*Editor's Note: This content is shared with the permission of Sola Salons.  The tips will apply to any solo entrepreneur. Enjoy!

Fill your own tank, put on your own oxygen mask, before you start taking care of others.

Fill your own tank, put on your own oxygen mask, before you start taking care of others. 

It's officially November, and that means the holidays are almost here. This time of year, it is easy to get so wrapped up in the holiday spirit that we completely forget about ourselves. It’s important to remember that as a Solapreneur, you need to make sure to fill up your cup first before pouring into others’ cups (and making them feel oh so good!). 

As a beauty professional, you are catering to others’ happiness all day, and with the holidays on top of your normal routine, your very full plate can overflow. 

Best way to prevent burnout and overwhelm? Deep self-care. Take some time for you. Nourish yourself - body, mind and spirit - so that you can truly take on the world from a grounded and resourced place.

We want to offer ways to turn the holiday spirit inward and love yourself up before the season’s frenzy takes hold. These self-care practices will help you feel supercharged from Thanksgiving all the way through the New Year so that you can better serve clients, connect with friends and family, and maintain balance during the busiest time of the year. 

Self-Care Strategies for the Salon Professional

A big self-love hug

A big self-love hug

Rest and Recuperation (R & R) 

Sometimes it feels like we simply do not have a minute to spare for ourselves. When we feel this way, that's when self-care is most needed. When you can figure out a way to take 5 minutes out, maybe 5 hours, maybe even a whole day, we come back rested, rejuvenated and better able to handle anything; with greater efficiency and flow. 

Knowing when to take some R&R time is a valuable skill to have. Take it from the Dalai Lama, “If you feel 'burnout' setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself.”

Do absolutely nothing, or do something - it’s your choice. But please make sure that whatever you do, or don’t do, that it is for you and you alone. Just the feeling of prioritizing your needs can provide the comfort you need to recharge. 

Schedule “Me Time” 

Because self-care windows can be easy to skip, we recommend scheduling “me time” so that it is an absolute non-negotiable; a pact with yourself; a commitment mechanism that builds internal trust. 

Designed to streamline your salon business, the SolaGenius app offers an option to schedule vacations and personal days on a 24/7 booking service. SolaGenius makes it clear for clients to see when you are available from your online booking site, without sharing details on what you are up to; so, you can plan as much time for you as you’d like, and nobody will know if it is vacation, a personal day, family time, or just plain unavailability. 

Take Time to Journal 

Journaling has been proven to relieve stress, improve memory, process emotions and boost mood for those who record their thoughts regularly. Picking up a journaling practice is an excellent way to get in touch with yourself and stay mindful as we spend more time indoors.

A great way to begin a journaling practice is by recording your thoughts for 3-5 minutes during your morning routine, and eventually increasing that to 10-20 minutes daily. 

Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, teaches the practice of Morning Pages, where you write all of your thoughts, your unbridled stream of consciousness, for three full pages each morning. The idea is to not censor yourself, in order to get any recurring, pesky or downright negative thoughts out of your head and onto paper, to make way for a day that is less burdened by mental chatter and more focused and creative. 

Declutter your mind by writing until you are out of material. Can’t think of what to write? Here are some topics to get your pages flowing: 

  • Thoughts, feelings, emotions
  • Complaints, frustrations, worries
  • Plans for the future, goals, hopes, dreams
  • A list of 3-10 things that you are grateful for every morning and/or night 
  • Lists of what you need to do that day - to dos, meal planning, errands, reminders
  • Positive affirmation statements - great pick-me-ups for darker days especially 
  • Vent about that difficult client who is never quite satisfied
  • Ideate your next educational opportunity to uplevel your skill and expertise
  • Dream of your next big vacation 
  • ...anything that comes to mind - scribble it out! 

Stay Hydrated

Sometimes in the winter when the weather cools down, we forget to drink as much water in the colder weather.  In winter it is just as important, if not more important, to stay hydrated. 

Water carries oxygen and nutrients to your cells, maintains electrolyte balance and regulates body temperature - keeping you healthy throughout the seasonal transition. 

A good rule of thumb is as follows: take the number of your weight in pounds and multiply it by ⅔ or 67%.  If you weigh 150 pounds, you may consider drinking about 100 ounces of water per day. Of course, as always, listen to your body and adjust as it feels comfortable to you, however, this formula is a great way to gauge whether you are drinking enough for your body weight. 

