If you’ve been practicing for awhile, you’ve probably got a good handle on how to approach your health coaching sessions. But what about the time you spend before and after seeing clients?
Having a solid pre- and post-session routine is not only important for your clients’ sake, it’s crucial for your sanity. In fact, Primal Health Coach Institute’s own Christine Hassler swears by hers to protect her energy and help her get into a space of being of service.
It’s not just health coaches who appreciate the power of a good routine either. Everyone from CEOs and entrepreneurs to major league athletes say that having one helps them stay focused, be more productive in their roles, and avoid burnout.
Having an established routine before and after your sessions also allows you to:
- Remain calm and grounded
- Make sure your space is presentable
- Get prepared
- Stay organized
- Set intentions
- Take care of personal needs
- Keep from feeling drained
What Should Your Routine Look Like?
The most successful routine is one that works for you. That means understanding your priorities, your schedule, and your energy levels. For instance, introverts might need more downtime than their extroverted peers. So, think about what needs to happen so that you’re in the right space to see clients—literally and figuratively. Do you have the correct files? Is there water or tea to drink? Are you usually stuck in traffic before your first session and racing in at the last minute? Is your computer fully charged? Are you still thinking about the client you just wrapped up with?
No two routines will be alike. However, the questions above and actions below should inspire you to create a pre- and post-session routine that works best for you.
The Pre-Session Routine
Best practices for before your sessions can range from practical things like hitting the restroom and reviewing client notes to more mindful ones like breathing exercises and meditation.
Your pre-session routine might also include:
- Turning off your phone and muting alerts on your computer
- Charging any electronics your need during your session
- Making sure your video conferencing platform is on and working
- Keeping confidential paperwork properly filed and out of sight
- Getting your office space organized
- Meditating or doing a grounding exercise
- Setting an intention for your upcoming session
- Allowing for guidance and clarity about what your client needs to hear
- Doing a series of breathing exercises to make sure you’re present
- Checking in with yourself to see what else you need before the session
- Reminding yourself that you’re human
Some of my favorite resources for before a session are: ThinkUp, an positive mindset app that lets you practice and personalize daily affirmations, the Repeat Timer Pro app for staying on task, The Four Agreements—a good read for anyone who’s ready to overcome their limiting beliefs, and James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits, with strategies for creating an effective routine—and sticking with it.
The Post-Session Routine
After your sessions, your routine will likely include a few of the same things you did beforehand, like bathroom breaks and reviewing files, but since you’ll be short on time, don’t waste it scrolling through social media, replying to emails, or tackling a task on your to-do list. Instead, type up your notes from your previous client and work towards refocusing your energy for your next one.
Your post-session routine might also include:
- Having at least 10 minutes in between clients to compile your notes
- Cleaning your space physically and energetically
- Going for a short walk or stepping outside for a breath of fresh air
- Doing a mindfulness practice that lets you reflect on your session
- Breathing exercises that allow you to “shake off” your last session
- Maintaining a sense of gratitude
- Closing your eyes to meditate for a few minutes
- Re-setting intentions for the next client
- Checking in with yourself to make sure you have what you need
- Asking for guidance and clarity again
- Reminding yourself that you’re still a human, just a busy one
Some of my favorite resources for after a session are: the Calm app with guided meditations as short as 3 minutes, an app called H2O that uses sound frequency to clear your space of negative energy, the 5 Minute Yoga app, which as you might guess, has yoga sessions that are never more than 5 minutes long, and the book The 5 Second Rule, with tips on how to stop procrastinating.
Establishing a good pre- and post-session routine can mean the difference between being prepared and present for your clients and feeling completely drained and disorganized. So, think about what you need to do to protect your energy and get in the right mindset for your health coaching sessions, before and after they take place. And be sure to include a mix of practical things and more mindful ones using the ideas and resources above.