There’s a running joke in the groomer community that by the end of the holidays, we are just a pile of bones left for the dogs to chew on. But what if I told you we can give the best of ourselves and still have our sanity and bodies intact when it’s all over?
Self-awareness plays a huge role in the tips I’m about to share with you. As you read on, if you just can’t see how a tip will work for you, don’t dismiss it completely. I invite you to actively think about what could work for you to achieve the same result.
This year is very different from past years. Many of us don’t know what to expect. Will people still need their dog done for the holidays if relatives aren’t coming over? Will people cancel out of fear? Will people book at all? Or maybe your salon is dealing with the same overflow of clients it always does this time of year. No matter what you’re dealing with being a groomer in 2020, these tips can help.
1. Answer every question you’ll have tomorrow
What am I going to wear? What will I have for breakfast and lunch? How will I do my hair? Every question you don’t have to answer in a day means less brain power is being used, which translates to more mental space to solve problems more calmly.
2. Prioritize a lunch break
I know for some of you this sounds crazy, especially in the middle of the holidays. You barely have time to get through 6 doodles in a day, how can you make time for lunch? The answer is - you don’t have time to not take a lunch. When you skip lunch, your body is running on empty fumes until the end of the day. You begin dragging when you still have two whole dogs left to groom. You actually spend more time dragging on those two dogs than you would have if you rested and fueled up at lunch. For highly physical jobs like grooming, eating lunch boosts your mood, energy, productivity, and metabolism. If you truly can’t find time to eat lunch, break it up into smaller portions you can eat in 5 minutes or less throughout the day.
3. Plan time for yourself
This doesn’t have to be some long, drawn-out task. You could plan time for your evening in the middle of your day like deciding you’ll take an Epsom Salt bath when you get home. If you’re a reader, pick out which book you’ll read in the morning and put it in your favorite reading spot with a bag of tea already in the cup you’ll drink it from. The length of your alone time doesn’t matter - the most important thing is tuning in. Feel this moment wholly and completely and let everything else go, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. If you’re more of a phone surfer, you can still do that but with one stipulation:
4. Scroll with Intention
Before you tap on Instagram, Facebook, or any other social media you like to use, stop and check in with yourself. How are you feeling? When we scroll our timelines without intention or awareness, we open ourselves up to whatever emotion the poster wants us to feel. This can leave us feeling even more wild, overwhelmed, and out-of-control. Take control of your scrolling time to prevent adding stress to your load.
Use polarization to decide how you want to use your screen time. Polarization is the act of consciously bringing yourself to the opposite emotional state of what you feel now. If you’re feeling stressed from your day, search for hashtags and profiles that make you feel relaxed. If you’re angry at something a client said to you, search for comedy. If you’re stuck on a problem that needs a solution, search Facebook groups for that specific question. If you need to stay off social media but are having a hard time resisting the urge to tap on that icon, delete it. It will take less than a minute to install it back on your phone when you’re ready.
5. Take Care of Your Body
Many groomers extend their hours during the holidays and jam pack as many dogs as they can in before Christmas as possible. Personally, I choose to keep my schedule at normal capacity and if my mental and physical state is up to it, I call in someone on the cancellation list. But that’s what’s best for me. Extended hours and guaranteed full slots may work best for others! If you’re one of them, just keep in mind that your body is not used to a workload like this on a regular basis so you’ll need to give it more awareness, fuel, and gratitude than normal for being amazing and working so hard for you.
It helps to think of your body as something separate from you when you are building awareness. Whenever you eat, you can think to yourself, “You’re doing a great job, body! You feel empty, here’s some fuel! Keep up the good work.” When you stretch, think “This is really going to help you move tomorrow, thanks for what you did today.” As natural caregivers, sometimes it’s too easy to put ourselves last. If we can think of our bodies as something separate...something that only lives, blossoms, and thrives when we care for it...we can then begin to create self-love and self-awareness even during the chaos of the holidays.
Follow Déja on social media @truevibesunleashed.