Gemma Smith | The School of You
A bit about me
I am Gemma, a Wellbeing Coach and Nutritional Therapist and my business is called The School of You. I work with people 1-2-1 and I also give group workshops and talks on topics that interest me such as mindfulness, technology overwhelm and how food affects the way we feel. I appreciate that my profile is a bit lengthy but it will give you a great idea of who I am and how I work. If you don't have time to read it, skip to 'How I coach'.
My thoughts on modern lifestyle and wellbeing
We live in a society where life moves quickly and instant gratification reigns (especially in London). We are encouraged to keep up, work hard and stay connected. Rewards also come quickly: we get paid regularly for our hard work and we use that money to buy ourselves beautiful clothes, the latest technology (or whatever it is that floats our boat!). The more we commit to being connected online, the better we are rewarded with more friends, more comments and more 'likes' on social media. It feels good to be rewarded and it feels good to be wanted. But is this enough to sustain our wellbeing?
I am certainly not against such a lifestyle and I am well and truly in favour of progress! I use social media and I also buy beautiful things. But I feel there is a need for balance. It's important to me that I stay grounded and don't allow my surroundings to overwhelm my senses or interrupt my connection with myself. When I spend a long time online, I notice it is difficult to drag myself away and I find that interesting. When I spend too much money on 'stuff' I check-in with myself to understand what I really need.
What is wellbeing and how can we nourish it?
To assess my own wellbeing I ask myself questions like...
How is my mood today?
Am I sleeping well?
Am I eating well?
Do I feel refreshed and energetic when I wake up each day?
How is my self-esteem?
How does my body feel?
Is it springy and full of energy or creaky and aching?
I don't stop there... I ask: how are my relationships? Am I making time for them? Am I making time to be creative? Do I even know how to be creative?
It's so easy to prioritise the 'big' decisions in life as more important. Which job to go for; whether to move cities; get married; have kids. But when it comes to wellbeing, the really powerful decisions, are not necessarily the big ones we spend hours, days or even years (!) agonising over, but ones we don't pay any attention to at all.
The hundreds of tiny decisions we make every day, from the moment we open our eyes until we climb back into bed, have the cumulative power to create 'us'. Those decisions have made us who we are, here, now, today and therefore have the power to make us who we will be in 6 months, 5 years or when we are 80 years old!
Because they seem small and insignificant, we often don't put a lot of thought into them. So, while we are busy worrying about that presentation we have to give next week or that embarrassing situation we got into yesterday, our friend 'the subconscious' pops in and takes over these little everyday decisions.
Sounds helpful doesn't it?
The problem is that the subconscious doesn't like too much effort and will always choose the easy way a.k.a the thing you did yesterday, the day before yesterday and the day before that. This is how unhealthy habits develop over time and although they may bring ease and happiness in the moment, in the long term we can start to feel dissatisfied, frustrated and unwell.
Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom because habits can be healthy as well - it just requires our conscious mind and a bit more effort! This is where coaching can be useful.
What is a Wellbeing Coach?
I call myself a Wellbeing Coach because it's my passion to understand how our daily habits affect the way we feel, in body and mind. I help people to slow down and reconnect with themselves. Have you heard of the 'Slow Food Movement'? Well, we could call this the 'Slow Living Movement'. I work with normal everyday people (because let's face it - we all struggle in some shape or form), to put in place new healthy habits, one small step, at a time.
How I coach
I like to coach people whilst walking in a green space. Movement is one of the foundations of wellbeing and evidence shows that walking not only benefits our mental and physical health but walking whilst talking allows us to think more creatively! There are plenty of beautiful parks around Peckham, Brockley, Nunhead and Dulwich and you may have a favourite place to walk.
Being coached in this active way is a great way to step out of your everyday environment and move your body whilst slowing your thoughts. My approach to coaching is very explorative and curious and I will ask you questions that will really encourage you to think about your view of the world and how you fit into it. Having the space and time to really think and articulate your answers into spoken word can be a transformative experience in itself.
I will always remain non-judgemental during our coaching sessions, but sometimes I may challenge a belief that you have about yourself. We often have beliefs about ourselves that limit our capabilities and it can help to be challenged on these.
This may be the only time each week you have the opportunity to focus purely on you, and although we may view this as a luxury, it really is an essential part of maintaining positive wellbeing. Giving your wellbeing this time and attention is a gift to yourself (and to your family or whoever spends time around you).
Nutritional Therapy Advice
I am also a qualified Nutritional Therapist able to offer evidence-based advice on lifestyle and diet. It is best to sit down for this and I am happy to visit you at home if you would like to receive advice that is bespoke to you. Often people find that a combination of advice and coaching is useful, for example a nutritional therapy consultation once per month (or less frequently depending on your needs) followed by weekly coaching sessions to keep on track.
Find out more
Please do give me a call or drop me an email if you resonate with the way that I work and would like to chat more. I try my best to follow my own advice and balance my online and offline time, so although I am usually off grid during evenings and weekends, I will get back to you within 24 hours.
Training, qualifications & experience
I have a Diploma in Transformational Coaching from Animas Centre for Coaching, as well as specialisations in Mindfulness Coaching and Health & Wellness Coaching.
I am fully qualified Nutritional Therapist and accredited by the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT)
Areas of coaching I deal with
Other areas of coaching I deal with
Movement / exercise
In order to create new healthy habits we need time, so I work with people over a minimum of six 1-hour sessions.
I charge £600 for a 6-session package. I strongly advise weekly sessions to keep up a good momentum, but the package can be used over a 12 week period if preferred.
Our first conversation will be free of charge and we can take up to an hour to talk about your needs. It's really important that you invest in a coach who you have good 'chemistry' with, and that may or may not be me! This is a chance for you to explore and if you decide that we are not quite the right 'fit' I will be more than happy to help you find somebody who might be.
Type of session
|Online life coaching:||Yes|
|Telephone life coaching:||Yes|
|Face to face life coaching:||Yes|
|Other languages:||Basic Italian - not enough to coach with but improving everyday!|
It's very important for me to safeguard my 'tech-free' time so please do not be discouraged if you cannot immediately get hold of me at evenings and weekends. I will reply within 24hrs :)