As professional aestheticians, we're caregivers, "people" people, nurturers, and emotional laundry bins. We give all of ourselves to our work, our clients, our family, and our friends… often to find that there is simply not a whole lot left for ourselves. So this month's article is just for you, and only you; this month, it's all about you.
Perhaps you can relate… this year is a "significant" birthday for me… yeah, I'm not going to say it, but one that I truly thought would never happen. I have watched my babies grow from completely dependent tiny little beings, to five-foot eleven, 150 pound high schoolers' (ugh).
I have spent the last two years watching a flourishing business take twists, turns and dives, recovering in a new light. It all ends well, it always does… and I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, but bottom line, I certainly have moments that I have completely lost me. Can you relate?
OK, so let's talk about you. Every day is a gift, it really is. As is every experience, every client, every situation, and every encounter. Even the unfortunate ones are opportunities to grow and learn. The trick is to look at every part of your day as such a gift… this is where the challenge arises. How frequently do you wish a day would be over? Or clients not come in? Or a co-worker just quit so you would never have to deal with them again? Or your boss takes a vacation and never returns? Or you win the lottery, even though you don't play? Yeah, I know… we all do it. But today is a new day, and the beginning of a new you, if you are ready for the challenge.
I would like to challenge you to start and make every day about you. I'm not saying to be selfish and arrogant; I'm challenging you to do something each and every day that is just for yourself, that gives you the opportunity to experience simple little joys of the day, fleeting moments of smiles and self-satisfaction. Can you do that? Or shall I ask, are you willing to do that?
I have no way of knowing what it is that makes every person "tick," but I do know a variety of things that are sure fire ways to have an impact on almost everyone. So choose two or three of these tricks, and stick to them every day for one week – just one week – and you will be well on your way to a happier, more satisfied, more fulfilled you. OK, let's get started.
You Are What You Eat
…and you feel as healthy as the food you put in your mouth. I bet that says a lot, doesn't it? That burger with fries and late night ice cream doesn't do much for your cholesterol, sugar or weight. Please, I'm not here to preach about your diet, there are plenty of others that will do that. But bottom line, the way you feel about yourself is the foundation for how you deal with everything else in your life. And only you have control over that. It is a proven fact that not being satisfied with your appearance or image is a direct link to not feeling worthy of self-satisfaction or self-worth. Respecting your inner soul and outer body is the first step in creating a you self-worth. When self-worth grows and flourishes, it is further fed by interludes of you attention.
Start with baby steps. Take one bad eating or drinking habit, and change it today. Cut out a little bit of sugar, a few extra carbs, or that late night snack. One simple step will start you on your way.
Start the Day off Right
A 5 a.m. trip to the gym would be fantabulous! But perhaps a bit over zealous. So here is what I want you to do: when you get out of bed, as each foot hits the ground, I want you to say "thank" (right foot), "you" (left foot), take a deep breath in, a deep breath out, and say "for today." Then look in the mirror, smile at yourself, and say "good morning, beautiful."
I'm not joking. I realize how ridiculous this sounds, and the first time I did it, my husband was sure I had gone over the edge. On the second day, he was ready to commit me. Now he gets upset if I don't turn around and say "and good morning to you too, handsome!" This simple, silly little gesture lightens your heart and truly sets your day off on the right path.
Energize with Exercise
…I'm also not here to preach to you about your exercise regimen, or lack there of! You all know the benefits of regular exercise – whether you do it or not is another thing. I don't need to tell you that it keeps you young, healthy, agile, and beautiful… because you already know that! Here is what I am going to tell you. Exercise, and any degree of it, even 20 to 30 minutes a day, increases endorphins in the brain, speeds up metabolism, boosts over all energy levels, alters thinking patterns and increases positivity.
Research studies have also proven that early morning exercise that combines both cardiovascular activities with weight training, automatically burns 30 percent more calories throughout the whole entire day, not to mention sustaining energy levels and mental clarity!
Choose what works for you. Take just 30 minutes and walk the neighborhood. Listen to the birds chirping, smell the air, breathe deep, and be aware of fresh cut grass, lilacs, rose bushes, brewing coffee, or the aftermath of rain. It won't feel like exercise, I promise! It will feel more like
Five Minutes of Freedom
…Choose a spot in your day where you take just five minutes (yes, only five minutes) to be with the most valuable important person in your life – you. Close your treatment room door, walk outside, sit in your car, lock yourself in the bathroom… anywhere you can be simply left alone for five minutes. And here is what you are to do: sit. Take slow deep breaths in, and slowly exhale, and be thankful for something in your day, just one thing, and it can be anything. Perhaps even that cranky miserable last client that you made smile; be thankful for her smile, and thankful that perhaps you are not in her cranky shoes. If you can meditate, this is exactly what you should be doing; but if you are like me, and "clearing my mind" is next to impossible, you need to focus on something that feels good, something that brings a smile to your face, and a sense of peace to your entire body. Try it right now – breathe in, breathe out, "thank you for today"…
Don't mess with me on this one! I could probably write an entire article on attitude. You can not change a single thing in your life: your weight, your job, your success, your goals, your health, or even your spouse… if you don't have a positive attitude.
Why is it that so many people lack a positive attitude? Try waiting around for happiness, health and success… like its going to come knocking on your door like the "prize patrol." Let me tell you, it's not going to happen, not a chance. If you want change, you have to change your attitude, right now!
No one can do this for you, and waiting for something to "happen" to help that change take effect can make for a very long, unfulfilling life. Once you change your attitude, your life starts to change. Once you turn the negative into positive, everything begins to become more positive – even the things you had no idea needed to be more positive!
I believe that everything happens for a reason. I may not know what that reason is, but there is some reason for it. I challenge you, once again to give me one week of altering your attitude. I want you to stop and think before reacting to every single situation. Turn it around and figure out how you can create a positive outcome. It could be an argument with a spouse, an unsatisfied client, an irritating employer, a demeaning co-worker, or a pushy sales rep. I want you to challenge yourself to handle the situation unlike any way you have ever done it before, calm, cool, collected, matter of fact, honest, straight forward …and positive. With a smile on your face and not a single tone to your voice, for one week, make every encounter a positive one.
Life is too short, and you are too valuable to allow yourself to be anything but the absolute best you can be. Remember, you're a caregiver, but you can only give what you have. A point comes when you have nothing left. To me, it is an unacceptable point to ever reach. Refuel your inner self, take time to realize that so many people need you, but you need you even more...Here's to you.