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7 top tips for Self-care
As massage therapists, it is built into us to care for our clients. Sometimes this can come at our own expense.
If you don’t look after yourself physically and emotionally you will end up becoming run down or ill. This will have a knock-on effect on your clients.
Here are some tips to make sure you look after yourself too
Is your client environment right for you? Are you happy in your clinic? Take a moment and look around, does your space make you feel comfortable to enable you to focus on your client? – This goes for mobile therapists too, are you still content in your client’s environment?
Maybe you’re working in a busy gym and would rather something calmer and peaceful or perhaps you’re in a secluded room and long for company or hustle and bustle of a busy clinic.
If your not happy you need to change things. You are in control so move clinics or change things around. Or maybe become mobile. There is always room for change.
Find a balance of clients
How are you feeling about your workload? Are there days when you dread the next client and longing for the end of the day?
Perhaps you need more time in between clients to relax and ground yourself again. Fitting too many clients in will make you tired and resentful and the poor client who goes last won’t get your full attention.
Have a look at your diary and make sure there is space between clients so you can breathe and there is no pressure to get the next one in.
There is no definitive number of clients as it depends on the therapist; some may find 8 in a day are fine whereas another might only manage 4. Both are correct there is no right or wrong. Make sure you listen to yourself and find the balance that works for you.
Take a break How long do you have for lunch? Do you take a break or are you trying to fit things in around your clients? Are you rushing from one client to the next?Taking at least half hour breaks can do wonders, have a brew, have a stretch, eat something, maybe have look at BusyHive website to see what’s new. It sounds simple and it really is that simple but by taking a couple of breaks through the day it gives your brain time to chill before you carry on.Don’t feel guilty either – a rested therapist will give their clients the better treatments. (Just to be clear driving between clients while eating a sandwich is not considered a break!) – Make sure breaks are calm and in one place.
As I said in last week’s blog What am I worth? You are worth it! So make sure you aren’t doing more free massage than paid. Volunteering is great but make sure you are being paid the going rate for other massages and the balance is correct. You need to eat and provide for yourself so make sure you aren’t selling yourself short.
It is very easy when you see an emotional client to feel like you hold on to the emotions too. I’ve done it myself! I had one particular client who was going through an awful time and when she left I cried. I felt I had taken on her emotions and couldn’t let them go.
I hadn’t, I was just feeling empathy for her. You need to realise that it is ok to feel bad for a client and to sympathise but also its not your problem and you need to let it go. Some therapists find washing their hands between clients and imagine the emotions washing away too can help. Or meditation techniques can be beneficial. Find what works for you but remember you can’t transfer emotions just feel empathy and that’s because you care.
Remember to eat well. You don’t have to follow a certain diet I’m not a nutritionist so that would be out of my remit to advise you. But fresh fruit and veg is a great start. Try and eat as well as you can and stay hydrated, as this will help you stay focused. Obviously, I’m not saying you can’t have any chocolate or alcohol! That would be crazy! You need a balanced diet so even the ‘bad’ things are ok in moderation – we are all human.
MASSAGE! Yes, I saved the best for last – make sure you look after your body. Stretching is great as is yoga or pilates but I think we can all agree you can’t beat the feeling of receiving a massage!So many of us say they can’t find the time or money for a massage. Think about the benefits it will bring. Find a massage therapist friend and arrange a swap. Not only will it feel great and cost nothing apart from time, you will be able to talk about techniques and maybe pick up ideas from each other. Massage can be lonely sometimes so why not enjoy some times with another therapist. Taking time off for you to have a massage and say thank you to your body should be a priority.
So follow these 7 tips for some self-care. Look after yourself and you can look after others too.
You can’t pour from an empty cup.
Remember to spread the love and share this blog for other therapists to learn some self-care.