As skin care professionals, we often forget to remind ourselves that we matter, too. Day in and day out, we are pouring our time, talent, and expertise into others, often at the detriment to our own well-being and sanity. You may find yourself too tired to do the things that once meant so much to you. Coming home after a long day at the spa can often leave you feeling drained. All you can do is find something quick to feed the family or yourself and that’s about it.
I’m often reminded of how important self-care is. We’ve all seen the hashtag #selfcaresunday. This is not just a cute little phrase, but something that should resonate to the deepest part of us, and it does not have to be reserved for just Sunday. The bottom line is that we all need time for us – rest and relaxation – a time of refreshing, which will help our lives to feel more balanced. It can seem an impossible task with demands on our time, with most of us working five to six days per week. But the good news is, it can be done – it must be done – for our own well-being.
GET FAMILY INVOLVED
Get everyone in your family involved by sharing your calendar or schedule. If you have little ones, have them highlight your off days with bright, fun colors. When you are off from work and enjoying family time, do not be tempted to check work e-mails. Be present in the moment with the ones you love. Missed moments cannot be recaptured, as this is especially true for children, who grow up so fast.
TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
If you are single or do not have children, give yourself permission to spend the day doing what you love. As a skin care professional, you spend all day, week, and month treating others. Now is the time to treat yourself to a massage, manicure, pedicure, long walk or hike (don’t forget the sunscreen), bike ride, or time with friends. Read a good book or two, try out a new recipe, or volunteer in the community.
There are countless opportunities to feed both our minds and souls, and you will return to work refreshed and ready to take on whatever the world brings. Another amazing way to keep it all together is to start an exercise program, perhaps signing up for a pilates or yoga class. Stress levels will reduce and you may even slim up.
TAKE A STEP BACK
With all of the suggestions on how to find balance, the real key is to recognize that it is lacking. For many of us, life is just an endless cycle of to-do lists, career building, home and family life, social activities, and social media activities. Constantly juggling all the balls can be quite exhausting. That is when you have to say enough is enough, take a step back, and focus on me time. All of the things you may have left undone or unscheduled will still be there upon your return. Pencil in time for yourself or you will find your energy stores depleted, and what was once a joy will become tedious and laborious.
FIND NEARBY OUTLETS
No time for a quick getaway or have a tight budget? There are many ways to balance life without traveling far. Find a nice park and go on a picnic, bag a lunch, some music or a good book, and go off to escape – if just for a little while. If parks are not your thing, you can always improvise in your backyard. Even though you are still at home, you’ll be surprised to find how soothing and relaxing just laying out under the sky can be. Go visit a friend whom you haven’t seen in a while, preferably someone who is not in the business, so you will not end up talking shop.
Start a declutter campaign. Go through closets and other areas of your home. Get rid of that which no longer serves you. It sounds like a little thing, but you will be surprised how the simple act of decluttering will make you feel.
The list can go on and on, but whatever path you take, remember, it is a balancing act that you have control of.
Denise Gaston is a proud CIDESCO diplomat, licensed aesthetician since 1989, certified clinical aesthetician, and is NCEA certified. Gaston has served as the northern California trainer for Repêchage Skincare and as an aesthetics instructor for Miss Marty’s Hair Academy and C.I.D.E.S.C.O. Institute. She is a former spa owner, having had a private practice for 10 years. Gaston is currently the vice president and director of aesthetics at Fremont Beauty College. She is a reviewer for Milady’s Standard Cosmetology Textbook 2008 Edition; Milady Standard Esthetics: Fundamentals, 11th Edition; and Milady Standard Esthetics: Advanced, 2nd Edition. Gaston also serves as a subject matter expert for the California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.