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  • 6 Stress Relieving Techniques to Beat the Holiday Hustle

    Angela TaylorWhat does the holiday season mean to you? Time with family, the magic sparkle in a child’s face, indulging in too much food, giving to those you love, an opportunity to help others or just having time off… Unfortunately, although the festive season is often associated with joy, it can also be a stressful, lonely or sad time for many people. For those affected by depression or grief it can actually be the worst time of year!

    With the extra demands of the holiday season parties, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining to name just a few, it could be the tipping point that sends you into a stressed state. In our industry we are very well positioned to help our clients cope with the extra stress life may bring at this time.

    Here are my 6 top tips to help your clients avoid the stress overload during the holiday season:

    1. Schedule some “me” time. This may be in the form of an express treatment as clients are more time-constrained at this time of year. Be sure to create a place for them to escape during their treatment, where they can focus only on themselves for that moment. Also recommend taking a walk, reading a book or listening to some music—just simply taking a moment to distance oneself from the holiday mania will do wonders.

    2. Stop and breathe! Scientific studies have shown that controlling your breath can help manage stress-related conditions. Breath control is also used in practices such as yoga, tai chi and some forms of meditation. Many people use their breathing to help promote relaxation and reduce stress. Shallow breathing limits the diaphragm’s range of motion and the lowest part of the lungs don’t get a full share of oxygenated air, this can lead to feeling short of breath and anxious.

    holiday ornamentDeep abdominal breathing encourages full oxygen exchange. To make this even more effective we can combine with the inhalation of essential oils. These can directly stimulate the limbic lobe, also known as the “emotional brain” and is directly connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance. Essential oils like Lavender, Geranium and Sandalwood are great for quieting the mind and soothing. So make time to diffuse essential oils that will encourage your clients to relax and take a moment to breathe!

    3. Turn to the healing power of touch. We are so privileged to have the permission to touch our clients through the treatments that we do, for many this may have been the only human touch they’ve had for some time! Serotonin regulates behavior allowing us to do the appropriate thing at the appropriate time. It also impacts emotions and subdues irritability. Low serotonin levels have been linked to sleep/wake cycle disturbances, depression, pain disorders and behavior problems, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder. Massage increases the availability of serotonin in the brain; oxytocin is also increased, which affects feelings of attachment and care-taking. Studies show that empathy for others is also increased.

    4. Practice mindfulness. Life means often we are guilty of having our mind completely full and therefore we can’t truly appreciate every moment. How many of you look at your tablet or smartphone first thing in the morning and last thing at night? Sometimes we need to switch off technology and take in those little moments and appreciate the details around us. Mindfulness is the current buzz word but it is a proven technique used to help depression, anxiety and stress, but it takes practice. So start with just pausing for a moment and really seeing the detail of what you do or appreciate the moment you are in.

    5. Connection with your surroundings. Connect fully with right now, when we practice this we pull ourselves out of the past or the future and bring ourselves back to the present. But connection is not only about connecting with ourselves, it’s about community, and our skin centers are a meeting point for a community, a place to feel connected and this may become even more important at this time of year.

    6. Get up and exercise. Research shows that physical activity can boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, even dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It doesn’t have to be hours of activity, 20 minutes can be enough if done regularly. So avoid sitting on the sofa watching all those Christmas movies, get moving you will feel better for it!

    Stress is part of life but remembering that at this time of year the most precious gift is time with loved ones. And as professionals, we too must practice what we preach—our clients look to us to help relieve their stresses—and if we’re not calm nor present, their treatment can be given in vain. So let’s not waste it by letting stress become the main focus, take action and enjoy the moment.

  • Is your Business Ready for Mother’s Day?

    Mother’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate and reflect on the importance of the mothers in our lives. It is also an occasion to give thanks to them for being a constant guiding force in our lives and for the support they have shown in helping us achieve our dreams and goals. Not only is this a special day to celebrate anyone who has been a mother to you, but it is also an opportunity to promote your business and to connect with your clients and potential consumers.

    Remember to organize ahead of time with a marketing calendar so you can optimize the opportunities that special events, like Mother’s Day, can bring to your business.

    Many people are unsure what to get their mum’s for the holiday, so why not take away the confusion and make it easy? Bouquets of flowers are a traditional Mother’s Day gift, but bouquets can come in many shapes and sizes. Think of your own products or services as bundles that you can then translate into great Mother’s Day packages of your own.

    Target your existing data base and send out an e-blast and/or text to your clients, as many of them will be looking for ideas. Prepackage gift baskets for Mother’s Day with themed items such as hydrating, anti-aging, reducing stress etc. Remember men purchase a significant portion of Mother’s Day gifts overall, so make it clear to them the gift options they have. This might mean partnering with businesses that have a significant number of male patrons for cross marketing.

    Use social media to connect with your customers as many people will be searching online for ideas. You could engage them with a competition for the best story on how their mother has inspired them, and the gift could be a treatment or product for their mum. A different social media channel to promote is Pinterest (instead of just Twitter or Facebook), as a lot of mums use this site to save their ideas for food, kids, the home and much more. You could also create a “Mother’s Day wish list” of gift ideas to post on your blog, website, or email newsletter.

    Don’t forget to also take the opportunity to bring them back to your business once they have purchased their gift. Ideally, a Mother’s Day gift won’t just represent the sale of products for your business one time, but rather it will result in a new customer coming back to your business. Include a bounce back offer, bag stuffer or special offer along with the customer’s receipt. If you’re offering a service, consider creating a tangible gift that a spouse or child can wrap up to give to their mothers. For example: a free gift with the purchase of a treatment.

    Events are great to link with celebrations like Mother’s Day; you could create a mother and daughter/son event to celebrate. Events create an ideal environment for them to interact over skin lessons, treatments and product.

    Lastly let’s not forget that we can also use Mother’s Day to make a difference and support women around the world who struggle to provide for their children. You could connect with a charity or philanthropic initiative that helps give women support and opportunity to enable them to provide for their families, allowing them to raise their children in a safe and healthy environment. You could also connect with a local organization that supports women and mothers, encouraging people to pay it forward and get involved in sharing with others the opportunities their own mothers have given them.

    Happy Mother’s Day!