Are you practicing what you preach to clients when it comes to taking care of yourself? With all the demands of running or managing your spa or massage practice, it’s easy to disregard the signs that you need to take better care of your body and your mind. It’s not only your own health that is at risk when you ignore aches and pains, mental and physical fatigue and emotional stress; in the end your business suffers. You can’t possibly give clients 100 percent when you aren’t feeling at your best.
Well before you begin to feel the stress and physical effects of your work, take charge of your health. There are many steps you can take to take care of yourself so that you don’t find yourself facing fatigue or the physical effects of providing massage therapy day in and day out. If you don’t feel you have the fortitude to address your own self-care, look to peers to help you. See if there is a group of other professionals in your area who meet regularly to discuss business challenges both personal and professional. In the meantime, here are things you easily can do for yourself that should become part of an ongoing routine of self-care.
Create a proper workspace
Make sure that you have the proper workspace to avoid injury. Have enough space around your table so that you can move comfortably and maintain good body mechanics. Also, make sure your table height is appropriate to support good posture.
Try to alternate between standing and sitting during sessions. 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.
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.
Relax and refresh
You need a break - everyone does. Even a day off can help you refresh. If you set time to take a day off or a vacation stick with it. Don't cancel plans because of a last minute call from a client in need.
Also meditation and quiet walks can help you get back to yourself and maintain your spirit. You may also want to consider keeping a journal to express your thoughts and feelings, and learn more about yourself.
Don’t let friends and families take advantage of your skills at their convenience. Have them schedule appointments just as you would with a client. You’ll also want to be mindful of your time. Don’t overbook yourself with volunteer activities or too many personal commitments that deprive you of the time you need to just sit back and unwind. Learn to say no if you find it hard, too. (See: Why you need to learn to say no in running your spa or massage practice).
It goes without saying that in addition to these steps, you want to be sure to maintain a healthy diet, get enough sleep and exercise.
Learning how to take care of yourself is actually as important as working on your professional and business skills. When you take care of yourself, you are taking care of your spa or massage practice at the same time.