Running on Empty

Are we all running empty and we don’t even know it?

Burnout is so common in every day life we may have become unaware of how we have been coping…

Society has given a gold medal to those who keep up the good work and bury the burnout.

There’s a meme for that: just drink more coffee, blow it all off over the weekend with all day cocktail sessions, and work out like a beast so you can be the boss come Monday.

More awareness must be given to the fact that we are in a profession that requires an intense amount of focus and attention. Yes we are artists but we are also carrying someone’s vanity through a transformation. As we work around our patron’s physical body we are also caring for vicarious energies (feelings). The more we understand how we are actually taking this into our own physical body and energy body the more we can care for our well being. This stress can be called Compassion Fatigue.

As beauty professionals we are seeing patrons in such a way that our days do not allow for a break or any time to process the individual interactions. And as these appointments stack up hour after hour, day after day, the cumulative effect can start to cause harm to our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being.

Here are signs of CF, also known as Burn Out, listed from moderate to extreme:

*Lack of excitement for work

*Tired all the time

*Avoidance of people close to you (isolation)

*Calling in sick


*Emotional eating, drinking, or overuse of drugs to cope

*Excessive TV

*Excessive sleep

*Zombie like feelings, just “going through the motions”

*Numb, just don’t care

Awareness is the beginning of your ability to manage and maintain a healthy work life. Our job as beauty professionals is valuable beyond what we are actually doing for our patrons, as our work is at its deepest layer very compassionate and nurturing. Knowing what your individual impact is on your community can help you be conscious of your own needs and avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms.

From my own experiences I have realized the need for many levels of support and tools for my well being. Knowing selfcare is vital to my success and ability to care for others. If you need more information about what support and tools for self-care look like, or you’re ready to give yourself the gift of support, please contact me…

If you would like to learn more about Compassion Fatigue go to

Information and support with the 12 steps – Alcoholics Anonymous

Find meetings and support in SD – AA San Diego

Non 12 step recovery support – The Dharma Bums , Smart Recoveryin SD

If you need inpatient support with addiction and maladaptive coping methods please know you are not alone and there are many resources to help you:

Resources and Information – and

Local Treatment and pertinent information/resources related to SD – Sharp McDonald Center , Scripps , , project

Rachel Bagan