You know the story about the shoemaker who was so busy taking care of customers that he forgot to make shoes for his wife and children. It’s not difficult to see how that could happen to you, especially when you give 100 percent and more of yourself to help clients deal with their own physical and mental health issues.
But not paying attention to your needs is not only a danger to your health; it can undermine your business. 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 follow to make sure you don’t succumb to the “shoemaker’s children syndrome.”
Create the appropriate workspace: 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. Massage Magazinesuggests that you 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 also advises that you 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. 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.
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. 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. Use business and social organization networks to find new people who are positive and uplifting.
When you take good care of yourself, you take good care of your clients.