Massage therapists are always on the go.
Either from client to client, or office to office, or washing sheets between appointments, you are always moving, always taking care of someone or something.
Oftentimes, the one thing that does not get taken care of is you. Many massage therapists suffer burnout because they have not budgeted any time for themselves.
This can show up as irritability with loved ones, tiredness, aches and pains that just don’t go away, and lack of motivation to keep doing the job that used to be so fulfilling. You can only use up so much energy — and if that energy is not replenished, then the joy and satisfaction you once got from helping people diminishes and you are left with fatigue or bitterness at the start of another day.
I am a former massage therapist (of 15 years) and a current life coach, and I am going to show you how to get back your job satisfaction by simply learning how to be more mindful of your time.
These are tools left untaught in most massage schools, yet they are skills we all need to run successful businesses, be productive employees and have more peace in our lives.
Get More Time
I always like to incorporate mindfulness practices into my time management training. It is very important to understand where you are and what you are doing in order to figure out where there needs to be changes.
Think of all the times you tried to reflect back on your day or week and are drawing blanks. You start asking yourself things like, “What did I have for dinner last night?” simply because you have been moving and doing so much, you lose track of what you actually did!
If you are more aware of what is happening at the present moment, it will feel as if you are getting time back. That’s right; you will actually gain time just by being mindful. It sounds crazy, but it is true. Being present in the moment is a popular Buddhist phase that the mindfulness movement has adapted, and it is completely applicable to modern life.
Simply put, it means that when you are doing something — let’s say washing dishes — just wash the dishes. Don’t think about how much laundry there is, or what you are going to have for dinner or what the rest of the family is doing; simply wash the dishes. Feel the warm water and soapy textures against your hands. Smell the dish soap as it bubbles up. Listen to the sounds of the water rinsing off the soap.
We are so busy in our lives, going from activity to activity, that we no longer have any sensations of the activities we engage in. By the time we are doing something else, we have forgotten what we just did.
Buddhists call this “monkey mind.” I love that phase, because it helps me with a visual of my racing thoughts — like a bunch of monkeys in my head bouncing around and getting into mischief.
By slowing my thoughts down and focusing on what is in the present, your mind slows down and you get so much more enjoyment, relaxation and memory retention of what is going on.
Imagine using this activity when working with a client. You could be much more receptive to their needs without the drain on your love tank (we will talk about that in a moment). You stay centered and focused and protected and your clients get the help they need.)
Learn to slow down your thoughts and be in the moment more often. It will feel tiring at first because you are literally changing your thought patterns, so don’t feel discouraged. Use the techniques provided to be more aware of the world around you.
Take Charge of Your Calendar
We all have schedules we need to keep, but there is no reason our calendars have to be so full. Take a look at your weekly calendar. Besides the hours you spend working or sleeping, how many hours are left in a week? A lot.
Now, of course there are things we cannot take off the calendar, like kids’ appointments, family and business meetings, and such, and I am not here to preach that.
All I want you to do is look at your weekly calendar and find one hour a week, just one, where you can sit at a coffeehouse, or go to a park, or be at home in a comfy chair. Begin scheduling absolutely free, unplanned time for yourself in your calendar.
This is using time management for self-care.
You deserve just as much attention as all those other things in your life, because without you, none of that other stuff can get done. And for that one hour a week, there is no one else. You do things that make you happy and fill what I like to call your love tank. Your love tank is the center of your being, the place where your energy comes from and where your emotional self resides.
When someone’s love tank is low, people tend to more emotional, clingy, and fast to anger. This is a natural reaction to having a low level of self-love and energy.
Just as a car will drag and lag and sputter when the gas level is low, our emotions do the same when our tank is low. Remember, no one else can fill your love tank. Sure, they can add to it — but filling it up comes from your own joy, your own love and your own peace. Take care of yourself. Love yourself. You will see a difference.
About the Author:
Hope Cate offers athletic and non-athletic coaching, life consulting and mindfulness coaching through her tele-counseling practice, In The Zone Performance. She is an applied sport psychologist that helps people find ways to better performance and better lives.