Groomers work too hard, too long, and without paying attention to care for themselves. Overall, this can lead to emotional burnout or even affect physical health. As a busy stylist, your most important tool is yourself. You deserve to take good care of yourself, so you can continue to take good care of the pets you love. Here are some simple steps to consider incorporating into your daily routine to support oh-so-important YOU.
- Invest in a great water bottle. Most people do not drink enough water to support optimum physical health. A bottle that works well and is enjoyable to use will help to encourage you to drink. After trying an embarrassing number of water bottles, I have found one I adore. Thinksport makes it. Mine holds 25 ounces of water, keeps it icy cold all day, does not sweat or leak, and has an easy-to-use with one-hand lid that keeps fur out of my water.
- Sit! Many groomers are trained to work standing. This can lead to fatigue, circulation problems, and foot woes. Teach yourself to sit for at least some time as you work. I love saddle-style stools because they are designed to promote proper posture and are just darned comfortable.
- Anti-fatigue mats- A well-cushioned mat in front of the tub and where you stand to work the most is a must-have. Your feet and legs will thank you.
- Pack snacks- If you don't have access to a refrigerator at work, invest in an inexpensive cooler and bring snacks to work every day. Feel hangry is no way to support your body as you groom. Fresh fruit, nuts, sliced vegetables, and hard-boiled eggs are easy to plan, pack, and make for healthy snacking. Also, a favorite sandwich, leftovers from last night's supper, or a great salad will give you fuel to scissor away. And yes, you do need to plan a time for lunch. Bonus points if you put your feet up while you eat!
- Invest in supportive shoes. Not only will your feet feel better now, but you may prevent doing permanent damage to them as you age. Savvy groomers keep an extra pair of shoes at work and switch them out mid-day to give their feet a welcome change.
- Keep a tennis ball around. Then, when you rest, slip your shoes off and give your feet an impromptu massage by rolling the ball around with the sole of each foot. Ahhh!
- Plan a slow cooker or Instant Pot supper at least once a week. I choose my busiest day and get supper cooking before I get to work. I think about how nice that soup or stew or whatever will smell when I walk through the door all day. I make enough to have leftovers for lunches or a second supper.
Simple steps to support your physical and mental health as you work are crucial to promoting day-to-day satisfaction with your job and maintaining good physical health far into the future. You deserve nothing less!
By Daryl Conner, MPS, MCG
Daryl Conner has been devoted to making dogs and cats more comfortable and beautiful for almost 40 years. You can find her happily working at FairWinds Grooming Studio with her daughter and infant granddaughter, or typing away at her latest grooming-related article. Daryl was awarded both a Cardinal Crystal Award and Barkleigh Honors Award for journalism. She shares her meadow-hugged antique Maine farmhouse with her practically perfect husband and too many animals