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12 Mental Health Hacks for the Groomers.
You only get one brain. Sometimes I wish we could trade them in for one in ‘better working condition’ or press for a software update.
For those experiencing mental health issues, the pain can be unbearable and likened to that of the pain you get from a broken bone.
People understand you when you have a broken bone, it can be much harder for other and ourselves to understand when we have a ‘broken brain’. mental health hacks for groomers
1 in 4 adults experience mental health issues(NHS.uk) and those experiencing some form of depression has almost doubled since the Coronavirus pandemic (Mind.org.uk). These figures aren’t surprising. The more we delve into this subject, the more we find the horrifying effects of mental health. In this mind boggling world we live in, there is one thing we know for sure.
Nobody should feel ashamed about their mental healthhacks for groomers
Recently there’s been a huge surge in mental health posts across social media. In particular, something that has caught my eye has been the honesty, and rise around this subject in the world of dog grooming.
Grooming can be tough, real tough! For many of us we work alone, some may have the added pressures of running salons with staff. We run our own businesses and have to navigate the world and life all at the same time. Reducing stress, anxiety and depression in the grooming salon probably won’t include impromptu yoga sessions or an hours meditation; the logistics would be a nightmare!
For those facing some tough times but still ploughing on and trying hard to keep business as usual…
Here are 12 practical mental health hacks for the grooming salon. Best of all, if you’re in a busy salon your peers won’t even realise you’re doing most of them!
1. Listen to classical music or relaxing water music
This isn’t everyone’s bag and if you asked me a few years ago I would have smirked and given you the side eye! But after trying it, I find it works, plus it can calm dogs down too. Give it a go and stick with it for a few hours.
2. Stay hydrated
Keeping hydrated means the brain doesn’t have to struggle with the feelings of dehydration and allows you to think more clearly.
Taking small sips of water regularly when feeling anxious or stressed sends a signal to your brain. It goes against those of the flight or fight mode. These contradicting messages help the brain to stop and come out of the fight or flight mode. I guess it’s a bit like confusing it and pressing the reset button.
Drop the caffeine! Caffeine can trigger your cortisol levels to rise.. high cortisol equals high stress!
3. Practice using your peripheral vision
When in a state of anxiety or stress, your body automatically goes into the fight or flight mode and your vision becomes focused. Imagine running away from a lion, you’re going to be pretty focused! By looking and focusing on the outside corners of your eyes, you’re going against what your brain automatically thinks it should do. So it starts to come out of the fight or flight mode and reduces the symptoms linked to it.
4. Use your smart watch or apps on your phone to practice breathing techniques
With a simple press of a button you can get guided breathing to help ground you and bring you out of a state of stress or anxiety. If you don’t have a smart watch, there are lots of apps for your phone.
5. Increase your prices
No, seriously do it! Why groom 7 dogs a day when you can groom 5 for the same amount of money? Grooming less dogs will mean there’s more time for you, your family and for you to do the things you love outside of work.
6. Ask for help
You are not alone. There are so many groomers who understand the stresses of our job. They can help in either a grooming capacity or just be there as a friend. Reach out to your local groomers or put a post up on the grooming Facebook pages. Trust me they will be many willing to help.
7. Put dogs down and take some time to ground yourself
Sometimes you just need to put the dog down for 2 minutes and reset yourself. Give the dog a cuddle. We’ve all heard that stroking a dog reduces blood pressure.
8. Listen to podcasts
Having conversation in the background can take your mind off your worries and troubles. It can help you to focus and concentrate and get the job done.
Social media has a lot to answer for where our mental health is concerned! Try to reduce scrolling time, particularly whilst experiencing mental health problems. There are always things to do in our salons. Find something productive to do and it will make you feel so much better!
10. Talk out loud to the dogs
Talking out loud uses a different section of the brain to thinking and talking to yourself. By forcing the brain to switch sections you can stamp out the negative thoughts. Sometimes I tell the dogs what I’m having for dinner!
11. Counting awareness
Again, this can help to refocus your brain on to something else. Count objects around the salon, count nails as you clip them, count out loud to the dog as you hold his foot up! It doesn’t matter what you count, just use counting to reset your brain.
12.Rinse your hands in cold water
Bring your body temperature down. The fight or flight mode increases body temperature as the blood gets pumped round the body. Cool yourself down and send contradicting messages to your brain, forcing it to stop in its tracks.
I am by no means an expert in this matter and still on my own journey, but these are tips I’ve picked up from lots of late night research on CBT and some advice from professionals along the way. So hope they can be useful to you too. Worth a try right?
If you are struggling why not visit https://www.mind.org.uk/ for more help or call the Samaritans who will always have a listening ear; https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan/talk-us-phone/
24 groomers got their kit off to raise money and awareness for mental health. Check out our charity NAKED calendar HERE