Self-Care for the Nurturer: 6 Rules to Adopt Now
Lisa Sykes, Director of Sustainability, Universal Companies
Spa professionals are nurturers by nature. Your soothing hands deliver therapeutic massages, delicately perform facials, and carefully apply nail lacquers, among other much-needed services. The world is a hectic place, and you know that taking time-outs is important for your clients. It benefits their physical and mental well-being, and it’s good for business.
But what about you?
Nurturers often neglect self-care. For some, reserving time-outs may be perceived as “indulgent” or even “selfish.” So out of guilt, we run ourselves ragged by over committing, continuously deducting from our small allotment of “me” time. And when there’s none left, instead of being “indulgent” or “selfish,” we’re tired, irritated, and overwhelmed.
We preach the wellness benefits of self-care, but we don’t always practice it. This thought came up last week when I complained of tightness in my neck and shoulders. An acquaintance suggested I get a massage, but I sighed and mumbled, “I don’t have time.” As soon as the words came out, I immediately realized that I say that phrase a lot. I also knew I wasn’t the only one.
As a compliance specialist, I work with “rules” on a daily basis. Most are made for safety reasons. Think about traffic laws or OSHA regulations, for example. Obeying the speed limit or wearing safety goggles can prevent serious injury. An overabundance of stress caused by lack of self-care is dangerous, too. Stress can cause headaches, fatigue, high blood pressure, ulcers, and insomnia. Shouldn’t some rules apply here as well?
I think so. Therefore, I’ve come up with some self-care rules, and I’m sharing them with you because if you’re reading this, you probably need them, too:
1. Stop over committing.
- “Me” time is like a savings account for mental health. It’s OK to tap into it on occasion for special events, but don’t make a habit of it.
2. Treat yo' self.
- Clothes. Fragrances. Mimosas. . . .whatever. If you haven’t seen the Treat Yo’ Self episode of Parks and Recreation, watch, laugh, and learn.
3. Visit your massage therapist.
- Neck and back tight? That tightness suggests you need a massage. Book it.
4. Feeling sick? Don't share.
- Stay home from work and allow your body to rest. Your co-workers and clients will appreciate it.
5. Enjoy a hobby.
- Choose one that’s relaxing and meditative. (I paint and garden.)
6. Embrace a skin care ritual.
- Stress can be tough on your complexion. Consult an esthetician, enjoy a facial, and get skin care recommendations. (You might even fall in love with a new skin care line!)
It really comes down to this: What’s good for your clients is good for you, too. If you follow these rules, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how much better you feel, emotionally and physically.
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