Our previous blog post focused on looking at a slower economy from a positive standpoint, using time and resources wisely and seeing opportunities instead of empty appointment slots. The following are our suggestions for what NOT to do during tough economic times.
Panic - Do your best to remain calm and focused while at work. Manage your stress and energy levels, and do what you need to do to protect yourself and your patients from unnecessary negativity. Maintain your healthy habits and routines, including sleep, exercise, and nutrition.
Vent to Your Patients - This may seem like a no-brainer, but after years of working with not just one person but their whole family and social group, boundaries can start to blur. Even if you are working on close friends and family members, remember that their treatment time is about them, not you. Direct the conversation towards positive, patient-focused, and therapeutic areas, and save the visiting for social time outside of the treatment room.
Give Up - Switching employment often just means trading in one set of problems for another. A bigger, guaranteed paycheque can sound good, but if that comes along with higher expenses for childcare, travel, or clothing, that extra money can evaporate quickly. Re-visiting your personal budget and analyzing spending habits may reveal a few areas where costs can be cut without sacrificing your massage career.
Work for Free - "Do not give your massage away for free! Never work for free!" I still can hear my massage instructor's voice in my head whenever I feel like taking in all the wounded people and rubbing all their cares away. No matter how desperate, poor, or broken someone is, it is beneficial for all concerned for there to be some form of payment. It maintains personal dignity and fosters respect. However, there are ways to lend a helping hand. You may choose to work with a community group volunteering (where they deal with screening their clients), use a sliding scale, trade services, or my personal favourite, work for food.
We can't predict how long the price of oil will be low, and we can't massage the economy back to its 2014 levels. What we can do is remember why we chose this career, and do our best to maintain ourselves as ethical, responsible, and caring RMTs.
In health, MTSO staff.