by: Jennifer Bonessi
Even if you don’t celebrate a holiday in December, holiday stress affects us all – every store is packed and our fellow humans are frantic. The frenetic energy is consuming. And yet, the season calls us all to jolly and bright.
It’s also flu season.
So now, more than ever, whether you are a fellow massage therapist or one of our clients on the table, it is important to reduce stress. Here are some ideas to consider this December.
Three Healthy Holiday Tips
1. Stay Calm and Keep…
As a massage therapist, you know the importance of sleep, hydrating and good hygiene.
- Studies indicate as many as 50 to 70 million Americans are affected by chronic sleep disorders. Poor sleep has been linked to health issues including heart disease, stroke, depression and other chronic diseases. Work productivity, of course, is also affected.
- And drinking water…Not only is adequate water consumption important for cellular balance and nutrient absorption, the kidneys need it to function. If those points don’t motivate you, how about wrinkles?Water is essential to keeping your skin healthy!
- Finally, keep washing those hands! Getting rid of germs on the hands helps prevent respiratory infections and even skin and eye infections. Hand washing alone can reduce diarrhea infections by 31 percent. (So if you don’t do it for yourself, please do it for the rest of us.)
LMT ACTION ITEM: Massage therapists, continue to encourage your clients to get rest, drink water and wash their hands. And of course, keep these practices up yourselves!
2. Make a List and Check it Twice – By Hand
Staying organized in what is one of the busiest seasons of the year for massage therapist and client alike can help reduce holiday stress. So why not follow Santa’s lead and make a list.
Studies show list-making helps the brain process information. It helps the memory retain information, makes abstract ideas concrete, supports time management practices and helps us prioritize the truly important stuff.
And interestingly enough, doing it by hand is important. Studies show electronic list making and note taking can actually be detrimental. What? So, if only for the month of December, consider getting out your paper calendar, to-do lists and favorite pen.
LMT ACTION ITEM: Massage therapists, the next time your clients are in, encourage them rebook their sessions and write them in their calendars before they go. Perhaps share the factoid about writing out important information as you pencil them into your own calendar.
3. Adopt a Positive Perspective
When the mad rush of the holiday season is underway, it’s easy to get caught up in our emotions. As a massage therapist, you likely see how common anxiety is in clients during this time of year, but other negative feelings might also arise.
Whether they are generated by financial concerns, the task of hosting family or the inability to get through the grocery line in under thirty minutes, a positive perspective can help you reduce stress.
A recent study suggests optimism and mental resilience reduces the risk of dying – literally – by impacting several major causes of death including cancer, heart disease, strokes and more by as much as 30 percent,
LMT ACTION ITEM: Massage therapists, identify three things you are feeling negative about and reimagine how they could be positive. If you want to support your clients in this way, set an example by offering a positive responses to negative comments they may make.
So whether you are celebrating a holiday this December or the rest of us are just carrying you along for a mad ride, stay healthy!
From our family to yours, happy holidays.