Being a service provider, whether it be a hair stylist like me, a personal trainer, a wedding photographer, wedding coordinator, massage therapist, nail tech, esthetician, dental hygenist, waitress, bartender or any other profession where providing a personal service to someone, can be quite draining to say the least!
I've definitely learned the hard way by pushing too hard, being a perfectionist, over exerting my energy, spreading myself too thin, hustling to further my career and burning the candle on both ends, so I'm here to share a few tips I've found through my yoga and self care practices that are very helpful in keeping yourself in harmony in whichever service capacity you're in.
Service is the greatest act of love, spiritually speaking. When we serve, we offer our gifts and talents to another, sacrificing our own needs in place of someone else's. When we exchange this act of love, it is so important to keep our energy field strong so as not to let our energy get drained. Our energy field is also known as our electromagnetic field, or aura, which extends out by 9 ft in all directions.
When we share the same space with someone, both energies are merging into one, so if one's energy field doesn't have contained boundaries, the other's can over power and pull the loving energy right out of that person, dragging them down and depleting them of their source of love. When this happens we feel emotionally unstable, exhausted, irritable, vulnerable, or 'burnt out', etc.
Here are 10 self care practices that can help immensely!!
1.Start your day with one simple yoga pose to keep your electromagnetic field completely balanced. You can do it for 3 minutes, 5 minutes, or 10 minutes. t's called Star Pose and is 2 parts. The first part is separating your feet as wide apart as possible and your arms straight out from your shoulders - palms up or facing forward. If you do the 3 minute segment, you'll do this for 1 minute and the second part for 2. If you do 5 minutes, you'll do this for 2 minutes and the rest for 3. Or if you do 10 minutes, you'll hold this for 4 minutes and the rest for 6. For the second part, you bring your feet to touch and clasp your hands above your head with your arms straight and over the ears for the remaining time. You can do this pose to triple mantra or RaMaDaSaSaSaySoHung to really strengthen your aura so that challenges steer clear of you.
2. Another aura cleansing technique you can do between clients is to sweep your arms up and over your head. Start with your arms down by your side and palms turned out. Inhale through your nose as you raise your arms straight up, but don't touch the hands, instead, push the energy down by turning your palms down, fingers loosely splayed, and pointer fingers and thumbs creating a loose triangle between both hands all the way down to where you started, as you exhale through your mouth. Do this 3 times in a row after your client. You will immediately feel your slate wiped clean. It's amazing and so worth it if you can take a moment to yourself in between clients!
3. Something else I try to do with each client is to BLESS them. You can do this a few minutes before your client walks through the door or sits in your chair if you have the time, or just do your best to figure out how you can mentally bless them during your time with them. I personally bless my clients while I'm shampooing them. I mentally say: "Love before ____, Love behind _____, Love at _____ left, Love at _____ right, Love above _____, Love below _____, Love in _____ ." Then repeat by replacing the word Love with Light. A powerful and simple prayer. You can also do this before you enter your place of work too. Sometimes I"ll say the Love and Light prayer for Salon 700 as a whole...all co-workers and clients included. It really sets the energy so that we all are operating from a place of love. You can do this prayer for anyone at any time to let love in!
4. I've also found that taking advantage of any 15-30 minute + opening to go for a walk will really shift your day! Instead of going out for a smoke break, a coffee run, or to chat on the phone, just take a walk around the block and enjoy the fresh air, the trees, etc. Dust that aura off!
5. It's also so important to have healthy food prepared for you that you can actually sit down to! In the salon industry, us stylists are notorious for eating whenever we have literally one minute--stuffing our faces with whatever we might have or see on hand! Time is money and we don't want to schedule a 15-30 minute lunch break when we could be doing a blow out or a mens cut etc...well, maybe you should ask yourself what your time is worth? A few extra dollars, or self care (which equals self love), well being, and peace? It's SO worth sitting down to a meal to ground your energy! If you can prepare it before you come in to work, perfect! But if you can't, make sure you give yourself a few extra minutes to pick something up before you get to work, that way you won't set yourself up for poor choices when you're 'hangry' ;)
6. I've also realized the value of quiet. I used to be one to 'chat it up' with my client so I could 'entertain' them as I was doing their hair. Now, I welcome no conversation. I will always talk about their hair, ask how they're doing with their styling routine, what they're using for products, etc., but I will not make up small talk if they don't initiate it. By talking with them briefly about their hair, I've opened up the floor for conversation, so they feel they can talk to me, and I'll gladly respond and engage, but I won't push the conversation or talk about other nonsense, because it is a waste of energy, and can be unprofessional! Conserve that energy when you can because you know you'll get a big talker at some point in your day!
7. I also take advantage of less stimulation during my drive to and from work. I listen to mantras in the car on the way to work to set the tone for the day, but on my way home from work, I sit in silence and breathe deeply - inhaling for 10 seconds, holding for 10 seconds and exhaling for another 10 seconds to really calm the nervous system and decompress.
8. Once I get home, I take a warm shower to ground my energy, do abyhanga body massage with oil, and get cozy with a cup of herbal tea -- chammomile, skullcap, rose or lavender are ideal. Many people will go out for drinks with their friends after work or chat on the phone to 'blow off steam', but you've just been exerting so much energy exchange throughout your day and it's time to put that energy into you!
9. Take advantage of your days off to give yourself some services: Chirporactic adjustments (read more to find out the benefits!), Massages, and Yoga are so important! to balance your nervous system, ground your energy and give yourself some love.
10. Another simple breathing exercise to do whenever you feel overwhelmed or overworked is to breathe in through your nose and hold the breath as you mentally say, "Light of Light" three times. Then exhale through the nose. Be careful not to feel faint while holding the breath this long! I do this sometimes while I'm diffusing a client's hair. You can access it anytime you have a quick moment to just let go of stress.
Lastly, be gentle with yourself and let your gifts shine in your work!
I hope you can utilize some or all of these practices in your life, and if you could use a little assistance, I'm here to help by giving you custom yoga and meditation practices, hands on healing, and menu planning tips! Please feel free to let me know how I can help you!