By Michelle Knowles
Here we are in the throes of the holiday season! Clients, co-workers and employees are all under the influence of the rush to make things perfect for pet owners and their own families.
It is easy to become frustrated with the huge demands that are made of us at this time of year. Here are some tips on how to combat overwhelming schedules which can lead to hot tempers, client miscommunication and perhaps mistakes and injuries.
- When faced with an overly full schedule, many of us feel stress at what the next day could bring. The thought of the long days and weeks ahead, the aching joints, the possible complaints and difficult grooms seem to loom over us and set our mind to the task in a negative way. Instead of thinking negatively about the workload, think of it in terms of abundance. We are so lucky to have a full schedule, happy clients, silly pets to work on and a great paycheck at the end of the week to help make our personal dreams come true. Starting out the day with this positivity can greatly impact the rest of your day.
- Prepare yourself for the next day. At the end of a long and hairy day, the last thing on our minds is doing anything but cleaning up and going home. Staging your bathing and finish area for the next morning is like giving yourself a gift when you walk into the shop in the morning. The mats on the floor are placed, the towels are clean and easy to reach and all of your tools and equipment are ready to go. Literally, it’s like brownies came in the night to prep your morning.
- Take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest, even if that means showering immediately when you get home and throwing yourself into bed. Our bodies heal while at rest so this can make a huge impact on your ability to focus and feel refreshed.
- Plan your wardrobe for the week by hanging each day’s outfit on a hanger so that it is just a matter of grab and go each morning.
- For those of you who have not yet discovered the joys and convenience of food prepping for the week, you don’t know what you are missing. There are many how-to food prep videos online and I have been saved many times by the “salad in a mason jar” prep idea. Food prepping will assure that you have something easy at hand on your busy day that is healthy and nourishing while saving time by not having to go out for lunch. Food prep helps you maintain a healthy eating plan without grabbing a fast food item on an already hectic day.
- Drink water. This is so important that I will repeat it. DRINK WATER. There are handy apps that you can put on your phone that will signal an alarm to remind you to drink some water. Dehydration can cause headaches, irritability, eye strain and swelling of the hands and feet that will further heap stress on an overloaded system which can possibly lead to the injury of you or the pet you are working on.
- Practice a daily meditation. I am not talking about taking time out of your morning to do a whole hour of hot yoga, I simply mean, before the first client shows up, say a positive prayer. Think a positive thought and take some deep breaths so that you are centered and in the right frame of mind to deal with the coming day. If you are organized enough and you can add yoga, Tai Chi or other light stretching exercises in the morning, then that is even more of a bonus.
The holidays can put a lot of stress on us, our colleagues and the people and pets we see. It is completely in our power as to what attitude we start our days with. When negative thoughts start to intrude, I take a deep breath and remember, I don’t want to be the Grinch, I want to be Cindy Lou Who! ✂