Thursday, 28 March 2019 14:32

There’s No Care Like Self-Care

Written by   Lydia Sarfati, founder and CEO of Repêchage

Skin care professionals are always telling their clients that they need to take care of themselves, yet they may not be following their own advice. Overdoing it at work, especially as a service provider, can have multiple detrimental effects on a professional’s life overall. According to a July 2018 Gallup study on the effects of occupational burnout, people who say they very often or always experience burnout at work are 63 percent more likely to take a sick day, 23 percent more likely to visit the emergency room, and 13 percent less confident in their performance.1

According to research, the three key signs of burnout are overwhelming exhaustion, detachment and lack of empathy for clients and patients, and a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.

According to Christina Maslach, Ph.D., one of the leading researchers in social and health psychology, “For many years, burnout has been recognized as an occupational hazard for various people-oriented professions, such as human services, education, and health care. The therapeutic or service relationships that such providers develop with recipients require an ongoing and intense level of personal, emotional contact. Although such relationships can be rewarding and engaging, they can also be quite stressful. Within such occupations, the prevailing norms are: to be selfless and put others’ needs first; to work long hours and do whatever it takes to help a client, patient, or student; to go the extra mile and to give one’s all.”2

No matter how much professionals may love what they do in their profession, life cannot be all work and no play. This may be difficult to remember sometimes, such as when professionals want to fit in just one more client or customer, but they must remember that they work to live, not live to work. If an individual constantly gives to others but fails to take care of themselves, they will have nothing left to offer. That is why creating a good work-life balance is essential for aestheticians and those in the skin care field. They cannot succeed in this business if they are unable to provide themselves with proper self-care.


Within the industry, professionals talk frequently about energy and spirit. As service providers, it is essential that they carefully monitor and recharge their bodies and spirits as needed, so that they can continue to give clients and families their best. The strength of their souls is related to the strength of their bodies. This involves more than simply lifting weights at the gym.


Beginning an exercise regimen should not be about just trying to drop five pounds before the arrival of swimsuit season. Professionals must choose to change their lifestyle from one that is sedentary and unhealthy to one that focuses on caring for themselves. Before beginning a program, visit the doctor to get a complete physical. If 35 or older and not doing so already, be diligent about scheduling a yearly gynecological appointment and mammogram. Men, too, need to see their physicians for an annual exam. Again, professionals cannot help others if they are not in optimal health themselves.

Set aside 30 minutes each morning for walking outdoors. This simple act will help professionals to clear their minds and start the day off right. Regular exercise releases endorphins, which reduces stress.3 Exercise also boosts the immune system and turns back the clock.4 Research has found that people who exercise feel and look younger than their chronological age.5


In addition to working on improving the appearance of their bodies, it is vital for professionals to nourish the inside, as well. With family, business, and social obligations, it is easy to overlook nutritional needs and just grab a fast-food meal at the drive-through. Look to the European lifestyle as a model by taking the time to make a meal into an event. Savor each bite, chewing every morsel completely. As an added benefit, the longer it takes to eat, the more rapidly the brain will have a chance to catch up with the stomach and transmit the fullness message, which means consuming less food and taking in fewer calories.

In order to eat properly, plan ahead. Creating weekly menus will make it easier to avoid the temptation of phoning the pizza-delivery man. A nutritious diet that consists of lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will increase energy level, boost metabolism, strengthen the immune system, and improve work effectiveness. Again, deciding to adhere to a healthy eating program should not be a superficial decision based on how well a favorite pair of jeans fit. The main concern should be about putting one’s well-being first.

A steady diet of doughnuts and other high-sugar, empty-calorie foods will leave an individual feeling sluggish and lacking in energy. Instead, eat a balanced breakfast of protein and whole grains. By making better food choices, not only will professionals feel better and increase their stamina, they will also be able to provide better service to their clients. In addition, start the day with a purifying juice. Using a blender, mix parsley, spinach, cucumber, green apple, and a little lemon for flavor. This delicious drink will work wonders for the skin and body.


Next, feed the mind. Read! It does not matter if it is a self-help book, a professional-development book, newspaper, or online magazine. Reading will stimulate the mind and expand vocabulary. Designate a family game night; play chess or a favorite trivia game that tests general knowledge and requires strategically thinking.


Above all else, put pen to paper. Writing is the best form of mental and spiritual exercise. Whether composing a thank-you note, a holiday greeting to a friend, or a journal entry, it is a cathartic experience. Often, an individual may not even be aware of why they are feeling angry, frustrated, or unhappy until they commit those feelings to the page.

Finally, turn outwards. Donate time and services to charitable causes. Become a mentor. Begin to enjoy the process of giving and sharing without expecting anything in return.


Achieving the perfect work-life balance requires an individual to take a close look at their current personal and work situations, as well as to examine their willingness to make productive changes to both. The more fulfilled one is at work, the more fulfillment one will experience in free time. Choose today to live the best life possible and success will be ensured.


1 Wigert, Ben, and Sangeeta Agrawal. “Employee Burnout, Part 1: The 5 Main Causes.” Gallup. Jul 12, 2018.
2 Maslach, Christina, and Michael P. Leiter. “Understanding the burnout experience: recent research and its implications for psychiatry.” World Psychiatry 15, no. 2 (2016): 103-111.
3 Mayo Clinic Staff. “Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress.” Mayo Clinic.
4 “How to Use Your Immune System to Stay Healthy.” WebMD.
5 Gries, Kevin J., Ulrika Raue, Ryan K. Perkins, Kaleen M. Lavin, Brittany S. Overstreet, Leonardo J. D’Acquisto, Bruce Graham, et al. “Cardiovascular and skeletal muscle health with lifelong exercise.” American Physiological Society (2018).

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