As reflexologists we are all busy talking about self-care daily, and supporting our clients with their health and well-being needs. However, how many practitioners take care of themselves too?
Running your own business is a busy task; you will wear many different hats and carry out many roles, often juggling family life alongside it. This can leave you feeling jaded and tired.
How many of you have a day full of treatments with clients, then sort out the family and household duties, ending the day scrolling through Facebook or emails to catch up on things you have missed?
How many of you feel jaded?
If the answer to these questions is “yes”, then it’s time to act and plan your self-care routine.
What is self-care?
For me, self-care encompasses how we can take care of ourselves daily to improve our overall health and well-being, both physically and emotionally. It is about balance, moving more, eating well (and yes having the odd treat ) and taking care of our mental well-being. If you get this balance right, you should feel energised and refreshed, which will only have a positive impact on your business.
Self-care also includes knowing where to seek advice from when we feel unwell such as your GP, pharmacist or A&E department.
It can take many forms, from receiving a reflexology treatment, attending a fitness class, or simply enjoying a long soak in the bath. We will all enjoy different activities that make us feel great and keep us healthy.
My favourite self-care activities include meditation, tai chi, reflexology, lunch out with friends, long lazy baths, nutritious food, walks in the countryside, gardening, and time laughing with friends and family.
I would also add being organised and positive to this list. Being organised helps me to manage my time efficiently between work and time for me, it helps me to keep the balance right.
Being positive is something which is crucial; of course, we all have times when we feel like our glass is half-empty, but being positive and speaking positively about ourselves really does make a huge impact.
Remember, self-care is hugely important, it shouldn’t come last on your to-do list, and only be practised when you feel you’re about to burnout.
‘I don’t have time!’
Speaking with practitioners, many feel they don’t have time to adopt a self-care routine for themselves, but I believe this is possible. Try out the exercise below to get you started.
1) Make a list
Sit down for 10 minutes and make a note of the things that are not working for you at the moment. Be honest and yes you can be negative. Listen to your heart and see what comes up. This list may include “I never have time for me” or “I am tired”.
2) Flip the list
Now you’ve had some time to yourself, it’s time to flip that list. For example, you may have written “I am tired, I don’t get enough sleep” you can then flip it and say “I need to get more sleep”.
Flip each point so your list says what you need more of. If the list is long, you may feel a little overwhelmed, if this is the case you can focus on just a couple of things on the list and make those changes first.
3) Ask for support
Don’t be afraid to ask loved ones for help. For example, if sleep was identified as an area which you needed more of, ask a partner or family member if they could look after the children so you can have a lie in. Remember it’s okay to ask for help.
4) Plan time for self-care
Take an honest look at how you spend your time each day.
How much time are you delivering treatments?
How much time are you spending on Facebook and Instagram?
How much time is spent answering client calls and emails?
If you take just 10 minutes from your day, every day, think about how you could spend that time doing something to fill you up and recharge?
Add those 10 minutes up through the week and you have spent 70 whole minutes doing something just for you! Bliss!
5) Time to plan
Time to take out your diary and plan. Add your 10 minutes into your diary every day. Think about how you would like to spend it, reading a book, relaxing in the garden, chatting to a friend, meditating with an app such as Headspace… whatever the activity, put it in your diary and make it happen.
You can even write it on your noticeboard as a constant reminder.
Remember, self-care is hugely important, it shouldn’t come last on your to-do list, you should practice it often and not when you feel you’re about to burnout. It will make you feel great and be a better practitioner too!
Let me know what self-care activities you like to enjoy, and how you fit it in to your schedule.
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Kelly Hainsworth is the founder of Love Reflexology, a mentor – and a successful reflexologist – with a passion not only to support her clients, but all reflexologists within their businesses. She provides business mentoring and social media workshops to help therapists and tutors create the business they desire. To work with Kelly head to her website.