Our current students and alumni can attest to the fact that hair school is an emotional rollercoaster at times. Finally mastering a difficult cut positing or colour formula, or riding the high off providing a really great service can be offset with a busy day on the floor, completing projects and meeting deadlines. Maintaining a healthy school/life balance is challenging for everyone at some point, and promoting overall physical, mental and emotional well-being can drastically improve your state-of-mind, productivity and the way you interact with others. In honour of this year’s 25th World Mental Health Day, we’ve come up with 10 cheap and student-friendly ways to stay cheerful through wellness and self-care practices that can help you manage stress on high-pressure days, develop emotional awareness and impact positive decision making.
1. Be Optimistic.
Not everyone is born with an optimistic outlook on life, and sometimes it can take real work to adopt this kind of attitude. The benefits of a positive viewpoint are well worth the extra effort! Enjoying the small things or finding the silver lining in a difficult situation can keep you focused on the good in your life while developing the ability to learn and grow from all of your experiences- both positive and negative.
Practicing mindfulness is a great way to increase your self-awareness while improving your emotional well-being. Focusing your mind, even for just a few minutes everyday can help reduce stress and allows you to become more aware of your thoughts as they arise. Additionally, a few physical benefits have been linked to meditation in the forms of lowered blood pressure, improved blood circulation and reduced anxiety.
3. Express gratitude.
Wanting things is great- it can give you something to hope for, a challenge to overcome, or a goal to conquer. And while this is a great quality for aspiring hairdressers and career-focused students, we shouldn’t forget the things we already have. Keeping a daily journal of the things you’re grateful for, or showing someone that they are appreciated can help strengthen your relationships with family and friends while boosting your own sense of well-being.
A smile is a simple and yet powerful thing. It immediately transforms a person- how they are seen by others, and more importantly, how people feel about themselves. Smiling releases endorphins that make you feel happy and relaxed in addition to making you appear more approachable to others.
5. Dry Brushing.
This self-care practice is one that is sure to make you look and feel great. Dry brushing itself only takes about 5 minutes of your time before hopping in the shower, but the benefits are numerous. Sloughing off dead skin cells reveals glowing skin underneath, while stimulating your lymphatic system, and in doing so helps to naturally detoxify your body. The rhythmic brushing can also have a meditative quality that reduces stress.
6. Ask for Help.
Many people tend to see this as a weakness, although letting yourself become overwhelmed in a challenging situation is a much more damaging option. Soliciting support can help alleviate stress, while giving others the opportunity to offer assistance and feel comfortable asking for help in their own time of need. It becomes a supportive cycle of goodness for everyone!
7. Learn to Accept Help.
Even when a friend notices your silent struggle, your immediate response is probably something along the lines of “I’m ok.” Friendships and all relationships are built on foundations of both giving and receiving. Accepting support in times of need can strengthen your relationships with others while bringing your life back into balance.
Physical exertion can be just as good for your mental state as it is for your body. 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 times a week can have a significant impact on your mental state, leading to increased energy, better sleep, higher self-esteem and improved overall mood, just to name a few benefits!
9. Practice Kindness.
Showing small kindnesses to others- whether friends, colleagues or complete strangers, has the capacity to affect great change in the world and as well as in yourself. A simple gesture like holding a door for the person behind you, or giving up your seat on the bus to someone in need can not only make their day a bit better, but can make your day better too! Witnessing and performing acts of compassion can releases oxytocin, which can increase self-esteem and contribute to a more optimistic attitude in general.
Breathing is something most of us probably take for granted as an automatic response of the body, but deep breathing can have a powerful impact on our mental wellness by relaxing both the body and the mind. There are numerous techniques including breath counting that can help reduce stress, improve sleep and have a calming effect in times of distress.
* The Aveda Institutes Canada have recently partnered with Morneau Shepell’s Student Support Program, offering students access to mental health support 24/7. If you have questions about the mental health resources available to you, please contact your local Registrar.
The Aveda Institute Team