Self Care for massage therapists really is everything you do throughout your work and personal life to support you in your career in life. Self care is often just thought of as how you take care of yourself physically and emotionally to avoid burnout and build a successful practice. Self care is much more than that. It is also about doing what you need to do for yourself so that you are taken care of financially in your business/career. It is about taking care of yourself first in every way.
How often do you get a massage? Doing massage is very demanding on your own body. Getting regular weekly massage is also about believing in what you do. If you expect people to come to you once a week, it is a good idea to be doing it for yourself too!
Exercise, Diet and time off to enjoy and pursue your hobbies and passions and spend time with friends and family is another important part of self care. Taking care of your health by eating right and exercising to stay healthy will allow you to do massage for a very long time. Rejuvenating in whatever way best suits you is the basis for regular good self care.
Learning about yourself in various ways by continuing to take classes, read books, participate in peer supervision groups is also an important part of self care. Learning the meaning of money and about how to handle money and discovering your issues around money and helping is needed to come out of the money fog (or Noble Poverty – the idea that because you are a massage therapist means you can not make money.) Creating your own money biography can help you to discover some of your beliefs about money that keep you from having what you need.
Self care is also about creating policies and procedures for your massage business that support you. Things like a no show/cancellation policy and late policy can help you when working with clients who drain your energy more than others. Getting a picture of who your ideal client is and working towards working on mainly people who fit that vision will support you in pursuing your dream. When you work on less than ideal clients, you will feel drained and may even do less than your best work.
One of the best options for self care really is participating in Peer Groups or in Supervision. Peer groups meet regularly to discuss ethical dilemmas and get support for processing what comes up during the practice of doing massage. Supervision is working with a more experienced massage therapist or counselor (social worker, psychologist) to get more personalized attention and help.
Find out more about Supervision