Many of us find ourselves in the middle of providing the DPP during the COVID-19 outbreak. Understandably, we discover many of our participants and even ourselves feeling stressed and distracted from focusing on program goals. So the question is coming in, “How do we address the palpable stress in our DPP so that we can encourage our participants to continue focusing on the DPP goals of lifestyle change and prevention of T2?”.
As we know, the T2 curriculum includes session 9 “Manage Stress”. A great opportunity to engage your group in stress reduction ideas, problem solving, and even try some “hands on” stress reduction techniques with your group! This could include a brief mindfulness meditation, guided imagery technique, or even progressive muscle relaxation.
Remember also, one of the key elements of effective coaching is intrinsically valuing your participants. That is, no matter what session you may be facilitating, let the participant conversation be your guiding light. As an example, even though you may be facilitating Session 4, “Eat Well to Prevent T2”, it is very likely the topic of stress will come up during this time. So as this topic emerges, first simply ask, initially focusing on the “positive”….”How have you managed to make healthy choices this week, knowing you may be feeling stressed?”…..Let the discussion flow!!! Then…… “What are some steps we could take this week to manage stress so that we can continue making healthy food choices?”. Then let the group discussion and problem solving begin!…..brain storm on a white board, break up into small groups, or engage the whole group. You could even wrap up the session with a brief mindfulness meditation. So many easy to find resources on line! Here’s one example: example All you need is a laptop or smart phone!
There is still so much we can offer during this challenging time, encouraging our participants to stay focused and set goals to improve lifestyle and prevent T2!