3 tips for a healthy life-work balance
Running a spa operation can be stressful so you need to make sure you carve out some me-time. Lydia Mormen quizzes experienced owners about the processes they use to achieve a healthy work-life balance
We live in a time when success in the work place all too often comes at the detriment of mental health. This is why it’s more important than ever to ensure that leaders in the spa and wellness industry are at the forefront of knowing the most productive ways of maintaining a healthy balance between success in the business world and being fully present in their personal lives.
Cultivate a realistic work-life balance by taking these tips on board.
1. Create a night-time ritual
In the fast-paced world we live in it can be easy to forget that taking time for yourself can be of huge benefit to you and your team. After a series of losses, extensive travel and dealing with health issues, Luisa Anderson, director of Four Seasons, Indonesia, realised that to be successful at work and thrive in her personal life she had to review what needed to change to bring back the joy.
“The biggest impact has come about by starting with the small things: eating healthy, being kind, discovering a local beach where I can walk and swim, and most of all, being completely present,” says Anderson. “Sleep is precious to me and I’m now honouring the fact that my body needs that. The hardest thing was switching off devices at a self-negotiated time of 9pm and allowing between four to six off-line hours in a row on each of my days off.”
Since learning to live in the moment, Anderson’s productivity and inspiration is flowing more than ever before. “Most of the joy and vitality that I was missing in my life is back and I’m better for it.”
2. Build a strong team
As a spa manager, ensuring your team is strong and happy can have a huge impact on your own success, as well as the success of the spa itself. For William Cardelin, spa manager at Spa Métropole by Givenchy in Monaco, ensuring his work-life balance incorporated his team was the key to making sure that the business functioned successfully.
“It is essential to surround yourself with qualified, capable people. When you have a strong team around you, you can delegate and distribute tasks, which dramatically decreases your stress levels,” he says. Cardelin also stays on top of schedules ahead of deadlines so that there are no surprises that can cause issues and potentially disrupt his home life.
“Anticipating your workload is essential. By doing that you can plan, organise and deal with the situation in advance. The most difficult period is during the busy periods, such as Christmas, so anticipate that more of your team will be away and plan ahead accordingly,” he explains. “It means there will be less frantic, last-minute decisions to be made, meaning you can stay calm and enjoy your environment.”
In order to make sure you’re never sacrificing your own personal time to cover absent staff unless absolutely necessary, Cardelin recommends incorporating the needs of your employees into the spa’s scheduling. “When it comes to setting out the work schedule, I do it depending on my personal needs, but also taking into account my assistant’s needs too. If she needs to have some days off, I’ll block those out for her. I always consult with her before the schedule is set as our planning is interlinked. If she’s away, and I am too, I’ll have someone else with the required skills present to support the team.”
3. Form good habits
Many senior positions require an element of travel, which often means spending time away from family, and these long-haul flights can take their toll. For Julie Bach, executive director of Wellness for Cancer, provider of cancer-focused training for the spa and wellness industry, it was this exact scenario which taught her the importance of managing sleep and making her mental wellbeing a priority.
“If you’re a small company then it is very easy to cut corners on where you stay when travelling to make sure you remain within budget, but in reality, this decision can negatively impact you. When you don’t have a good night’s sleep or there isn’t the option of a healthy breakfast you can’t properly manage your own wellbeing,” says Bach.
“Also, utilise the time you spend waiting in airports or sitting on aeroplanes to meditate, organise your thoughts or do yoga nidra. There is nothing better to calm the mind than spending time in meditation. When the mind is calm, not only can you make better decisions for yourself and your team, but you can manage any schedule changes and difficult situations with more ease.”