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As if the holidays weren’t stressful enough running your spa or massage practice. Managing client needs; keeping retail sales moving to take advantage of gift giving spending, and dealing with staff issues, including time off to visit family and friends who may be across the country or even further can take a lot of juggling. And if that wasn’t enough, you’re dealing with personal holiday demands -- shopping, getting the house ready, planning meals, and the list goes on. About this time, a nice far-away beach is starting to look really good, but clearly getting away from it all is not on the agenda.

So just how do you deal with all the pressures and stress at this time of year and manage to put on a happy face for clients who walk through your door expecting to leave feeling renewed and refreshed. Sounds almost like a Herculean task, but it is doable with the right mindset and some tried and true steps to take.

Just say no: It’s perfectly okay to say no to those extra activities that will just add more stress to your schedule. You might even have to say no to clients – albeit in a nice way – who want just too much extra from you like moving appointments around to fit in last minute changes in their schedule. And if someone on your team asks for time off that wasn’t preplanned, saying no may be necessary. When it’s busy, it’s all hands on deck.

Step back and take a view: Things may seem to be getting out of control (and maybe they are). Step back and set priorities for activities at work and at home. When you are in the midst of things, every activity may seem urgent. By taking a good look at the situation, you can decide where to spend your most energy.

Delegate: Everything doesn’t need your involvement. It’s wonderful to have a strong right hand person at work, but even if there isn’t that one person, you probably have plenty of capable people who can take direction and run with the ball. Make sure you convey your expectations; then leave your team to handle things in their own way.

Practice easy meditation: If possible, find a quiet place (or just close your office door) and take a few minutes to breathe slowly and deeply. Even that can help you regain center and face the challenges of the day.

Be good to yourself:  Pampering doesn’t just apply to clients.  Take time to sit back with a cup of coffee or tea, take a short walk to clear your mind, have a massage, in fact. Whatever makes you feel refreshed and renewed should be a priority.

Give to others: With everything on your plate, donating your time might seem out of the question. But actually giving back helps to lift your spirits and can relieve some of the tension you may be feeling. Even offering an hour a week to provide massage for someone in need, organize a food drive, or help walk dogs at a shelter can make a significant difference in your state of mind.

These aren’t the only ways to shed stress at the holidays – or any time of year for that matter – there are others. The key is to realize that you are stressed and make a conscious effort to deal with it. You want to enjoy the holidays and you want others around you to do so as well.