Five Ways Career Women Can Maintain Mental Health on the Job

health hazards at work

The last time you sat down for a haircut, you were likely feeling relaxed and ready to share your latest life updates with your trusted stylist, but did you ever take a moment to consider how they might be feeling?

A career as a beauty or personal service professional can be a dynamic and fulfilling one, but like any other, it comes with its own set of circumstances that can bring on stress and anxiety. In fact, the beauty industry presents some very unique situations that can put beauty industry workers at a higher risk for mental health issues.

On any average day, beauty professionals can find themselves dealing with high volumes of different people and often have to face negative feedback and emotional outbursts from clients. There is also the anxiety that comes from the excessive pursuit of perfection—the need to provide the best possible service —which can also be physically draining. For salon owners, there can be long-lasting and intense stress caused by the overwhelming responsibilities of running a business.

Being there for clients means barbers and hairstylists sometimes put themselves at risk, as clients transfer their energy onto service providers.  Additionally, a number of beauty professionals are also having to cope with additional stressors caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Outside of the hair salon, tattoo and makeup artists, nail technicians, and massage therapists are among the other professionals who go the extra mile to ensure their clients have a safe space during their service. But this also means that in the process, they are expected to maintain a positive disposition throughout the day no matter what situation they may encounter. It’s easy for beauty and personal service professionals to neglect their real emotions in order to continue projecting the image of always being carefree and upbeat. It can take a lot of effort to suppress emotions and producing forced, ‘round-the-clock smiles’ every single day for up to 10 hours can begin to really take a toll on fragile nerves. 

It’s important for beauty professionals, all professionals, to find ways to cope with work-related stress and anxiety. The following simple steps can help provide balance and foster emotional, psychological, and social well-being that can help a person stay mental healthy:

mental health at work

>> Remember to block off your lunch:

Everyone deserves to have designated time for themselves and that includes a lunch break. Plan ahead and get  that time blocked off in your calendar so you can eat and detach from the demands of serving others. 

>> Do not bottle up your emotions:

Grab someone you trust to vocalize your feelings, whatever they may be. Seek out the communities around the beauty and wellness industries to reach out to like-minded people. 

>> Let it go after hours:

Testy clients? Long hours? Managing a busy schedule? There is no denying working as a beauty or self care pro can be rough. There are many ways to relieve those pent-up emotions after work, such as doing some physical activity, enjoying a hobby, or just relaxing quietly.

>>Set boundaries:

Oftentimes clients forget that  beauty and personal service professionals are not at their beck and call. It’s perfectly fine to  draw a respectful and courteous line with those who call or text at all hours of the day with pity stories about why they have to cancel or must be seen now. One way to set boundaries is by directing clients to a booking service app or online platform where they can easily schedule their own appointments. By finding ways to set boundaries, beauty professionals can create the much needed breathing space that can allow them to be fully in the moment with the client in front of them or when having their personal time.

>>Letting tech do the work:

It’s awkward chasing clients for payment or dealing with no-shows and the loss for the books is draining. Using tech to solve the day-to-day operations challenges can therefore be empowering. There are apps and platforms that offer an array of tools that can be used for marketing, holding clients accountable for cancellations and no-shows, creating a mobile payment system, and setting up a marketplace to sell products. With just a few steps and the help of mobile/desktop platforms , positive changes can be made to feel more in control of the day-to-day, which ultimately benefits the mind and eases stress. 

It’s possible for beauty professionals to maintain their peace of mind, even when managing stressful situations on a daily basis. By staying aware of the triggers that can cause anxiety in the workplace, and taking steps to manage the  administrative tasks that can add stress to the workload, beauty professionals can continue to stay focused on their creativity and on brightening up the lives of the clients that come to see them.

This guest post was authored by Allison Cherrette

Allison is the Director of Product Marketing at Booksy, an Advanced Pilates Instructor, and an advocate for all entrepreneurs who choose a path of passion over predictability. When she’s not at her desk you can find her in the woods, traveling the world with a toddler in tow, or behind a camera lens capturing honest moments. 

Booksy is an app that helps beauty and wellness professionals manage their business while allowing their clients to schedule their own appointments.  In recognition and support of the beauty industry, Booksy has designated May 19 as National Barber Mental Health Awareness Day, and May 27 is National Hairstylist Mental Health Awareness Day

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.