We know how it is — one moment it is 8:45 a.m., and you are downing your morning coffee, then the next thing you know it is 6:05 p.m., and the only “lunch” you have had is a soda.
We are not necessarily complaining; it is awesome being a nail tech, and every single day reminds us of that, but we are only human, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to switch off and avoid that dreaded burnout.
While there is no doubt feeling overwhelmed in a job is a well-experienced fault in the system, we are saying enough is enough. You love your job, and you have big goals, but we also know that to achieve our maximum potential in the workplace (and at home), we need to be the best versions of ourselves. We are not going to be good at any role if we are burnt out from overworking and self-neglect.
So, we have compiled some of our top tips to create a work-life balance for salons to help you unwind and reconnect with you after a long work day. If you are having serious problems with work-life balance, no face mask or candle can fix that — no matter how many times you are told it will. For tips on how to cope when you are struggling, there are plenty of online resources to help.
1. Get Organized
When work is constant, especially during a holiday or busy season, it is easy to feel like everything is building up.
We recommend finding one hour every week for “admin” time, whether it is on your day off or at the beginning of your workweek. Although it may feel like it is cutting into your day off, getting in control can help when it comes to regaining work-life balance during the week. We are huge advocates of putting pen to paper or typing in your device because writing out tasks can help us feel in control and memorize them in the week ahead. Use 15 minutes of your designated hour to plan the week ahead, and set reminders/alerts on your phone for anything you need to remember on a specific day. This way, you know you are in control and do not have to worry you have forgotten or missed anything important.
The next 20 minutes of your hour can be used for replying to Facebook or Instagram messages or emails. Create an automatic reply for your inbox, notifying clients that it can take you up to one week to reply, and if they have an urgent request, they should call you directly or your salon. Having an automatic response can help you switch off in the evenings without feeling like you are disregarding your clients. If there is another communication method you prefer, do what is best for you. Be sure to set boundaries.
We would then recommend spending the next 10 minutes planning your income and expenditure for the week. At the start of each week, create a new budget, and label it with that week’s date. Some of our U.K. techs love using the app Fudget (available on iOS, Android, and Windows).
For the last 15 minutes, we would encourage two tasks. You can either use this for any remaining admin tasks that need to be done (think recruitment, product research, returns, etc.) or for scrolling nail pages on Instagram and Pinterest and reminding yourself of the current trends. This can help avoid the feeling you are losing touch and regain the confidence in your expertise.
By getting all this done on a Sunday, you can limit your midweek admin time after work to half an hour of replying to emails and messages, allowing you to turn off sooner and enjoy a well-deserved unwind when you are at home. Just make sure when your admin time is up, you turn off for good!
2. Get a work phone.
…Or at least a separate social media account. While we have all been told that switching off is the best thing we can do for our health, the reality is that it is the 21st century, and for many of us, unwinding involves a good old scroll. While we LOVE work-related Insta feeds and could look at them all day long, scrolling through our personal Instagrams and Facebooks to look at #nailinspo reminds us of work. Even though for most of us, that is not a bad thing, it is important to disconnect to feel refreshed. Try and save the inspo for when you are in the salon or office or at least limit it to an hour outside of work. In the meantime? Enjoy the cute puppy pics and other content you like.
3. Have a Morning Routine Outside of Your Chores
Many people may lie in bed for as long as possible before work, getting up with just enough time to carry out their essential morning routines (i.e., getting dressed for work or getting the kids ready for school). So, from the moment we wake up till the moment we head home, we are working.
With your organization and admin block from Tip No. 1, try to use this “extra” time to enjoy life a little before the day begins. Perhaps you could go for a walk around the block, or take tea or coffee to go and sit in the park. Maybe you would enjoy staying a little longer in some nice pajamas and reading the newspaper or cooking a nice healthy breakfast to enjoy before anyone else wakes up. The point is, you are dedicating an hour to enjoy the day and simply living — before you have to begin “adulting” for the next eight hours. Regardless of what happens later in the day, having a mini-morning before work can help you feel more optimistic and energetic when you get there, bringing joy all the way into the salon.
Although burnout is not always avoidable, we hope these three tips help you manage and prevent it from happening less often. If you find that something is not working for you — even if it may have previously — be encouraged to try a different strategy. We know you’ve got this!