If you’re not feeling well or are worn out from the physical demands and pressure of running your spa or massage practice, you can’t give your clients 100 percent. That’s why own self-care is extremely important not only to your well-being but your business. Well-being isn’t only about addressing physical issues or stress when they occur; it’s about being proactive with self-care to prevent pain or discomfort or burnout.
Self-care also is important because as a wellness professional, you serve as a role model for clients. . When your clients see you suffering from back or shoulder pain or you seem fatigued, it diminishes the value of the advice you offer on taking care of yourself.
Here are self-care tips to consider while you are working at your spa or massage practice and when you are away from the job:
On the job self-care tips:
Create the appropriate workspace: You want to have enough space around your table so you can move comfortably and maintain good body mechanics. Also, make sure your table height is appropriate to support good posture. The AMTA recommends that you “Find a table that is comfortable, fits your body mechanics, taking into account both the height and width of the table. Additionally, make sure the table is adjustable for your height. A good rule of thumb is that your table should be right at your fingertips, or around the level of your wrist.”
Alternate between standing and sitting: Standing is fatiguing to your leg muscles and lower back. Sitting allows you to rest your legs but it also can put strain on your lower back. In “Alternate Sitting and Standing as You Work,”Massage Magazine suggests, try to sit at least one-fourth of the time during any treatment session to avoid fatigue.”
Mind your breathing: Usingyour breath is important for balancing and centering your body and for ease and fluidity of movement. The AMTA advises that you should focus on your breath, take a few deep breaths by inhaling through your nose and exhaling slowing through your mouth, and make sure to breathe throughout the session or when you feel tension or pain in your body.
Take breaks: You need to get up and move around during the day. Also take breaks between sessions to unwind, stretch and catch up on some other duties, like checking email.
Stay hydrated: The human body is approximately 60 percent water, notes Everyday Health in “The Health Benefits of Water.” Your cells, organs and tissues all need water to function properly and regulate proper temperature. Since, you lose water throughout the day by breathing, sweating and digestion, you need to drink fluids and eat foods that contain water to rehydrate.
Off the job self-care tips:
Self-care starts by getting enough sleep, eating properly and exercising. In addition, you’ll want to:
Get a massage: Who better than you understand the value of massage to prevent injuries, relieve stress and cleanse the body of toxins? Take the advice you give your own clients and try to get a massage once a week or at least every other week. Getting a massage also helps you learn new techniques or ways to modify your own.
Take time off: 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.
Spend time with friends and family: 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.
Take good care of yourself. You and your clients will be thankful for it.