While there are a number of ways to support employee wellness, businesses are increasingly providing support in the form of health coaching. As wellness experts, health coaches support people in making healthy choices regarding fitness, nutrition, and their lifestyle.
We recently had the chance to chat with Tricia McMahon and hear about her experience as a health coach with Moda Health, as well as some helpful wellness tips she had to offer.
What’s your background?
My education (BA Health Science, Doctorate in Spirituality) and career experiences have the common thread of striving for my own mind, body, spirit well-being, and supporting others in their unique journey of healing and wholeness. Since 2012, Health Coaching Certification has given me the evidence-based tools and structure to do that with all the more focus and success.
Describe your role at Moda. What do you enjoy most about your role?
As a health coach supporting Moda Members, my priority is not to diagnose or prescribe but rather to listen, reflect, and brainstorm with each Moda Member to help them articulate their wellness goals, set achievable action steps, identify and overcome barriers, etc. in order to be successful as is right for them.
What I enjoy most is the opportunity and privilege of connecting with people in this way, which ultimately is an experience for them to connect further with themselves as they articulate their hopes, needs, desires for increased healing/wellness and identify very manageable plans for success.
How is working with a health coach different from seeing a doctor for health concerns?
It’s different in many ways but the one to note here is that a health coach can be an invaluable support in implementing health habits that the doctor prescribes or suggests. From implementing lifestyle changes like activity, nutrition, stress resiliency, hydration, sleep (and so much more!) that affect one’s health, to brainstorming ways for remembering to take your medication, to seeking additional professional support such as counseling, physical therapy, etc.
What are you most passionate about in employee wellbeing?
1) Employees (many Moda Members are ‘employed’ in one way or another), who are giving so much of their time, energy, expertise for others in their work, can find it all the more difficult to tend to their own well-being. Thus they need and desire support for their own selves.
2) Since I am a health coach within the company I work for, I am all the more compelled to support not only our Members but also my co-workers in their well-being needs and desires.
How can employers best support employee wellbeing?
I am biased of course, but access to a ‘live’ health coach (there are many worthwhile virtual modalities these days but…) is vital. Also being sure that employees not only feel heard but are heard; that employees are valued for their work AND their ideas, vision for shared success AND the need for life balance of which work is a part.
What’s one change that many employers could make to see improved results from their corporate wellness programs?
Ask your employees what makes sense for them, so that whatever is offered will be utilized. Better yet, include employees in the process of designing the program.
Offer as many hands-on, creative, useful tools and experiences to best help them integrate wellness into their very real, busy lives.
What’s your number one nutrition tip?
Settling on a #1 tip is difficult. The first 3 tips that come to mind are: eat as fresh as possible, eat a variety of colors and hydration is essential.
What’s the best piece of health advice you have ever received?
The following two phrases continue to be frequent inspiration to me:
“You are what you eat” is a common phrase yet worth really taking to heart.
The fruit, cookies, chicken, etc. that I/we take into our body truly is integral not only to staying alive but to the quality of our aliveness. It not only gives us energy but influences everything about us—mind, body, spirit. And that matters.
The phrase “I eat to live, not live to eat” is a similarly obvious yet stunning awareness. Although I enjoy eating, being reminded that food is an amazing tool for staying alive and hopefully also for thriving, was a game changer. It reminds me that eating is not a hobby. First and foremost food is for nourishment as well as for satiation and pleasure.
Those two bits of wisdom inspire my appreciation of the foods available to me and being more and more intentional in why and what I choose to eat and drink. Pleasure maximized.
Are there any other health tips you’d like to share?