By Carrie Hibbard Cifuentes
Many wellness professionals arrived at their field after quite the drastic career change. Now that they’ve found the job they love, why would they ever quit it and seek something else? The last article dealt with how to not sweat the small stuff. But when those frustrations amount to mountains of stress, it may be time to reevaluate. A query of diverse health practitioners finds that most have not reached the ultimate breaking point. Yet when tough times come, they all find ways to keep from quitting.
- Take a break
Many health professionals run an independent business or develop their own schedule with clients. That gives you the liberty to take a leave of absence whenever you feel overwhelmed or drained.
Instead of all-together quitting, just take a week off and see how you feel. Your patients can feel any rundown or negative energy, and will be understanding that you need to take care of yourself just as much as you take care of them.
- Keep practicing
When you recognize that you feel weary, question the source. Is it your practice, or something else going on in your life?
Anne McCullough Kelley has asked herself: “Is the problem solved by not teaching yoga?” She finds that’s never the case. “Almost always when I have that thought, then go in and teach yoga, that cancels out those thoughts. Students bring some wonderful life and energy and that helps me to keep balanced.”
- Learn from others
If the pressure is always on you to teach, take the backseat for once.
Kelly Lawson admits that “sometimes I would just like to go to a yoga class and be a student, to not have to teach.” While it can be relaxing to simply follow along, it’s the relaxation itself that pumps Kelly up to keep teaching. “When I see my students so relaxed, it gives me satisfaction to know that people are getting something out of it.”
- Change tactics
For many, our hands are our lifebloods, as they are what prod and prick, support and soothe our clients.
Dawn Core is a massage therapist who has had to ask herself: what would I do without my hands? “Five years ago I noticed that my hands were starting to be affected by my profession.” With creativity she can alleviate cracking hands and continue the profession. “There are other ways I can give massages in future. I can use bamboo, stones, other materials not hands.” She concluded confidently, “I’m going to keep doing it for years!”
- Carve your niche
With more practitioners, you all enjoy more exposure, but face each other for competition.
Dr. Scott Andersen was puzzled when patients would come in for adjustment, but keep coming back with the same thing. He discovered that “nutrition was the missing piece of puzzle”, and now complements chiropractic work with nutrition consultation. He now receives patients referred exclusively for his niche focus, and has seen drastic health transformations with patients who no longer take blood pressure or cholesterol medications.
- Pray for help
Not just other competition, but also the economy in general affects our practice. Material worries are put into prayers. Sarah Ripperger, a massage therapist plead bargains, “if the Lord wants me here, he will have to send clients.” She is also calmed by a sense of knowing she’s in the right place. “This is where I feel I’m supposed to be– come hard times, come lean times.”
- Know your goals
“Know your own mission, vision, and purpose for doing what you do,” says Natasha Jansen. She helps the elderly start and stay on fitness programs, and says that with specific goals and action plans, you will “be amazed at what you can accomplish!” Dr. James Punke, a chiropractor, adds that “to give up means to give up on your own goals and dreams.” You’d be giving up not only on yourself, but on other people–your clients. He concludes succinctly, “you can’t do that.”