We know how it is, one moment it’s 8:45am and you’re downing your morning coffee and then the next thing you know it’s 18:05 and the only ‘lunch’ you’ve had is the diet coke Sally gave you instead of a tip for her 2 hour full set with nail art (Sorry Sally, we loved the diet coke, thanks hun xx).
We’re not moaning, it’s awesome being a nail tech and every single day reminds us of that, but we’re only human and especially in 2020, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to switch off and avoid that dreaded millennial burnout.
It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed at work, in fact, out of everyone we asked in a brief survey; 92% of the recipients said they had felt significantly overwhelmed by their jobs at some point in the last 10 years.
Whilst there’s no doubt this is a well experienced fault in the system, we’re saying enough is enough. You love your job, we get it. You have big goals, we get it. What we also know is that to achieve our maximum potential in the workplace (and at home) we need to be the best versions of ourselves and that we’re not going to be much good to any job role if we’re burnt out and run ragged from overworking and self-neglect.
So - We’ve compiled some of our top tips for self-care to help unwind and re-connect with you after a long work day. However, it’s worth remembering that if you’re having serious problems struggling to cope with work life balance, no face-mask or candle will fix that, no matter how many times you are told it will. For top tips on how to cope when you’re feeling like you’re seriously struggling, visit: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/
Tip number one: Get organised.
When work is constant, particularly in a busy period, it’s easy to feel like everything is building up.
Did I reply to her Facebook message? Did I remember to book Melissa in for her monthly infill? Did I remember to pay for the little-ones drama club this week?
We recommend finding one hour every Sunday for ‘admin’ time. Although it may feel like it’s cutting into your day off, getting in control can really help when it comes to regaining work life balance during the week. We’re huge advocates of the paper diary, writing tasks out can really help us to feel in control and memorise them in the week ahead. Use 15 minutes of your one hour to plan the week ahead in your diary, and set reminders/alerts on your phone for anything you need to remember on a specific day. This way, you know you’re in control and you don’t have to worry that you’ve forgotten or missed out anything important. At TGB HQ we all love Meistertask (available on iOS) - it’s a great organisation app that allows you to make digital checklists with alerts for different projects!
The next 20 minutes of your hour can be used for replying to Facebook or Instagram messages, social media DM’s can come in handy for connecting with customers, but we can’t help feeling like it was a less overwhelming time when we only had emails to worry about. Try creating an automatic reply for your Facebook inbox notifying customers that it can take you up to one week to reply, and if they have an urgent query, please email or call the salon or yourself direct. Alternatively, if you prefer Facebook, you could do the same with your email inbox, instead directing urgent queries to DM’s.
Spending 20 minutes each week can stop you from worrying about a backlog, and having an automatic response can help you switch off in the evenings without feeling like you’re disregarding your customers.
We’d then recommend spending the next 10 minutes planning your income and expenditure for the week. We love the app Fudget (available on iOS, Android and Windows) for making this so easy we don’t even have to get our calculators out. At the start of each week, create a new ‘budget’ and label it with that weeks date. Pop your current bank balance and any income which you will be receiving that week into the ‘Income’ box and then separately list absolutely everything you have to pay for (including food, lunches and petrol) as ‘outgoings’. The app instantly tells you your remaining balance allowing you to allocate a certain amount for general spending (i.e a cheeky chocolate bar or any TGB hauls) and then shows how much you will have left over for the next week. This can help you to feel in control of your finances and only spend what you can afford, even in between accountant meetings. It’s also great for looking back at at the end of the month when (like us) you just don’t know where that money went.
For the last 15 minutes, we’d encourage two tasks. You can either use this for any remaining admin that needs to be done (think recruitment, product research, school-trip forms, ASOS returns) or for scrolling work-themed pages on Instagram and Pinterest and reminding yourself of the current trends. This can help to avoid the feeling you’re loosing touch, and regain the confidence in your expertise.
By getting all this done on a Sunday, you can limit your mid-week after-work admin time to half an hour of replying to emails etc. - allowing you to turn off sooner, and enjoy a well deserved unwind when you’re at home, seven days a week. Just make sure - when your admin time is up, actually turn off for good!
Tip number two: Get a work phone.
…Or at least a separate social media. Whilst we’ve all been told a million times that switching off is the best thing we can do for our health (and we’re huge supporters of this) the reality is that it’s the 21st century, and for many of us, unwinding involves a good old scroll. Whilst we LOVE work-related Insta feeds and could look at them all day long, scrolling through our personal Instagrams and Facebooks to look at #nailinspo reminds us of work, and even though for most of us that’s not a bad thing, it’s important to switch off in order to feel refreshed come 9am. Try and save the #inspo for when you’re in the salon or office, or at least limit it to an hour either side of work. In the mean time? Enjoy the cute puppy pics and pictures of your old school friend on their hols.
Tip number three: Have a morning routine outside of your chores.
Bossing your admin routine a’la tip one should leave you with a spare hour to get to bed a little earlier if you’re not spending hours hanging around at work or scrolling in bed trying to work through the backlog. Thus, with a little extra kip pre-midnight, there are no excuses for not getting up earlier in the AM. We’re not crazy, we know sleep is sacred, but we promise there’s method to our madness.
Most people who start work at 9am will lie in bed as long as possible, getting up in just enough time to carry out their essential morning routines (ie getting dressed for working, or getting the kids ready for school). This means from the moment we wake up, till the moment going-home-time hits, we’re working. For many full-time workers ‘life’ doesn’t even begin till 5pm, and much of that involves preparing for the next day. We’re here asking why is it accepted as normal to put aside just two days on a weekend for ‘living’ when we only get one life?
I’m sure many of you will relate when I say that by the time the workday is over, we don’t have energy for much at all! But, morning bunny or not, when we wake up first thing, we’re not tired from all the activities of the day’s past. Try and utilise this ‘freshness’ (and your new found time down to your BOSS-ASS organisation skills) to enjoy life a little before the day begins. Perhaps you could go for a walk around the block, or make a takeaway tea or coffee and go and sit on the beach or in the park. Maybe you’ll just enjoy staying a little longer in some nice pyjama’s and reading the newspaper or cooking a nice healthy breakfast to enjoy alone before anyone else wakes up. The point is, you’re dedicating an hour to enjoy the day and enjoy simply living, before you have to begin ‘adulting’ for the next 9 hours. And however much crap is thrown your way after your hour of zen? You’ll at least be able to look back and smile at the lovely start to your day.
Also, bonus points for this one: having a mini-morning before work can actually help you feel more optimistic and energetic when you get there, bringing the enjoyment all the way into the salon.
If we take one mission away from this post, let’s make it to try and get to Saturday with a list of ‘nice things I did this week’ already tucked under your sleeve. The most important tip of all? Smile in the mirror everyday. You’re a beautiful soul and you’re lucky to be you. If it’s not going your way just this minute? Breathe - your time will come. Now go and show the world just how great you are!