Massage therapists have to be more fierce about self-care now than they ever were before.
The awareness that will change the world through our touch starts with how we nourish ourselves and recognize the part our own health has in the bigger picture.
Are you doing what you need to do to fill your tank? In order to avoid burnout, it might be time to take a closer look at your definition of success.
I’ve watched myself strive for success over a 20-year health care career, and I’ve come to this important conclusion:
Your success as a health care professional depends solely on your ability to stay awake on your own journey and do the work of healing that your own soul craves.
Restore Your Own Energy
Self-care is a part of that healing journey. I look at it like this: We want to serve others from an overflow of our energy, not from our reserves. When we take our practice to the limit and sacrifice our own time, energy and resources to the point of depletion, we steal from the very thing that heals: our full, loving presence. How are you going to give a great massage if you’re exhausted, resentful and watching the clock the whole hour?
Self-care is the way we fill up our energy tank to the point of overflow. Just like a bucket of water, you’ll need to keep filling it to expect to have more stuff to pour out. You need more than you think you do—self-care is a necessity, not a luxury—and for health professionals it is even more vital. If we don’t change our minds about the absolute necessity of our own healing, our practice will become something that ceases to inspire us. No matter how much you love your job, you won’t be able to sustain it if you’re running on empty.
To Avoid Burnout at Work, Identify Problem Areas
Take a look at your practice and how you’re feeling about all aspects of it. Take a deep breath and be honest with the things about it that leave you feeling exhausted, resentful or just uninspired. Try journaling some of these thoughts and feelings from a space of awareness and curiosity. Start imagining the ways your practice could be more nourishing. Now, what will you need to change?
Many times, we already know what’s happening. We feel the tightness and constriction of our duties or obligations and feel trapped, unable to see the possibility for change or transformation. But everything that keeps you locked up in that jail resides in the very thoughts you’re thinking.
To take a brave look at your life and decide to make a change is no small task. Making an appointment with yourself for soul-nourishing activities can feel like a waste of time and money. But believe me, you’ll spend a lot more time and money coming back from the stress that disease or illness creates when you ignore what your body and intuition are telling you.
Time for Change
Now is the time to make the changes you know you need to make to fill your tank and return to the love and inspiration that fueled your original idea to be a massage therapist. Now is the time to create success on your own terms, the kind that gives you outrageous amounts of energy and enthusiasm, not just mediocre amounts.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to get you started:
- What part of my practice do I love?
- What tasks do I need to delegate?
- What can I do to work smarter instead of harder?
- How many clients can I see and still feel energized at the end of the day?
- What resources do I need to create a practice that nourishes me?
- What healing do I need right now?
- What changes do I need to make?
The solution to a thriving practice that feeds your soul and changes the world will be in the actions you take. Ask yourself the questions, journal the answers, then go do what you need to do to make them happen.
You don’t have to settle for less than what you truly desire; it’s OK to want more. Your pursuit of what heals you will create the energy that will attract the clients you most want to work with—the ones that leave you happy, inspired and ready to share more of your gifts with the world.
About the Author
Laura Probert is the owner of Brave Healer Productions, a holistic physical therapist and writer, and holds a tae kwon do black belt. She helps health professionals create practices that feed their souls and change the world. She loves dogs and dark chocolate.