Steps to take to avoid burnout at your spa or massage practice
By Jean Shea on May 14, 2015
No matter how much you love your work at your spa or massage practice, at some point you may experience burnout. Burnout isn’t just feeling stressed or overly tired. When you feel burned out, you may even experience doubts about your professional competency and the value you bring to your business. At work, you may be more irritable or impatient with everyone and feel a general lack of energy and enthusiasm.
There are a number of reasons why you may be experiencing burnout. The Mayo Clinic points to several specific factors that may be causing you to feel out of sync with your work – and maybe even your life. Lack of control is a leading cause of burnout. When you are running a business, you have many demands made on your time and attention. Those demands, as well as all the issues you undoubtedly deal with outside work, may be more than you can manage at times.
Burnout also can result from a poor work-life balance. If you are working so hard that you don’t have time and energy for family, friends and your personal interests, you may burn out. Your schedule may be overwhelming you, especially if you are working too many nights or giving up weekends to meet client needs.
Take care of yourself
When it comes to preventing burnout, the first step is to maintain good physical and mental health – get enough sleep, exercise regularly – even taking breaks during the day for a walk counts– and make sure not to miss food when your body tells you it’s time to eat.
Take time off to unwind. You don’t have to go out of town to decompress, though a week or two away is the best way to truly remove yourself from the day- to-day pressures and routine (as long as you shut off your smartphone and tablet). Take a drive or a hike; meet friends for lunch; if you have a hobby, pursue it or just sit and read a book. You might even want to take a class totally unrelated to massage or skin care treatments.
Feeling burned out may come from trying to do too many things at once. Step back and reset your priorities. You don’t immediately have to return every call or respond to email and text as soon as you get them. Plan your day and make sure to do the things that inspire and excite you first, then get to on to the more mundane – but still necessary - “to dos.”
Find new challenges
Burnout may come from starting to feel less challenged in your work. Maybe it’s time to learn a new type of massage that you currently don’t offer - geriatric or sports – or try offering new skin treatments or put together special combinations of both. Your business will benefit as well as your state of mind.
You may want to try challenges outside work. It may be time to finally learn the musical instrument you’ve always wanted to or pick up a paintbrush and palette. Consider joining an organization and taking on a role completely unrelated to your professional experience. You’ll grow as a person and restore your spirit and enthusiasm by pushing yourself and trying new things.
Reach out to your support structure
Sometimes you need to rely on others to help you overcome your burnout. Spend your time with positive, uplifting people among your circle of friends and family. You may also want to network to find new people through business and social organizations. Positive people can be the best antidote when you are feeling overwhelmed, down or negative.
Anyone can feel burnout at some time but that doesn’t mean you should accept it so that it seriously impacts your work and personal life. Take the same good care of yourself you advise your clients to do.