As if there wasn’t enough stress running a spa or massage practice, along came COVID-19 to send stress levels off the charts. Fortunately, we are beginning to see a light at the end of this tunnel, although no one should throw caution to the wind. Stress whether it’s comes from outside forces or comes from within, can take its toll on you and everyone else involved in running your business. Clients, too, know when you are stressed, which can be very unsettling especially when they are seeking care to alleviate their own anxiety and stress. They have to wonder how focused you are on the treatments.
Unfortunately, Americans are among the most stressed people on the planet. Estimates place the cost of stress to American businesses at up to $300 billion annually. Stress on the job leads to more errors or missed deadlines, getting along with co-workers/managers, missed days, and lateness.
Besides the impact it has on your business; stress can lead to serious health issues. Stress can impact your immune, digestive and cardiovascular systems. It can impact your sleep, cause headaches and impact your mood making you sad – or angry – as well as irritable. And at a time, when you may be rebuilding your business, research indicates that stress can reduce focus and memory by 25 percent. Your problem-solving ability also declines more quickly from chronic stress, resulting in repetitive activity.
Take steps to destress
If you find stress is getting you down, try the following simple steps:
Learn to say no: Don’t take on extra activities that put more pressure on your schedule.
Step back and take a view: Set priorities for activities at work and at home. Decide where to spend your most energy.
Meditate: 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.
Eliminate workplace stress
While you are working on getting back to center, also consider how stress is impacting others you work with and take action:
Start by communicating: Encourage open dialogue and make yourself available to talk to your team on a one-on-one basis or in frequent – ideally weekly - meetings. Make sure everyone knows about changes in the business that affect them; so, they don’t have to worry about things that they overhear.
Clearly state your expectations: Often employees worry because they are unsure of expectations. Job roles may be unclear with too many trying to do the same tasks. Make sure everyone knows their role and what success looks like.
Provide sufficient training: Sometimes employees get stressed because they don’t feel they have adequate skills or knowledge to do the job you want. Provide your employees with the proper training to make sure they approach their work with full confidence. You may need to send them to classes or bring in a trainer. In some cases, someone internally may be able to provide the needed training.
Plan group activities: Plan some times away from work where your team can unwind and interact. It helps to build bonds and open communication. Plus, it also sends a message that you understand the need to put work on the back burner and have fun.
Encourage work/life balance: Consider ways you can help your employees establish more balance between work and their life outside the salon or massage practice. Consider more flexible work schedules for example.
Acknowledge good performance: Commend your employees for a job well done. Don’t wait for a performance review, to give someone a pat on the back. Let them know you appreciate their efforts and how much the business benefits from their professionalism and going the extra mile.
When your spa or massage practice is stress free, everyone wins – you, your clients and your team.