December 2012

Steve Sleeper

Beauty Insider| by Teena Austin


If Life is a Circus… Do You Feel Like the Juggler?

When it seems like there are not enough hours in the day to handle every commitment, what can you do?

We all know when something is out of alignment. We feel like we can't catch up or are out of control, resulting in neither giving nor getting all we can out of life.

Here's an idea you may not have contemplated: some people are simply more susceptible to stress, and some of us handle it more easily than others.

According to new research reported by Science Daily, stress may be more related to how you are wired, rather than your external influences. To read more about the findings in this study:

A recent survey conducted by the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) asked beauty industry professionals how they deal with the pressures we all face, and here's what one respondent candidly shared, "I really am in charge of most of my stress; however, questions I haven't answered or the boundaries I haven't set are because of my fear or unwillingness to live with the truth."

But how do you tune things up so they are running smoothly again? The answer is different for different people and seeking solutions is a personal journey. The website defines work/life balance as "Meaningful daily achievement and enjoyment in each of the four life quadrants: work, family, friends and self."

The satisfaction of accomplishing the goals we set for ourselves in these four areas – combined with enjoying our experiences, interactions and reflections along the way – really determines how we perceive our lives at the end of each day.

Here are five tips for restoring balance and relieving stress. Try them, and find your individual recipe for dialing down the chaos quotient.

Prepare a Schedule, Make a Plan: Many people find that allotting time during the day for specific activities and writing it down in a schedule or calendar keeps them on track and helps manage the multiple demands we all face every day. If you know your day is going to be extra challenging, build more time into the schedule as a cushion. A plan can give you a roadmap to follow when things get hectic.

Stay Present in the Moment: Several respondents to a recent PBA survey on work/life balance suggested the Zen philosophy of staying present in the moment was their way to maintain harmony. This simply means, when you're there, be all there – don't think about what you need to get done, your appointments tomorrow, or what bills to pay.

Control your thoughts rather than let them lead you somewhere else. When you spend time in the past or the future during any action, you are missing the present! Psychology Today offers the article, "5 Steps for Being Present" on its website, 5-steps-being-present along with many other articles on work/life balance, stress relief and more.

Get Help: Others in the industry advise that finally hiring that assistant or delegating tasks to partners and other family members helps manage the daily demands pulling you in different directions. Don't be afraid to let go, and let someone else. You may even be giving away an opportunity for another person to learn a thing or two, and enrich their own experience.

Make Time for Yourself: For some, waking up early, journaling, spending time with a friend or rewarding themselves with a treat keeps the flow moving in a positive direction. Get that massage you've been thinking about, or light those candles you've been saving for a special moment and relax in the tub.

Some people find energy in learning something new, so perhaps a class is your personal prescription for peace and harmony. We all need me time and finding it is an important part of daily living. Rejuvenate your outlook and it may help you put things back into perspective.

Take Care of Your Physical Body: The impact you feel from the demands of the modern world on your human form is real, and takes its toll on your energy. Find something you enjoy and make a serious commitment to doing it regularly. Whether it's yoga, dancing, running, walking the dog or some other physical activity, get up – get out – and get moving. Exercise is a proven stress reliever and mood elevator. And, eating healthy foods and ensuring plenty of sleep give you the strength and stamina to keep up.

Be Kind to Yourself: Does that voice in your head (mine sounds like my first grade teacher) constantly tell you how you've gained five pounds, missed the deadline, were late to pick up the kids, or don't have the resources to pay the bill? Tell the voice to "be gone!" and treat yourself as you would your best friend – with kindness, tolerance and benevolent forgiveness.

The human condition is one of imperfection, and no one is without flaws. Love yourself, remind yourself of all that is good in your life, and be your own greatest advocate: this is the best advice of all. And remember to laugh! It really is the best medicine.

Teena Austin is the membership manager for the Professional Beauty Association, the largest industry trade association representing cosmetologists and other beauty professionals, salons, spas, schools, manufacturers, and distributors. The PBA membership team works to bring value to its growing roster through resources and benefits to advance individual careers and the industry as a whole. Contact PBA at 800.468.2274, email, or visit to learn more about the benefits of belonging.