corporations. Sometimes, all an individual needs is for me to be a smiling face and a go-to person for that extra motivational support in reaching a personal goal.
How has being a wellness coach changed over the years?
In the past, wellness was reactive; however, now it is changing to a proactive approach. No longer is it just talk about health and wellness, but rather about overall well-being. Wellness started out as a way to prevent disease, and from there it transitioned to the idea of using physical fitness and nutrition to make people healthy. Now the focus has shifted to well-being, where every aspect of one’s life, including areas of physical and emotional health, sense of self, and social connectedness, combine to create a big picture state of wholeness. Having overall well-being allows for full employee engagement in the workplace instead of simply going through the motions.
What was the most challenging thing you learned for your job?
The most challenging thing is knowing I have to meet people where they are at. There are many times when I am overly excited to help someone with their goals, but I have to constantly remind myself that people are on different levels of this journey to well-being. It has taught me to be mindful, adjust to resistance, always express empathy, and most of all, learn to connect with people on all levels.
What is the best part of your job?
Simple…THE PEOPLE! I am a people-person through and through. I love making connections, hearing their stories, and helping them engage in their own well-being journey. Realistically, I know I won’t be able to change every life, but I love trying to do so by having conversations and finding out what makes everyone tick. I learn so much, not only about my job, but about life through the daily connections that I have.
How does wellness apply to the construction industry?
A well-being journey is very similar to construction. It is a complex process that takes months or even years to perfect and build. When focusing on well-being in any area, especially the construction industry, consistency is key.
- You plan: You first need to make the decision to move out of contemplation into determination and motivation by deciding what needs to be done to help you achieve lifelong well-being. This may include areas such as stress management, nutrition, physical activity, etc.
- You break ground: Simply stated, you start on that journey and work with others to help set your vision for completion. Some suggested ways to do this are meeting with a wellness coach, finding people with similar goals, or finding a workout partner to help hold you accountable.
- You build a solid foundation: You determine your values and goals of your well-being journey. Next, you set a timeline for those goals, making sure to keep them realistic and achievable.
- You build: You build yourself up and use your strengths and tools to help transform yourself by turning your goals into action. You aim high and work hard in order to achieve the best possible outcome.
- You open the doors: You reveal your hard work to yourself and others and continue to learn and grow into the best possible person you can be. You learn from your mistakes and appreciate the success! And like a building, if your well-being journey is built properly, it will help you stand above the rest, remain steady in your goals, and continue to build new success each and every day.
What is something about your job that would surprise someone outside of your industry?
I think the thing that surprises most people outside the industry of wellness professionals is that our personal wellness doesn’t come easy. Wellness professionals are also challenged each and every day to live out our own well-being. Just because we are in the profession doesn’t mean that all dimensions of well-being are easily achieved. I have struggled in many areas of well-being like physical fitness, nutrition, and stress management. I have achieved some goals and I have missed the mark on others. The truth is, I began to realize that as a wellness professional, this made me more relatable. It has helped me motivate and support others, and I continue to look forward to working with all Miron employees in order to help them achieve their own well-being goals.
Tips and Tricks to Alleviate Stress and Achieve Mindfulness:
Mindfulness is a “super skill” with benefits that include reduced stress, lower blood pressure, improved memory, and less anxiety.
- Pay attention, be in the present moment, and be purposeful and nonjudgmental.
- Mindfulness optimizes performance and creates a pattern of interruption, which in turn creates a striving work environment as a result of the reset.
- Mindfulness helps create conditions in which people thrive.
Try it out! Here is a mindful breathing exercise to get you started:
- This exercise can be done sitting or standing, and takes 1-2 minutes.
- Start by being still and focusing on yourself. Ground yourself and block out the noise around you. If it’s comfortable for you, close your eyes.
- Focus on your breathing…inhaling for a count of four and exhaling for a count of eight. Keep counting every time you breathe in and out. Continue for the duration, eliminating all sound and sinking into you while reminding yourself to be present.
*We will explore the future of wellness and corporate wellness programs in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!
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