Is Self-Care Just Drama?
Self-care used to be considered hokey or unnecessary fluff. But recent statistics reveal that stress levels of about half of all Americans are getting worse instead of getting better.
Now, large companies, leaders, activists and volunteer organizations see the essential need and benefits of healthy habits and self-care is as necessary, as loving your children.
Obviously, self-care isn’t just melodrama. It is essential for maintaining wellness and self-love. In short, it will keep you healthy and sane.
We, at Up Your Salon Game, have taken it a step further by creating for you a 7- day challenge, and all the necessary support you need is in this downloadable Self-Care Survival Kit.
There are 8 areas of self-care in this guide adapted from habitsforwellbeing.com. We want to make sure that we will take on a holistic approach in the challenge that we have prepared for you. You can use these to jumpstart your self-care routine as you pursue holistic wellness.
What Does Self-Care Mean to You?
What I hope and dream for, is you discovering a new, and deeper relationship with yourself. What would that look like for you?
- more sleep
- showing gratitude
- more nature
- talking to a friend more regularly
- wearing your mask
- time with your husband
- uninterrupted with your child
- being more honest with yourself
- cleaning out one closet
- eating less
- eating more
- taking a lunch
- buying less
- start that meditation practice
- more time with yourself
- prepare your meals
- to name a few.
Completing this challenge means taking your own health and well-being into your own hands.
The 7-day Challenge
Day 1: Physical Self-Care
Eating habits in salon back rooms can be pretty scary. Indulgence comes to mind. It’s like a bunch of vultures whenever food comes out. People stealing each other’s food, eating whatever is quick and easy, or spending money on lunches that leave us feeling bad, because we just blew our budget for meals.
Mindset reset. How you eat can set the tone for your day, and your life?
This is where nurturing yourself has to take priority, if you don’t want health issues down the road.
Eating fresh food can feel like a luxury, particularly in some parts of the country where fresh is not readily available. Choose organic with thin-skinned veggies and fruits, if you can.
When grocery shopping, avoid the middle aisles. These aisles are mostly filled with additive filled foods that do us little good.
Add these enriching oils to your diet:
- olive oil
- avocado oil
- pumpkin seed oil
- flaxseed oil
- Coconut oil for high heat cooking and use with food that benefit from the flavor
Add whole grains to your diet, soaking beans and grains with a couple of tablespoons of vinegar first
Choosing nuts, veggies, hummus, hard boiled egg, veggie smoothie from home, for snacks during the day if you need energy
Lessen your sugar intake. If you do have a sweet tooth, have a piece of dark chocolate, or bake something from home. Fresh is always better
Enjoy nurturing yourself and see what a difference it makes to actually support your health while in the salon.
Day 2: Psychological Self-Care
Okay, take five minutes today and sit with yourself.
Each day, take five more. Keep adding time, until you are up to 30 minutes.
feet on the ground
palms down on your lap
rest your eyes in front of you, or close them
relax your jaw
Now, place your attention on your breath, particularly the out breath.
Whenever your mind gets busy with thoughts, simply say the word to yourself, “Thinking”, and bring your attention back to the out breath.
Meditation practice not only supports your health and well-being, but helps:
- reduce stress
- gain new perspective
- build stress management skills
- help you in the salon with stressful situations
- focus on the present
- increase imagination and creativity
- sleep better
- increase patience
- become more self-aware
- decrease negative emotions
I hope you can see there is everything to gain from sitting…
Day 3: Spiritual Self-Care
Being in nature is another way for us to connect to ourselves, and offers a chance to realign our mind and body. Walking in it, allows for our head to clear the clutter. We get in touch with our heart, our breath, and our bodies.
Everything moves so fast in this world, the need to ground our bodies is crucial to our being able to be present in our lives.
Feel the wind on your face
Feel the dampness on your skin
Smell the dry earth
Listen to all that is going on when you are out there
Let your senses come to life, and bring that to your next consultation.
Enjoy your day!
