Self care is talked about everywhere. You can google self care and it’s related to everything from fitness to mental health. There are articles on how to use self care that doesn’t take much money, and self care to avoid burnout. But what is it exactly? Is it simply doing something you like or is it more than that? Is self care being selfish because it takes us away from other obligations? Mothers, you know what I’m talking about.
We can look at the term self care and define it as, any activity we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.
In other words, self care needs to be something you actively plan rather than something that just happens, like taking a shower. Now, I remember the days I had newborns in the house and taking a shower DID seems like self care but as massage therapists, our self care needs to run deeper than that.
Self-care as a massage therapist isn’t something to take lightly. We have a physical job that can take a toll on hand, wrist, and finger joints. Besides that, many massage therapists complain of back and neck pain. Like with any repetitive motion job, some preventative measures need to be followed to allow for many years of work.
Why is self care important?
Good self-care provides improved mood and reduced anxiety. It’s also key to good relationships with others and ourselves. Yes, the way you feel about yourself matters.
When we take good care of ourselves, we can take better care of our clients. Whether you work in a spa environment or medical clinic, all massage therapists know we help clients with more than massaging their muscles. Being in our best state of body and mind is needed to help the client.
Good self-care is knowing what we need to do in order to take care of ourselves while being subsequently able to take care of others or contribute quality time to family. That is, if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t give to others.
Think of your energy as a money bank.
When you wake in the morning you have $100 dollars of energy in the bank.
As your morning begins, let’s say your kids aren’t ready for school on time so you’re late out the door and that takes $5 from your energy bank.
Then you realize your gas tank is low, darn you meant to get gas yesterday, and stopping now it’s probably going to make you late for your first client. The worry here and stress with driving faster than you like results in another $5 withdrawal from your energy bank.
At work, you see that really difficult client’s name on your schedule and their session leaves you drained physically and emotionally. $20 withdrawal from your energy bank.
Lunchtime comes around and you didn’t have time to pack a lunch so a caffeinated lunch will have to do. $15 withdrawal from your energy bank.
The front desk at work added two clients to your already full schedule which requires you to juggle some paperwork time and cuts into your breaks. $15 withdrawal from your energy bank.
During a break, you check social media and regret it after getting pulled into a friend’s drama. $5 withdrawal from your energy bank.
You are now at a balance of $35 and it’s only 3 PM. What will you have left for your family tonight?
You get the idea. Choose wisely where you let your energy go. You only have so much to expend.
Self care refuels us rather than takes from us as many of our daily interactions.
If I said, “Improving your self care makes you more money”, would you agree?
Eating better, adding more movement to your life, and giving your body time to recover will take you to the best version of yourself. That can’t help but improve your client retention.
In part 2 of Self Care For The Massage Therapist, we will look at examples of self care you can adopt and offer you a worksheet to find the perfect self care activity for YOU.
See you there
Be fit, be strong and do some self care daily
P.S. Are you the impatient type like me? Here’s the worksheet, BUT still read part 2. Promise?
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