In this 2nd blog of a 4 part series about stress, referring and responding to the uniqueness found in the Aesthetic industry is critical to examine. In blog 1, we explored the difference between stress and stressors, types of stress and acceptance of stress in our lives.
The stress is real.
All of you working in the fast-paced, continually changing and significantly COVID impacted field of cosmetic artistry experience unique stress.
And it is natural to wonder how to manage it, in all its uniqueness.
While the basics may be the same, the types of stress and Social Appropriateness for dealing with stress have so many implications for us working in it.
When we feel unsafe, everything filters through a place of feeling threatened:
By the College requirements that seem impossible to implement or regulate in practice
By a client who is insistent on a treatment that does not align with your values
By a nurse colleague who is bringing toxicity to your environment.
All of this makes us feel threatened, but we are governed by our fear of being shut down and not knowing how to address the never-ending stress professionally.
For many people in life, we respond with fight or flight to a stress crisis.
Our brain is activated and responds to the threat, telling your body to fight. However, what typically happens is the flight response kicks in because of the doubtful fear that takes over.
“I want to punch the client in the face” (fight), but instead we respond, “I can’t say or do that- I need the money, and it’s illegal.”
“I want to flip the nurse colleague the bird (fight), but instead we respond, “Don’t do it – The college of nurses will have my hide!”
We are conditioned to be “good girls,” to be “nice,” and have our shit together. We are told it’s wrong to feel that stress. Feeling overwhelmed? This is what we respond with to others and our own self-talk “Hey, you made your bed girl….make different choices….”
Be nice, be strong, be polite. No feeling for you, and into the soup of stress, you go.
Whether it be because of the profession we chose that brought us here, the gender biases we get to the table or the oppressive rules that keep us from feeling the joy and autonomy we dreamed of, I am here to say:
Breath. You are not alone.
Stress is unique in the Aesthetics industry.
And I am certainly not advocating to respond with a fight response either.
But we are in a profession that subconsciously we typically tend to experience a response of flight. Flight causes other troubling issues that cumulates the stress. According to Dr. Nicole LePera’s book “How to do the Work,” continually addressing stress with a subconscious flight response can lead to physical and emotional problems that further exasperate the issue:
- A lack of emotional resilience
- Inability to form meaningful connections
- Issues thinking, concentrating or planning for the future
- Trouble reasoning and inappropriate supercharged responses over daily tasks or problems
So what are we to do?
The first step is to acknowledge and know that our stress is unique and we are not alone. Finding more appropriate ways to cope with the stress and build a stress first aid kit will get us back to the joy and purpose-filled reason our journey took us here in the first place. The following two blogs in this series will get us there!