Let's talk about self care.
I don't mean the stuff you give to clients. The exercises you recommend to help them with their condition. The hot baths. The stretches. The new pillows or back rests or knee braces.
I'm talking about taking care of yourself (which is actually taking care of your business too, but more on that in a bit).
As massage therapists you probably tend to spend a lot of time treating your clients and genuinely care about their well-being. I certainly know I was like that as an RMT and heck, I'm still like that now! But how much time do you spend caring for yourself?
When was the last time you got a massage instead of giving one? Do you go for regular treatments of other kinds that your body needs? Do you get regular exercise? Do you feed your body good healthy food (with a few treats here and there because life's more interesting that way)?
It’s super common for folks in caregiving jobs like massage therapy to neglect their own health in order to serve others. They feel like they just don’t have time for that stuff with all of the responsibilities in their lives, like building their practices, making time for family and friends, raising children, and all the other stuff that comes along with ‘adulting’.
But you’re doing everyone a serious disservice by doing this. Not just yourself, but everyone else around you.
You can’t realistically be at the top of your game if you’re not taking care of yourself. When you don't take care of you, working with clients will be harder. You'll feel less motivated to do the things you need to do to build your practice. You'll find it's harder to make time for the people who are important to you.
There's also another side to this whole 'taking care of yourself' thing. If you’re telling your clients they need to take time for self care (and that probably includes coming in for a treatment with you!), you really should be doing the same thing yourself. No one likes a ‘do as I say, not as I do!’ attitude. And if you're giving them advice that you've taken yourself and can share a bit about your own results, that makes it so much more likely they'll follow through with their own self care. It's really a win/win situation!
In my own life I recently realized I needed to take more time to take care of myself. I wasn’t taking the time I needed to be at my best and do the things that are important to me. So I took most of the summer away from social media and most non-work-related computer time in order to spend more time on other things. Like running, doing creative projects that I never seem to have time for, and getting some massages!
So book yourself a treatment with a trusted colleague. Cook more healthy meals instead of grabbing takeout. Take a break from paperwork to sit in the sun. Whatever you need to do to be at your best, make sure you make it a priority.
Because you can’t take proper care of your clients and your business if you don’t take care of yourself.