Aestheticians and service providers will agree that what makes the aesthetics profession extraordinary is the high level of physical and mental readiness that is required. In addition to meeting clients’ needs, on-going advanced education and the increased use of social media to grow a business can lead to stress, exhaustion, and anxiety. Many individuals live in a work-life culture of busy is better, but what happens when being busy without balance starts to affect work productivity and mental health? According to the Mayo Clinic, stress symptoms can affect health, even though some might not realize it. “You may think illness is to blame for that irritating headache, your frequent insomnia, or your decreased productivity at work. But, stress may actually be the cause. Identifying and managing stress is important to overall health.”
Here are a few tips to help ease stress and energize professional passion.
FIND AN ESTIE BESTIE
Whether a solo professional or working in a group environment, finding a counterpart to collaborate with and share challenges and successes with can help ease anxiety. The benefits of having a community of fellow aestheticians for positive support can be impactful for sharing ideas and goals. A fellow aesthetician can give constructive feedback and provide a different perspective when challenging situations arise. Social media can be a great tool to identify a like-minded person with a similar work ethic. From daily group chats to monthly meet-ups to service trades, having a friend in the same profession is an invaluable resource.
EDUCATION IS KEY
The more a professional learns and grows, the better they and their business will be. Being an expert in the field creates client and employer confidence. Continued education is always a good investment. The skin and beauty industry is constantly evolving with technology and trends. Clients have become savvy on the latest ingredients, modalities, and treatments. They are seeking providers who offer the latest services. Staying up-to-date with education and training will help grow a client base and increase revenue. Many skin care brands and companies host on-going education classes and have web-based platforms and portals for licensed professionals to access for free or for a reasonable fee. Seasonal tradeshows are another great resource for networking with other professionals. Many tradeshows offer specialized educational seminars led by industry leaders.
SELF CARE IS NOT SELFISH
It is an aesthetician’s job and passion to promote health and healing to their clients by encouraging daily and monthly self care. Self care can be defined as the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health or physical activity to aid in stress relief. But, many aestheticians do not make time to actively practice it themselves. The best way to ensure monthly self care happens is to schedule it. Make self care a priority on the to-do list. Identifying another aesthetician to trade monthly services with is beneficial. And, when traveling, schedule a facial or skin treatment in the destination city. This helps support local business and allows the professional to gain a different perspective on services offered in different states and countries.
MENTAL HEALTH CHECK
On a regular basis, check in with yourself and evaluate your mental health. The World Health Organization says mental health is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” In recent years, there has been an increased awareness and call-to-action regarding mental health in the United States. Americans are over-stressed and over-worked and the results are detrimental to well-being. Knowing how to identify normal stress, feelings of burnout, and when to seek professional help from a doctor for prolonged anxiety and depression can be crucial. A mental health check should be encouraged with clients, as many of them develop a strong relationship and confide in their service provider.
TIME TO UNPLUG
Social media is a fantastic way to stay up-to-date with popular trends, reach new clients, and advertise. When used in moderation and with purpose, it can be a strong marketing tool for a business. In contrast, social media can be time consuming and leave users with negative effects on self-esteem by “upwardly comparing themselves to other people.” Studies have shown that heavy social media consumption can lead to self-doubt, FOMO (fear of missing out), and insecurity. Make it a priority when negative feelings occur to take a social media break and unplug. Evaluate and realign your purpose and intentions for social media use and set clear expectations and time guidelines.
LEARN TO SAY “NO”
One of the main goals for an aesthetician is to make people feel good about themselves. This is why it may be difficult or uncomfortable to say no to people, situations, and an overwhelming workload. Saying no is not having an inflexible attitude or refusing to be a team player – it is about knowing personal limits and setting manageable boundaries. By setting limits, consistency is created and excess stress is alleviated. Saying no to people when requests are out of the scope of practice is okay. Saying no to business decisions that do not make sense for overall growth is okay. Saying no to situations that are out of your comfort zone is okay. Saying no to additional projects when already stretched thin is okay.
In in order to keep up with the demands of an evolving industry, aestheticians must commit to keeping their mind and body healthy. Simple changes in daily behaviors can help reduce stress and set clear expectations and goals. Skin care professionals owe it to themselves to practice what they preach.
Jan, Muqaddas, Sanobia Anwwer Soomro, Nawaz Ahmad. “Impact of social media on self-esteem.” European Scientific Journal 13, no. 23 (2017). http://eujournal.org/index.php/esj/article/view/9815.
“Mental health: a state of well-being.” World Health Organization. 2014. https://www.who.int/features/factfiles/mental_health/en.
“Stress symptoms: Effects on your body and behavior.” Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-symptoms/art-20050987.