Day 4: Social Self-Care
Our mental health, particularly as we move into this third spike in the pandemic, is to be nurtured. The need for connection with family and friends is key to our well-being.
We need to remember voicing our concerns, questions, and fears, and calling attention to the grief and sorrow is SO important and needed.
This is self-care.
Zoom with a good friend.
Call a friend.
Write a letter to a friend or family member.
Remember, our kids are watching. Show them what self-care looks like.
Day 5: Financial Self-Care
That is right. Place a moratorium on your shopping for a week. Nothing. Zero.
How many people do you know that spend, spend, spend on expensive clothes, and shoes? Their closets filled, and yet their hearts ache for something deeper. They just can’t get enough to fill the empty space.
The empty space is where the richness lays. Do we dare to feel whatever is there?
This is self-care.
Day 6: Environmental Care
Years ago I mentioned taking a digital detox, and now, it even seems more important.
Our devices can very easily take over our lives in the guise of saving time. But in actuality, adults are spending 10-12 hours a day on their devices! Yikes. And we are setting an example for our kids?
So much screen time can add to:
Depression and anxiety
Chronic back neck pain
Shutting down an hour before bed allows us to slow our minds down and rest our eyes.
Keep screens away from where you eat and sleep.
Time away from our screens allows us to get back in touch with the humans in our lives.
Pick up a book instead. How rare it is to even see a book in someone’s hand? Who knows you may even get through the stack of best sellers near your bed at some point?
Sundays are great days to enjoy a digital detox.
Day 7: Professional Self- Care
Mondays are great days to take a mental or written inventory of where you are in your business.
As you relax today, think about your salon life to figure out where you sell yourself short. Do you undermine your fellow stylists, your manager, the owner, your clients, and most importantly– yourself?
Three points for you to consider here.
- Boundaries are absolutely necessary. They act as your bumper rails as you are out in your salons, they help guide you, and mold your clientele. The stronger and clearer you are, the more people can support you, and your values. Your values will actually be more evident without you even speaking about them if your boundaries are clear.
- Your conversations in the chair ought to be about the client. Be mindful of topics you bring up. Let them lead. Inform yourself about the world
- Communication- clean, honest, no blame. Learn to communicate from the I position rather than You, which inevitably makes people defensive. Always ask your clients permission to take a photo, and you better have a photo release signed and filed when you post on social media
How Are You Creating Balance in the Midst of a Pandemic?
With so much unpredictability, it is understandable that our balance in life and work may feel off kilter. Creating life-work balance in the midst of a pandemic may seem like a tale from the Disney Channel or something.
We may feel edgier, snapping at our loved ones or short with cautious clients. But the truth is, we really have no control over the situation as a whole. Our best attempts at keeping calm may completely disappear at times, especially if you feel your bottom line continues to be affected by this pandemic.
A Taste of Balance
Some of what keeps us moving forward, is reaching for balance; because it really is the natural order of things. Life got real simple during the shelter in place orders. With reduced schedules, you may have more time on your hands.
This was a radical change for most of us. You may have found your natural rhythm again. Maybe more cooking instead of fast food, more time with your families and/or pets, and walks or yoga. We got a taste of what it felt like to not have work be the focus of our lives, and to live more simply. We got more of our life back.It’s not to say that this was easy. Au contraire. It was stressful, hard, scary, and humbling. How we emerge from this time is very powerful. Can we retain some of the feeling of wrapping our work around our life, instead of the other way around?
Your Sphere of Control
Due to circumstances out of our control– cut hours, no double booking, etc., we can only focus on what we do have control over. That is– our actions and our words.Your actions, how you hold this precarious situation, and how you speak about it. These are the pathways to discovering balance.Yes, words matter. There is power in words. How do you speak about things? Listen to yourself. Do you like what you are saying? This is not the time to throw caution to the wind, and it is also not a time to be so constricted, that joy has little room to blossom.
Two Foundational Truths
So how do we create balance? I talk about life-work balance with so much passion because I believe it is more than essential. Over 3 decades as a salon professional, I found it to be the main ingredient in keeping you from going over the edge or getting totally burned out. Here are 2 foundational truths in achieving balance, keep you grounded and thrive in our demanding industry.
