Welcome to the stressful world of aesthetics! Most of us never thought we would end up here, in this fast-paced industry! Most of us did not realize how quickly, and innovatively cosmetic treatments and aesthetic practice would be growing. It’s exponentially exciting but terrifying. Sometimes I feel like I have walked onto a train going so fast through all sorts of weather and terrain with no clear destination, but I can’t seem to find anywhere to stop!
But to avoid a train wreck, there is so much we can do.
Understand stress and stressors better. Awareness is power.
Difference between stress and stressors
Stressors are part of life.
We all experience life circumstances, events, and environments that are stressors. The stressor causes the stress because individuals find the stressor demanding, challenging or threatening to their wellbeing. To put it bluntly, stressors are the things your body and mind label as things that f*** with us.
Stress is different than the stressor.
Stress is the state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse (unpleasant) or demanding circumstances.
In other words, stress is the brain and body shift that says I am f***** as a result of those things that f*** with me.
Just because you have dealt with the stressor doesn’t mean you have dealt with the stress. Understanding the types of stress is the first step.
Types of Stress
In aesthetics, there is positive, tolerable, but also toxic stress.
Positive stress comes when we learn about a new procedure or device, open our clinic, build our business. It’s exhausting but it is a good thing. I equate it to becoming a mother and moving to a new home. It’s all good, but there is no denying it is stressful!
Tolerable stress is the pressures that come from learning new procedures, adhering to College guidelines, experiencing unfamiliar situations. Having a collaborative team, fantastic clients and a supportive medical director/injector relationship buffer this stress. It helps make it tolerable, although we still need to attend to it.
However, in the absence of protective and supportive relationships, prolonged stress can become toxic to our bodies and mind. Toxic stress is more challenging to recover from. Toxic stress is when we experience repeated, and continued adversity and support is not adequate to get through it. For many of us in aesthetics, COVID lockdowns and health regulations have resulted in toxic stress.
This four-part series about Stress in Aesthetics is geared to help manage stress you are experiencing and build an aesthetic stress management kit of strategies to help avoid it developing into a toxic type of stress.
Just because you have dealt with the stressor doesn’t mean you have dealt with the stress. You must clean up the mess of the stress and offer closure to the brain and body.
I like to equate it to a stress feast when you are working so hard to remove the stressor but neglect to address the stress it has caused.