• Anna Bunnell

Relaxation: Without Saltwater and Sand!

I recently took 12 days off work to be home with my kids for Fall Break. I was actually embarrassed to tell my clients and I am not even sure my friends and family knew just how long of a break I took. I scheduled the break months ago with the encouragement of my husband, when I was feeling particularly stressed. By the time Fall Break rolled around, that stress had faded but I chose to proceed with my scheduled work vacation, no plans to leave town, just intending to enjoy relaxation and much-needed time with my kids.

Typically, I don’t relax well. It’s very hard for me to sit still and even harder for me to shut down my mind. I’m constantly thinking of things and, if it’s not for work, it’s about house projects, or ideas of ways to communicate better with my kids, or trips we might want to plan. However, within a couple days into my little sabbatical, I started relaxing. I started working on projects around the house and focusing my mind only at the task at hand. I read books and organized our finances, for fun! I watched TV with my husband and thought only about the plot and not about the fact that I should have gone to the grocery that day. I went shopping with my daughter, college visiting with my son and we took all of the kids to the Apple Orchard for our annual tradition. All of this relaxation occurred but I can’t really say I noticed that it happened… until I returned to work.

I woke up Monday morning and decided that, no matter what came my way, I was going to have a happy day. I had missed talking to clients, I missed my girls at the shop, I missed making people smile in the mirror at the end of the appointment. I didn’t miss repairing things at the salon or last-minute cancellations or my foot pain that returns with a vengeance after a busy 8 hour day. And though every one of those things occurred – the good and the bad - I still finished my day feeling great. I needed to get back to work on Monday – it was time. But I needed that break, too. My mind, body and soul needed to regenerate in order for me to be better and happier at my job. 12 days is a long time and I won’t have the luxury to do that very frequently in my life. As women, especially, we tell each other constantly to “make time for yourself”. It’s so easy to say and we know that it makes sense but, in reality, it’s much harder to do. However, I encourage you to make time for yourself. Really and truly, take a break from that which consumes you – whether you love your job or not, you know it often dominates your time and your mind.

If your time at the salon is the only “you time” you get, I hope that you have fun while you are here, that you feel relaxed and that you laugh. I love a good highlight or that perfect cut that makes your hair bounce just right. But what I love the most about my job is the connections I have with people – when we laugh or we share an emotional story, when I get a hug before you leave and you have a grin on your face when you return. My sense of worth in my job comes from knowing that when you leave my chair, not just your hair is better… but that you are better, too.

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