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Stress Management

By: Renee Knight
Posted: June 16, 2008, from the August 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

When stress becomes part of Monique Iacobacci’s day, she switches pens. As the manager of Experience Life Spa in Jersey City, New Jersey, Iacobacci knows all about work-related stress. She, like many spa owners and managers, needs a way to release that stress when irate customers or marketing headaches send her anxiety level soaring. Writing with her “happy pen,” complete with feathers, is one of Iacobacci’s stress-relieving activities. But it certainly doesn’t end there.

“When I feel myself really stressed out, I try to walk away for a minute,” she says. “I say what I have to say, and I try to keep myself composed. If it really starts escalating, I’ll say ‘We’re going to talk about this at the end of the day.’ ”

The tension-building situations spa owners deal with can seem endless—the client who didn’t keep an appointment, the one who did but you wish hadn’t. Days spent pampering clients at the same time as managing a team, as well as the financial pressures that come with running a business, can congeal into one big ball of stress. Finding ways to release the negative feelings these situations create is essential for keeping a spa running smoothly and maintaining a therapeutic atmosphere.

Fighting stress

Deep breathing, stretching or simply stepping away for a few minutes are ways to cool down when your blood begins to boil, says Christine Matheis, wellness coordinator for corporate health at Northwest Community Healthcare in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Take a break—you need it every now and then. You’ll likely come back refreshed and in a better, more problem-solving state of mind.

When Dawn Kepner feels the strain a hectic day can bring at Apropos Skin Therapies in Roswell, Georgia, she takes a walk around the block or goes into her office and closes the door. She finds the time alone without questions or distractions soothing. “If I go into my office and close the door, that’s a clue that I need a little quiet time, and that I need a break,” says Kepner, the spa’s owner.