1. Setting Boundaries Around Your Talent and Gift
No kidding. It took me a long time to figure out that saying YES to every date, client, friend or family was not the quickest way to achieving some level of stability in my life. About ten years in, I realized I didn’t want to cut hair at every family gathering. So, I stopped bringing my scissors home every trip.
Yes, it feels good to offer a gift of a haircut when you haven’t seen people for a while. You want to do something to keep yourself busy when Uncle Billy starts drinking too much, or your brother and you start talking politics. Having something to do can keep you out of trouble, in other words.
However, if you find now that it is expected every time you visit, and resentment is building up, perhaps it’s time to leave the scissors behind, and begin saying no.
2. Remembering Your “WHY”
Although you may be passionate about cutting hair, it’s important to schedule time to explore other parts of your life.
Remembering WHY you cut hair, beyond the money, beyond recognition, allows you to go deeper. Is it to provide for your family? To afford a certain lifestyle? Is it to employ others, and enable them to make a living? Is the “Why” about sharing your creativity?
All these questions invite you to go deeper. Allow this underlying through line in your career to give you balance, nothing to prove, just quietly going about your business.
What about the different aspects of your life that offer other ways that are needed to feed your emotional and spiritual life?
Saying NO to the last client so that you may take that violin lesson, watch your kids’ soccer game, learn a language, or a date with your companion, husband or wife.
This is balance– getting to a place that you can wrap your work around your priorities and the vision for your life. Maybe it means you do with a little less of a paycheck to do so. These are the moments we will remember.
At the end of the day, our job as salon professionals is an exchange for money. No more, no less.
If you are passionate about your hairstyling career, you are lucky. Passion is awesome, but it doesn’t mean you have to work 24/7. That’s old school. Trust this passion and have work wrap around your life. Not the other way around.
I know for myself, I find that I am reluctant to go back full on in my studio, I sometimes go in a little later, and end a little earlier. This is what I find works for my family life.
I mark spaces out in my calendar ahead of time to create some cushion. I can always fill the slot with a client. I like knowing that I have these windows of time available. I am protecting my time with more awareness.
How about you? How do you maintain your balance?
Are You Ready to Adapt in Salons Post SIP Orders?
The beauty industry has been hit hard by Covid-19 and the shelter in place (SIP) orders. This actually translates to a whopping $57.9 billion estimated drop in the industry this year.
We have all witnessed the effects of the pandemic in varying degrees in our respective practice as salon professionals.
Your independent stylist practice or the salon you work in may feel and look different. You may be noticing a slow down in business. Some clients are not returning yet, others clients are still afraid to step inside businesses. Of course, we understand and expect that, but it may be freaking tough out internally.
You may not be working at full capacity, not able to double-book like you used to. Or you may not be able to see as many clients in a day, working less hours. It’s crazy, right? We never thought there would be external influences like this on our ability to work.
But the beauty industry has always been resilient in the past. We can always find ways to bounce back.
The question now is…
How do we adapt when we don’t even know if we’ve landed on any firm ground yet?
I suggest a three-pronged approach which we will cover over the next three weeks. We will discuss measures that you can take in the areas of Business and Money, Life Work Balance, and Self-care.
Let’s tackle Business and Money this week. Here are the 3 simple but effective action steps you can take right now to adjust to the new normal:
1. Track Finances
Figure out your cash flow for the next six months. Staying on top of your finances will help you adjust your spending accordingly and will help you see any income gaps.
Do you need to make an extra $500 to buy that new salon equipment that might go on sale this Black Friday? Then you can make saving plans with the help of a simple cash flow chart.
Keeping track of my income and expenses monthly and forecasting six months out helped me get out of debt, and SAVE. If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that we need to SAVE more. You can’t see what you don’t track. Remember, cash is king. Save it!
You can check out my sample Cash Flow Chart here. So you can start tracking right away!
