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 is also important because you serve as a role model for clients as a wellness professional. 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 comfortable table, 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 a strain on your lower back. Massage Magazine suggests that you try to sit at least one-fourth of the time during any treatment session to avoid fatigue.”
Mind your breathing
Using your 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.
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.
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 remove yourself from the day-to-day pressures and routine truly. Take a drive or a hike; meet friends for lunch; if you have a hobby, pursue it or sit and read a book. You might even want to take a class totally unrelated to massage or skincare 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.