Talking the talk AND walking the walk – when Holly Crosby decided to launch her life coaching business Simplyou Coaching full-time, she, quite simply, took her own advice…

Having spent 12 years as a counsellor working part-time with public sector clients including the NHS and local authorities, Holly Crosby realised she had set up her own business for the days she wasn’t working.

“I was working with clients on issues like confidence building and asking them to identify what was holding them back. Meanwhile I was holding on to my part time job – so it was time to take action!”

Holly launched Simplyou Coaching just over a year ago after qualifying as a coach – and the name sums up her client-focused approach.

“When I started looking into coaching I realised I had in fact been working with some clients in this way. I started my work in the bereavement field, before working as a High School Counsellor and have also worked for an Alcohol Service as a Counsellor.

“Throughout my career, I have worked with people on issues including stress, managing a work/life balance, anxiety, and career progression to name a few.

“But my approach is I don’t coach on a certain aspect or theme. I help people to understand themselves and their thoughts and to gain better control of their life. When we feel something is not within our control we don’t manage stress and anxiety as well, lack confidence, don’t live as happy – or all of the above. The sessions will be tailored specifically to your needs.”

In other words, ‘Simply’ focusing on ‘You’. 

“I work with the individual on what they want to change or achieve. If they are anxious, is it because they don’t feel in control of something? Or if they are stressed, is it because of unrealistic expectations?

“It’s not about me telling people what to do. We are all experts on ourselves so my role is to help the client understand their thoughts and move forward. From there it depends on the client – it’s very fluid. We may look at how they are spending their time at home and at work, how they react and cope in situations or it may be that we set up some goal-setting between sessions.”

Holly is also working within businesses to support staff with the varying issues they face.

“A 2017 HSE Survey shows that 12.5 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17.

Wellbeing in the workplace is gaining momentum, and more businesses are looking to support staff to reduce sick days, improve productivity and provide a better working environment.

“By providing staff access to coaching, vast improvements can be made in all of these areas resulting in big gains for staff and employer.

“Through working with me, employees will gain a better understanding of their wellbeing to help them recognise the problems they are experiencing and find the tools to deal with them effectively.”

 Holly’s Top tips for better mental health…

  • For employees

Be realistic – sometimes that means lowering your expectations!
If you think you’ll always get through your to-do list, be on time for everything, juggle work and home brilliantly, and hit targets – you’re wrong. Because you’re human. Don’t be hard on yourself when, at times, you fall short.

Do things that make you happy
What makes you happy? If you don’t already know – find out. Taking time to read a book, meet with friends or go for a walk all help you to feel fulfilled. It’s not being selfish – it’s self-care.

Take breaks
We’re not designed to work for 12 hours a day, so don’t! Have short breaks often, or one longer lunch – whatever works best for you. Just make sure you take them. You’ll perform better when you come back, anyway!

Talk about things you usually wouldn’t
Talk to others about how you feel. It doesn’t have to be major, just a simple ‘this is worrying me’ or ‘I feel stressed’. It helps to get another perspective and talking out loud can help to work it through.

Exercise and eat well
The two things we all know we should do but often don’t! Both can be fitted in to your day no matter how busy you are – or how many times you’ve tried before and it didn’t last.


  • For employers

Home/Work life
Work and home life aren’t as separate as we’d like to think and often impact on each other. Recognising this will happen from time to time is the start and then supporting staff with it is key.

They’re important so always keep them in the diary. Okay, work is busy, which means the first thing to go out of the diary is a 1:1 session. There will be times when it’s unavoidable but notice how often it happens and make sure you are having them more often. It’s important for staff to have time to talk.

Promote a culture of openness and honesty
Chances are you like to think this is already the case, but is it? Do staff really feel they can be honest about problems they are facing or changes they’d like? If not, what are the obstacles they face and how can these be removed? Change won’t happen overnight but small steps count.

Staff support
How do you currently support staff? What else can you do? Employees value honest, caring employers far more than a big wage, so what else can you do to help them live more happily and healthily?

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