2. Show Client Appreciation
Reach out to every client that has referred a new client to you in the last six months and write them a thank you note.
Our existing clients are gold. They already know us. And if they referred us to others, it means we have delivered. Going the extra mile by showing that we appreciate their recommendations ensures that we stay “top of mind” as a stylist.
I’ve even called clients and they so appreciate it. Think about it, those people who are timid of coming out get a call from their stylist? They love it, not only do they feel appreciated, but we cannot underestimate the power of our voices. You will enjoy hearing theirs as well. Even if they don’t come back, you are putting energy and good will out into the world. This goodness will come back to you.
The clients I’ve called, whom I served for years and haven’t returned yet are still sending checks for their services. This is the power of maintaining some continuity in your communication with your clients and saying “thank you”.
3. Innovate Ways to Connect
Use technology available to make your client feel confident about your services in these uncertain times.
That’s right, for those clients who haven’t returned yet, they might be anxious. They need to see what the process is like walking into the salon, post SIP orders.
So create a welcome video right from your phone and include it in an email. Or a quick salon video tour showing them exactly what will happen when they walk in. They will value the insight and ensure you are taking protocol seriously.
Assuring your clients that you are looking out for their safety and going out of your way to connect with them means a lot. These simple actions show that you are competent and you truly care for their safety.
Our connection with clients needs nurturing in order to to make lasting relationships. If we delight our clients by building true friendships that go beyond the stylist and customer relationship, we are making an indelible mark in their lives.
As we prepare our businesses and careers during the new normal, we don’t just talk of business as mere numbers or money. Success in our industry involves building relationships and nurturing our clientele. We could be the only people listening to our clients’ challenges, concerns or worries from behind the chair.
During these uncertain times, it is these tried and true business strategies that work. The steps I’ve shared with you are simple and easily actionable. Implement them and let me know how it goes for you.
Make sure to watch for tips on how to maintain Life-Work balance as a salon professional in these unprecedented times.
Working towards building your own business or diving into a new career comes with a wave of different emotions. Sometimes you’re highly motivated by your passion and the endless possibilities that wait for you up ahead; other times you’re overwhelmed with challenges and constant self-doubt. All the different emotions you experience are all part of the journey.
Woman with a knitted sweater
When you feel like you’re in a rut or are in need of new inspiration to fuel that business idea, job search, or passion project – use that as an opportunity to revisit creative outlets you used to love, or explore new ones.
Putting a paintbrush to paper, canvas, or an object you find around the house is an effective and low-key way to spark creativity. Painting ignites your imagination and lets you see familiar things from a different perspective or in an entirely new light. Letting your paintbrush freely move about your canvas puts your brain into exploration mode and helps you to become more innovative with your ideas.
[tweetthis]”Inspiration for our work can come from watching a sunset at the beach.” REBECCA BEARDSLEY[/tweetthis]
Whether it be in a blog post or a journal, writing can draw out your inner most thoughts and dreams. It’s been said that some people don’t truly know how they’re feeling until they see the words come out on paper. If you’ve been thinking about writing but have been hesitant because you feel you don’t know what to write about, just grab a pen and paper and start. The words will come to you, and they might even be in the form of new goals and ideas. Start by simply reflecting on things that make you happy, things that make you sad, or perhaps things about the world around you that you wish you could change.
Moving your body is a great way to let loose. It’s helps to free up space in your mind, making room for new ideas. In addition to boosting energy, reducing stress, and minimizing the side effects of depression, dancing actually has a way of helping you make better decisions. When you find yourself faced with a number of different directions you could go in, blast your favorite high-energy music and dance it out in the privacy of your home or out on the dance floor!
There’s nothing quite like getting your creative juices flowing by putting your hands in the dirt! There are a ton of different garden activities that are good for both your mental and physical health. When you’re feeling so overwhelmed you feel like throwing in the towel, imagine how good it would feel to get your hands in the soil and pull out some pesky weeds. This will help you let go of some of that frustration and allow space for solutions and new ideas. Something as simple as raking dead leaves can also give you that similar satisfaction. Think of the leaves strewn about your lawn as your problems and stresses. Raking them away leaves your lawn looking healthy, fresh, and with plenty more room to grow. That action represents you clearing your mind of things that no longer serve you, making more room for you to grow as a person, entrepreneur, or creative.