Grab a water bottle that you love drinking out of - one that measures ounces - in order to reach your water goal every day. Better yet, keep a water jug in your studio for both you and your clients to remember to stay hydrated all winter long. 

Want to mix things up? Add in fruit infusions, like cucumber, lemon, mint or strawberry into your water jug to make your studio feel like a high-end spa. 

Meal Prep 

This is the hardest time of year to reject sweet treats and luxurious beverages, and while we do not advocate for avoiding these seasonal delicacies, we do advocate for pre-planning some healthy meals for yourself in between the holiday delights. Sometimes just having a healthy salad or wrap on the ready will avoid lunch becoming leftover pumpkin pie. 

While there’s nothing wrong with a splurge from time to time, ultimately, gorging on decadent sweets and processed foods can creep up on you - draining your vital energy and lowering immunity. As a beauty professional, we know you are running from appointment to appointment, so fast, casual lunch pickup and/or skipping meals altogether can become a tough habit to break. Queue meal prep! 

Meal prepping includes choosing a few key meals that you can prepare early in the week that can be prepared in big batches and packaged into individual portions to be enjoyed throughout the week - hassle-free. There are great blogs and TikTok videos with meal prep ideas ranging from salads to soups to grilled meat and veggie bowls. We love that meal prep saves time and money while providing much healthier options than a delivery meal. 

Planning out a few healthy meals may just be the trick that keeps your energy levels high and immune function strong throughout the holiday season. Sure, it takes a bit of time and energy on the front end - but you are a most worthy investment! And once the prep work is done for the week, you can relax and be nourished all week long. 

Get Your Vitamin D

Vitamin D is referred to as “the sunshine vitamin” because our body naturally produces it when our skin is kissed by the sun’s golden rays. This means that while summer’s sunny days provide the Vitamin D that we need naturally, we can all get quite Vitamin D deficient when the winter rolls around and sunlit hours are replaced with longer nights. 

In fact, it is estimated that more than 42% of Americans are Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D deficiency can cause fatigue, mood swings and even depression, while balanced Vitamin D levels help boost serotonin production and release. Serotonin, also known as “the happy chemical,” is known for its ability to boost overall mood and wellbeing. 

While you can certainly get your Vitamin D fix from sunshine and D-packed foods, like seafood, oats, orange juice, egg yolks and mushrooms, we recommend supplementing your daily diet with a Vitamin D supplement for the winter months, when strong sunlight is harder to come by. It just may be the vitamin that keeps you on the right side of this year’s holiday spirit.  

Take Yourself to the Spa 

As a beauty professional, you know that the holidays are a time where people tend to schedule lots of self-care, filling up your books so that they can look and feel their best this time of year. You deserve to look and feel your best as well. When was the last time you took yourself to the salon for the TLC you so selflessly offer to others all day long? 

If you have been putting off that hair appointment or avoiding scheduling your much-needed deep tissue massage - now is that time! Get on the books early, knowing how full your favorite practitioners’ schedules will be, and block off some time to pamper yourself! You deserve the best. 

Not big on appointments at the salon after working in one all day? Head to a spa with a sauna or steam room, a natural hot spring, or even just your own bathtub and give yourself a relaxing experience however you like to take the edge off. 

If your ideal spa experience is at home - we get that! To make sure you feel the love at home, load up the tub up with magnesium Epsom salt and baking soda for a stress-relieving and detoxifying bathtub rejuvenation session. To set the vibe, turn on soothing music, light a candle and pour yourself a nourishing drink (tea, kombucha, an elixir or wine can all do the trick!). 

Remember That You Are Not Alone

While this time of year can be overwhelming and self-care is of the utmost importance, we want you to remember that self-care does not have to be lonely or isolated. Your #SolaFam is here to support you, from your local Sola peers to your local franchisee or manager to the Sola home office team. 

Remember that you are in business for yourself, not by yourself! So, share the holiday cheer by offering your favorite seasonal candy to share with clients and neighboring salon owners. Celebrate your accomplishments as a small business owner by going out with a fellow Solapreneur for a special holiday dinner recapping your 2022 wins. Reach out for help from your Sola manager or your bestie down the hall if you have any roadblocks or seasonal struggles. And, as always, stay tuned for more holiday resources here on the Sola Blog, Sola Stories Podcast or on Sola Pro. 

And last but not least, give yourself major kudos for showing up for the holiday booking rush. The #SolaBoss hustle looks good on you. 

Happy Holidays! 

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