Sit Down, Shut up, and Breathe
Depression is often explained by feeling we are living in the past. Anxiety is your brain existing in the future instead of focusing on what is currently happening. As a hairdresser, it is easy for us to experience both. Depression over a past service that was not up to par. Or shoving an entire Chipotle burrito into your stomach during your two minute break. There is anxiety and fret about next week's books still sitting at 40% productivity. What is that four hour color correction tomorrow about and what am I going to do?
These feelings can distract us from the most powerful time in our lives: the present. What is happening right now? No, don't think about the next client walking in. Don't think about the argument with your spouse from last night. What are you feeling NOW?
Mindful meditation is a practice Destroy the Hairdresser wants you to employ to keep yourself in each moment. It's less about sitting lotus-style and chanting 'om' as it is a helpful brain and body exercise that can be done daily with ease to keep you grounded, aware, and healthy.
What is the point of mindfulness in meditation? It is about being aware of the now. Take a seat. The floor or a chair is just fine. Take some time to experience how your body is feeling. What are you supposed to be feeling? As I type I notice my calves are tight, probably from a day of standing. My feet feel swollen. My lower back I want to rip out and replace with a teddy bear hug but that's not practical. So I let myself feel the obvious discomfort just above my tailbone all the way up through my shoulder blades. I remind myself that this is my body and it's allowed to feel how it feels. Sitting meditation doesn't look to relieve suffering, only to acknowledge it as a part of the human condition.
Sounds bleak, right? But the more I do it, the more I am able to adjust my habits such as stance, stretching, and over-exerting with long work hours and intensive blow dries to be kinder to this meat-sack I live in.
After taking some time to say hello to your body and what is happening with it, turn your attention to breathing. As someone who can't focus for longer than a minute, the repetition of in and out and in and out (keep it clean people) is both working physiologically as well as mentally to keep us in the moment. Try this with your eyes open, focused on one object or space in the room. Use it as a focal point.
Let your thoughts go. As I practice my mindfulness I don't focus on emptying my brain so I am a vessel waiting to be filled with enlightenment, I just...let my thoughts go. Say your gratitude's. Feel the feelings. If you feel depression and anxiety creep in, reel in the thoughts until you can be in the now.
Why do we recommend this? As hairdressers. we take on the burdens and energies of those we work on and work with whether we like it or not. Without hitting the reset button so we can be still in our bodies and minds, it is easy to burn out.