Other ways that can help you reignite your creativity are things like knitting, re-organizing a section of your home, daily exercise, trying out new recipes, and so much more.
Your creativity is what makes you unique. You need to constantly nurture it so it continues to grow, blossom, and help you achieve all the glorious things you want out of your life.
There are lots of technical details that play into going solo, and there are a lot of things that you need to get straightened out before you start. But in the end, it’s all about your character. How much do you know about operating a business, and how hard will you work to get there? Even if you have a killer business plan and a phenomenal customer base, your venture will ultimately fail if you’re not willing to work. With that in mind, here are the top four signs that you’re ready to become an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneur hairstylist cutting hair in his salon.
You’re ready to work hard. Entrepreneurs don’t become successful overnight! It takes months, and sometimes years, of work to build up a steady customer flow and make a decent living from your own business. Are you willing to stick it out for the long run?
You know your personal brand and how to sell it. Entrepreneurship is all about selling yourself first and your products second. Why should a potential customer select you? Having an “elevator speech” is the best way to know if you’re ready to take the plunge.
You’re financially responsible in your personal life. If you aren’t responsible for your own resources, it’s foolish to invest in purchasing equipment and products for a start-up business. Business finances are much harder than personal expenses, which is why fiscal responsibility is an essential character trait for entrepreneurs.
[tweetthis]”You need to understand yourself before you leap into entrepreneurship.” REBECCA BEARDSLEY[/tweetthis]
You have a clearly defined end goal. This doesn’t have to be in the form of a business plan or official document; the most important part of being an entrepreneur is keeping up your motivation, no matter how you do it. Whether it’s providing for your kids, paying for your marriage, or eliminating debt, you won’t be ready to start your own business until you have a reason why.
These four character traits are essential before going into business by yourself. If you’re considering starting your own salon, make sure that you have these qualities before you invest your time and money into a business venture! If you lack a few on this list, it’s perfectly OK–all you need is time to develop them. And for that process, working in a pre-existing salon might be just what you need.
If you’ve decided to work for a salon, it can be hard to choose which one. Urban and suburban areas often have a lot of options to choose from, and the process can seem overwhelming at first. But not to worry! In most cases, you can decide whether or not a salon is a good fit with just three simple questions.
Hairstylists helping each other cut a blonde girl’s hair.
What does this salon have to offer?
Of course, you need to consider pay. Sometimes the perfect rate is just handed to you, but other times you’ll need to negotiate for the price you deserve. But there are other things that can set a salon apart from the rest. Consider the benefits of working for the company, like vacation days, discounts, or health insurance. If a company is generous, it’s usually a good place to work.
[tweetthis]”Choose a salon environment that suits your nature, and you can commit to.” REBECCA BEARDSLEY[/tweetthis]
What do they expect of me?
You want to choose a job that suits your life; never build your life around a job. When you are looking into a salon, make sure to clarify what hours you’d need to work both at the beginning of your career and when you are more experienced. Many companies make new employees work harder shifts or more often, so check with your potential employer for details on when and how much you’ll have to work.
Do I enjoy the people and the environment?
When you work at a salon, the staff becomes your family. You have the opportunity to really get to know the people you work with and create lifelong relationships that can also spark your career. Before you accept any job offer, be sure to interact with the current employees. Make sure that they are the kind of people you want to have around you. The best co-workers are uplifting, open, and friendly, even when they are having a rough day on the job.
These three questions are some of the most essential things to consider when choosing a salon job. Don’t get caught unprepared and work awful hours with people you can’t stand. Instead, do a lot of research into your salon of choice, and concentrate your applications on the few salons that best suit you.
So you’re considering going solo?
