The Dreaded Beauty Pro Burnout
—What to Do When You’re Feeling It
Let’s face it—cosmetology can be a tough gig.
Sure, it’s super rewarding, endlessly fascinating, and there’s infinite room for growth within your career, but it’s also majorly exhausting, physically depleting, and mentally draining, too.
Yeah, you’ve got a ton of perks and benefits working in the beauty industry, don’t get us wrong, but you also have to deal with the stress of balancing our artistic passion with crafting the ultimate, successful career—and that’s not always easy.
Your jobs are physically demanding, they require long hours, working with people is mandatory, and you’re constantly trying to hone our skills so you can be the best.
Basically, as a beauty pro, you’re setting yourself up for the perfect storm—burnout is, in a lot of ways, inevitable.
But here’s the thing, burnout doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. It also doesn’t have to be a major event that disrupts your life, your career, or your well-being.
If you want to learn how to stay on-fire for your career, avoid burnout, and minimize the effects when it does inevitably hit, you’re in the right place.
Keep reading to learn about how to kick beauty burnout to the curb!
Work Hard Beforehand: Look For Signs of Burnout Before They Start Wreaking Havoc
Burnout can creep up on the best of us—that’s why it’s important to look for it before it hits.
Even if you’re not feeling especially burnt out, it’s imperative that you’re evaluating your well-being and mental state frequently.
Why? Because sometimes, simply taking the time to check-in honestly with ourselves is the biggest step we can take toward avoiding dreaded, painful burnout.
Full-fledged burnout doesn’t always start with all-out panic attacks—oftentimes, it’s small, tiny changes in our mood, our attitude, and our day-to-day routines.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to identify your own personal warning signs of burnout. Are you feeling more fatigued lately? Are you struggling to find joy in the little things? Are you feeling less motivated? More complacent? Depressed?
Once a day, try to take a deep breath, close your eyes, and check-in with yourself. Ask yourself how you can ease your stress, care for yourself better, and make your schedule a little less demanding.
Then, keep an eye out for other signs of burnout.
Take a Look at Your Year—Now Cut Yourself Some Slack
Numbers are down, you’ve lost clients, you haven’t worked as much this year as you have last year, you’re nowhere near the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year. Go ahead, take a minute and let that bum you out.
Now focus back on us, listen up, and think hard on the year you had. Is it possible that you totally dropped the ball? Sure, maybe. But odds are, it’s probably got a lot more to do with the kind of year you had than anything you did wrong.
AKA, it was 2020, people—it was the year from hell, and we all did our best with what we were thrown. At the end of the day, there’s only so much we can expect. This year might not have been a thrive year—it was probably a just-survive year. And guess what? That’s freakin’ enough.
Grant yourself some grace, cut yourself some slack, and don’t come down too hard on yourself (or your staff)—no one could have predicted the year we were going to have. So, don’t burn yourself out trying to play catch up. You’ll get there—don’t let number and stats from this year beat you down and rip you to shreds. You’ve already been through enough.
Evaluate Your Physical & Mental Well-Being Often
Are you eating whole, nutritional foods? Are you moving your body often? Are you treating your brain right? No matter what your scope of physical and mental well-being might be, it’s crucial to check-in with yourself as often as possible to make sure you’re taking care of yourself.
Why? First of all, because you deserve to feel your best. And secondly, because if you’re not caring for your overall well-being, you’re absolutely on a downward spiral headed straight for burnout (whether you can feel it or not).
Schedule appointments with your therapist. Take your medicine. Eat your veggies. Drink as much water as you can. Move your body in a way you enjoy. This balance is a hard one to strike, but it’s important to make sure you’re taking care of yourself.
Schedule Free Time AND Vacations
The keyword here is schedule. As much as we’d all love to be spontaneous and just take time when we need it, the reality is that we often need to plan for these things. And honestly, if a plan is needed, it’s unlikely we’re going to make the time to do it—especially if it means taking time from our jobs. But you guys, this is crucial.
Human beings—no matter what anyone tells you—are not meant to work non-stop, ‘round-the-clock. Obviously, we can’t all skip work every day and run off to our yacht (that only exists in our heads) for a day in the sun, but we can make sure we’re not getting so wrapped up in work we forget to live.
Just like you’d schedule a doctor’s appointment or an extra shift, you better schedule that vacation and off-day—no excuses.
Find Your Breaking Point Before it Finds You
If you don’t figure out what your lines are on your own time, you can bet those lines are going to find you—and when they do, they’re going to hit you hard.
This step to avoid burnout takes work, and honestly, it’s not very fun. But you need to make sure you’re doing yourself this favor. Only you can know when you’re about to hit that burnout point—so try to know the signs of the stage before they happen.
Feel yourself creeping toward a burnout stage? Take the day off, go for a hike, mix-up your favorite cocktail—do something (anything!) to help reset and avoid the oncoming burnout.
Everyone’s probably always telling you to find balance. And that’s great advice, but it’s not always possible.
Our advice? Create boundaries that help you find peace and harmony. There’s no way you’re going to have an appropriate work-life balance every day of the year, but by setting up proper boundaries, you can protect your harmony.
Sometimes, this might look like taking off-days, other days it might look like tackin’ on another shift. Some days it might mean putting on your boss hat and firing someone, other days it might look like not speaking to anyone at all. Most times, it looks like just learning how to say no.
No matter what, make sure you’re creating healthy boundaries for yourself that protect your peace.
Pursue Your Other Passions
In other words, there’s more to life than cosmetology. Deep down, you already know that—so start acting like it.
Look, it’s not a bad thing to be passionate about your career—in fact, that’s a huge blessing. There are scores of people out there who would be thrilled to be passionate about their jobs.
But at the end of the day, one passion doesn’t define you. You need to invest your life into everything you care about—don’t let your cosmetology career rule everything. Otherwise, you can bet burnout is headed your way.
Look, we’ve all had one of those years—it’s straight-up undeniable. So, it’s highly likely burnout is going to hit us sometime soon.
But the more grace we can grant ourselves (and others), and the more we can focus on striking a balance and building up boundaries, the better chance we have against fighting burnout.
You got this, beauty pros—we believe in you and we’re here for you. Your beauty community is here for you, too!
If you guys have any tips or tricks for putting out the burnt-out fire before it starts raging, drop your comments in the reply section below! We can guarantee everyone in the community wants to hear from you (and add some tips to their burnout battle armory).
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