With the busy period almost upon us, this month already seems to be crazy busy for many stylists who are squeezing in as many clients as they can, working longer hours and taking less breaks.
But while the financial return may be great to see, your mental and physical health can take a battering. Matrix Artist Ambassador, Ria Kulik, believes it’s important to recognise the symptoms of burnout before it’s too late – both in yourself and your team.
“I start to notice when the smallest of things are making a person really stressed, when you start clock watching to see how long it is until your next sleep, then sleeping but waking up just as exhausted, feeling like you have lost touch with friends and family, like you are on a relentless hamster wheel, wondering when you will enjoy your job again, finding that others are irritating you more,” she explains.
“Even though you should say no, you just say yes to everything, and throwing yourself into more work to try and regain the spark for the job. I’ve been there before myself when you feel like your brain is completely full, it feels like it’s about to burst, and it can’t cope with any more questions from people, problem solving or decisions to make other than the task in hand at that particular moment in time. That’s the point I can tell when someone needs a little reassuring and possibly a hug that things will be OK..
Ria says there are five steps to take to avoid feeling overwhelmed
- Self care
You are the priority. If you care for yourself first, then you will be able to care for your clients better. If you think you are burnt out, then today is the day you put yourself first.
- Set professional boundaries
Mainly the hours you work. Pick how many hours you are going to work and stick to them, you can’t be accommodating to everyone, and it will encourage clients to become more organised in the future which will help you feel organised in your day to day. Stay away from doing ‘favours’ by coming in early or staying late for people. Protect yourself and ask them to find another appointment that suits them.
- Turn that phone off
Another big one for people is being contacted by clients at any time of the day and night. With social media and emailing being a massive part of how clients contact you, only contact clients during your working hours. Or set aside time in a day to get back to those clients. A polite, automated message explaining this goes a long way; people understand and it takes a massive pressure off you.
- Enjoy the little things in life
Make sure you have booked some real down time away from work. Whether it is seeing friends and family or going to your favourite spa for the day, put that phone on aeroplane mode and allow yourself to enjoy life.
- Plan to invest in yourself and your skills.
Taking a day away from the grind and educating yourself is a great way of boosting yourself up and is a great way to meet others in the same position.
Ria’s top tips for avoiding burnout
- Set boundaries.
- Stick to your allocated working hours and schedule.
- Turn your phone off or put it away for a day on your days off.
- Give yourself some me time, even if it’s just 15-minutes a day of quietness. Close your eyes and check in with yourself. Maybe with your morning cup of tea? Dog walk? In the shower.? Even better, try meditation.
- Make sure you laugh at least once a day. It releases natural, happy endorphins that will help you feel so much better and help connect you back to your old self.
- Reconnect with friends and family and ask to see them for an hour to spend some quality time. This will help ground you back down to earth and help you see what really matters in this life.
- Allow yourself to feel upset and sorry for yourself for a day if that’s what you need to do to cope with the daily grind of it all. Spend some time on your own doing nice things just for you.
Ria describes the symptoms to look out for in your team
- Exhaustion, no matter how much time you give yourself to relax, you don’t/can’t relax.
- Feeling overwhelmed. The little things start becoming big problems for you to handle.
- No balance between work and life.
- Feeling very Stressed.
- Sometimes can feel anxious and suffer more with controlling your mental health.
- Becoming resentful of your job. Loss of enthusiasm.
To learn more, follow @Matrix on Instagram and visit www.matrixhaircare.co.uk.