Pro Tips for Easing Anxiety In and Out of the Salon

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By Dawn Bradley

Anxiety sucks, especially when it follows you into work. In the service industry, we navigate this struggle daily. As people who care deeply and work to make others feel good from the inside out, we often invest so much of our personal worth that any small thing can send us into a spiral of anxiety. On August 30, 2016, I landed in the emergency room thinking I was taking my last breath. I thought I was having a stroke, but it was a massive panic attack brought on from work anxiety. Since then, I’ve found a new way to work and live that eases those anxieties and has me showing up and being my best. Here are my top five tips for beating anxiety as a hairstylist.

[1] Start Your Day with Reminders. Every morning I write down three mantras: that I am a big deal and can do hard things; that what other people think of me is none of my business; and that negativity can’t touch me. What do you need to be reminded of each day? Write these things down and repeat them until you believe them.

[2] Remember to Breathe. I learned a lot from that ER visit. Whenever you notice stress levels rising, stop and take big belly breaths. Deep breathing calms our nervous systems and fights off anxiety attacks before they start.

[3] Nourish Your Body. I know, I know—“we don’t have time!” But I’ll be honest, the moment I cut back on refined sugar and caffeine there was a direct impact on my anxiety levels. Did you know that anxiety escalates when we’re not hydrated or fed? Instead of one more coffee, try water and an apple. After a couple weeks, you’ll thank me!

[4] Move Your Body. Get that anxiety out of your system. Going for a walk, stretching or simply shaking your limbs will help that anxious energy move through you and out of you. Bonus points if you go outside!

[5] Rest. It’s not just about resting on the couch, but active rest, too. Taking a break by doing an activity or a hobby rests your mind and helps melt all that anxiety away.

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