Before you take out that first loan from the bank, make sure that you know all the details of what it takes to be successful on your own. If you do your research up front and create a great business plan, you have a much better chance of achieving success. With that in mind, here are 10 important parts of being your own boss that you can’t forget about.
Solo hairdresser standing in front of her chair
- Taxes. Keeping a detailed record of your expenses and income is crucial for staying both legal and successful. Before you get started, figure out your best strategy for staying organized.
- Licenses. Make sure you have all of the licenses, whether business or hair related, required to operate in your state. This will most likely include an LLC licensing to protect your business property from lawsuits or damage.
- Clientele. When you switch to your own business, you can expect to lose some of your clients. Have a plan for how you will retain your clients and keep up your business flow.
- Booking. Online booking systems are essential for success in today’s technological world. Do some research about the best systems and software for your size and goals.
- Products. As you know, salons spend a hefty portion of their budget on products. Choose your products wisely, and see if you can find any promotion deals.
- Marketing. How are you going to make up for the customers who left when you switched business platforms? The answer to this question will dictate how you run your business in the early stages, so be sure to have a clear marketing strategy.
- Staff. You’ll need to decide whether or not you want to work alone. You can take on a partner to start a company together, or you can hire new people later in the game. Whichever path you choose, you need a plan from the beginning.
- Savings. Set up accounts to keep your money secure. Don’t put it all into a checking account; instead, establish a savings account to keep your finances secure for a rainy day.
- Training. You have all of the hair styling skills necessary to run your business, but what about financial, marketing, and customer service skills? Don’t be afraid to invest some capital into a training class in your weak areas.
- Planning. Have a long-term plan before you spend a dollar on your business; make sure you know where you are going and how you’re getting there.
These 10 things are the most essential parts of starting a new business, and letting just one slip through the cracks can be a disaster. Spend a lot of time up-front making sure that you are ready to go solo, and your business will profit long-term.
In your hairdressing career, one of the most important choices to make is where you will work. Some professionals choose to work for a pre-existing salon, whether a chain or a local businesses. But others decide to create their own opportunity by going solo. Here are three important questions to ask yourself that can help you determine what’s right for you.
2 female hair stylists doing clients hair at a hair salon. (more…)
Life presents beautiful convergences and happenstance along its pathways. What happens when you are a budding or seasoned stylist and reach a defining moment? Who comprises your support system? Who provides advice to you at critical stages?
Most people turn to their parents at pivotal junctures in life because it is natural for children to look for parental approval. After all, parents guide their children from birth onwards and know not only who their children are as adults, but the person’s inner child.
When should you seek parental advice and how big of a role must it play in your decision?
Obviously, don’t search for parental advice if you they were abusive, absent, or you are otherwise estranged. If you have a healthy relationship, run the situation past them. Parents are fantastic at linking your best interests with your course of action. They tend to support what is best for their child; it’s just an instinct. If your parents play a financial role within your life, you have a little less wiggle room.
[tweetthis]”There comes a time when you realize your parents may know better.” REBECCA BEARDSLEY[/tweetthis]
They are also individuals themselves with their own attitudes, traditions, and values. There comes a point in many people’s lives where they build their own identity, irregardless of what an older generation finds acceptable. Parental advice carries more weight when it’s linked to financial ties or in certain cultures, but you are still in control of your destiny. After all, where there’s a will, there’s a way!
How do you approach your parents for advice?
As with looking for advice from anyone, approach them at a quiet, convenient time. It’s never an idea to ask your parents, say, whether they think you need to buy your dream home while on the middle of a crowded interstate. Pick a time when people aren’t stressed out from external circumstances, so they focus on what you’re saying and participate in the conversation.
Arriving at a crossroads, or anticipating a change of direction, is deeply personal rollercoaster. Often, we naturally seek out the advice and guidance of those in our lives. Crossroads represent major turning points since no one possesses magical powers or genie bottles for predicting the future. When we reach a turning point, we like to bounce off ideas to those closest in our life, such as boyfriends, spouses, or partners. Since crossroads are often personal journeys, when is it appropriate to heed the advice of others?