Dayspa

JAN 2014

DAYSPA is the business resource for spa & wellness professionals! Each issue covers the latest in skin care, spa treatments, wellness services and management strategies.

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YOUR WELLNESS SPA Mind-Body Health Heal Thyself Help yourself and your staff quiet inner stress—and become better client role models—with an "om" approach to the work day. By Sandra Lee 48 DAYSPA | JANUARY 2014 Pre-Work STRATEGIES Practice acceptance Nothing guarantees a stressful start to the day more than running late, whether it's due to a broken alarm clock or a traffic tie-up. And unfortunately, when it comes to getting from point A to point B, there's no shortage of variables over which we have no control. According to Kurt Johnsen, owner and lead yoga instructor of American Power Yoga in Dallas, yoga instructors are trained to handle such incidences of everyday stress. They understand that a leading cause of stress is resistance, so the best strategy is to simply not resist! Expect a variety of events to take place throughout the course of the day and learn to embrace them. Such acceptance helps in the practice of nonattachment, a key element in meditation. Eat stress-fighting foods What you eat when you first wake up has an impact on how well your body and mind can handle any stresstriggering events to come. Certain foods, such as almonds, pears, apples and nutmeg, are natural stress-busters that can easily be incorporated into your diet. A simple protein shake containing these foods that you can drink on your way to work in the morning is an easy way to start the day, armed against stress. Set your intentions Be mindful of the day before it starts, by deciding in advance what you want it to be like. Jude Bijou, a psychotherapist and author of Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life (Riviera Press, 2011), suggests establishing a transitional activity to practice before stepping into the workplace, such as sitting in your car and taking a minute to honor yourself. "Intention rituals" like this can really make a difference. TOP: © (C) WEBPHOTOGRAPHEER/GETTY; BOTTOM: © ISTOCKPHOTO.COM As you sit crossed-legged, eyes closed and hands on your knees, you tell yourself: "In and out, just focus on your breathing." But it only takes about 2.5 seconds before conscious thought takes over: "Was that last client satisfied?… I have to schedule a staff meeting… There's so much I need to get done at home..." As your thoughts accumulate, so does your stress. Meanwhile, your next client is looking for a relaxing experience and is counting on your spa to deliver. Sound familiar? On the outside, a spa is a haven where guests come to rejuvenate and release the turmoil of their day. And, ideally, these clients never notice that the spas they visit may also harbor the workplace strain they are trying to get away from. But creating this atmosphere of total calm requires commitment and vigilance. And it starts and ends with you and your staff. In a recent nationwide poll by the American Psychology Association, nearly 65% of American adults listed work as a significant source of stress, and 35% of working Americans stated that they typically feel stressed during the workday. This has a negative impact on productivity, not to mention the mind and body. And the monetary cost? The American Institute of Stress reports that employers spend an estimated $300 billion a year on stress-related absenteeism, turnover and lowered productivity. The stark truth is, the vast majority of today's employed are working harder for less, and spa employees are no exception. The resulting imbalance takes a toll on wellbeing, which in turn affects daily performance. Once that stress level gets high enough, focus and attention span begin to suffer. Studies show that the current average human attention span is eight seconds—one second less than that of a goldfish! Consider how important attention span is to the spa therapist working with a client, and you can see how stress can adversely affect your business. In addition to providing blissful experiences, spa professionals also shoulder the responsibility of acting as role models, demonstrating through their own behavior how to create and maintain a state of well-being. This is a key component to ensuring a well-cared-for and loyal clientele. You can help your staff and yourself realize this ideal by applying some strategies for before, during and after the work day.

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