Monthly Archives: December 2005

Ho! Ho! Ho! Gift Certificates to Go

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Ho! Ho! Ho! Gift Certificates to Go

My husband’s massage practice is mostly made up of busy professionals and executives. So one year, in early December we sent a letter to all of his regular clients with 3 lovely gift certificates. He explained in the letter that he wanted to alleviate some of their holiday stress. So if there was someone on their holiday list that they did not have a gift for yet, all they had to do was call us with their credit card information (or mail a check) and give us the certificate numbers and we would instantly “activate” them. Then, the certificates were ready to be put under the Christmas tree or popped in the mail. What could be easier?

We followed up with a brief reminder call to anyone who hadn’t used them a week before Christmas, incase they just forgot about them. A few clients who had been procrastinating about gifts were really glad we called, and we sold quite a few more. And in addition to selling a record number of certificates, his clients really appreciated that we made their lives a bit easier during the holiday season. A win-win situation for us all (not to mention the happy recipients!).

Don’t forget to download your free massage gift certificate

Massage Success! – How Did She Do It?

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Last December, a massage therapist who was taking part in my Massage Marketing Marathon program, set the intension to sell 30 Christmas gift certificates. That was more than she had ever sold before (by far) and in fact more than she had sold in the entire previous year. But not only that… she had fun doing it. And in the process she completely shifted her attitude about “selling” to one where she is so much more comfortable promoting her services and products.

Want to find out how Beth Brown, Licensed Massage Practitioner of Bellingham, Washington did it? Then click below to listen (or “right click” the MP3 link to download to your computer). Way to go Beth!

Take a Warm Bath

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Take a Warm Bath

Yesterday I had “one of those days”. The details are insignificant, but let’s just say I was a bit on the hyper side. So my sweet husband (who is also a LMT) announced that I needed to de-stress and he was going to give me a massage. While he was heating our home studio (it was a rather damp and chilly Pacific Northwest night) he ran a bath for me with wonderful relaxing essential oils. A soothing cocktail!

At first I protested as I had not finished an article I was working on for my newsletter, which was past due. But when he presented me with a glass of red wine and a novel (“The Red Tent by Anita Diamant) that I’d been wanting to read for some time, how could I resist?

I LOVE baths! The warm water is so very soothing and relaxing, not only to tight and tense muscles, but also to a stressed-out mind. Not to mention that it also helps circulation, which speeds up the process of getting rid of lactic acid, adrenaline and other stress chemicals in our bodies. But you already know that!

Anyway, after my long, luxurious bath I really did feel totally relaxed and de-stressed. Which is just as well, because when I got dried and went to find my husband he was sound asleep on the living room sofa. So much for my massage.

So next time you feel the need for a “time out” take a long warm bath. It can do wonders to melt away stress.

Chill Out When Stressed Out

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Chill Out When Stressed Out

Life can be stressful at the best of times.

I don’t know about you, but I am finding that personal and professional expectations and demands seem to be steadily increasing at an alarmingly rapid rate. Including (OK, ESPECIALLY) those I put on myself. Yikes!

And particularly as we approach the holiday season…

Holidays!! I do love the festivities, and getting together with family and friends. I enjoy the jovial atmosphere. The fun and sharing. The camaraderie.

But it seems like the pace of life this time of year gets a bit more frantic than I would like. In fact, I’ll go and admit it…. Sometimes I just wish I could fast-forward straight to January and be done with it all. Bah humbug!

And it is especially challenging when we are looked to by our clients as a source of relaxation and calmness.

So in the midst all of the holiday “to dos” I think that it is important to take the time to create some balance and inner calmness. In the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing with you some time-tested ways of “chillin out” as well as a few of my own personal favorites. And I’d love to hear how other practitioners stay peaceful and nurture themselves during times of holiday stress.

Take A Nap Or Go To Sleep

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Take A Nap Or Go To Sleep.

Last month (November) has been particularly stressful for me. I attended 3 conferences, the Women’s Power Summit and the Big Seminar (for internet marketing), both in LA, and Consulting Resource Group’s Train-The-Trainer in Vancouver BC. I’ll be sharing gems from those conferences with you later.

I am an avid learner, but even for me that was a lot. There were many long days and late nights. I was the networking queen and took full advantage of the chance to meet the many incredible people those conferences brought together.

In addition, being gone so much meant that I was always playing “catch-up” in the days that I was home.

By the end of it all my stress level was high and I felt pretty drained emotionally and physically. My friends are often pretty amazed at my seemingly boundless energy, but the Energizer Bunny I am not!

When it was all said and done, sleep became my best friend. I’ve never really been one for naps, but all of a sudden, to lie down in a quiet, darkened room and do NOTHING was the ultimate regenerator. Sometimes I dozed and sometimes I did not, but I always felt better afterwards and ready to face the world and my clients again with a stronger mind and body.

So if the stress of the season gets to you, learn from our children and take a nap. And yes, you can have cookies and milk too.

Learn to just say NO

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Learn to just say NO

So, how are you going to find the time for all of those “selfish” acts? Lets start by getting rid of all those commitments you don’t want. You know the ones I mean – when you heard the words “yes” coming out of your mouth, and inside were going YIKES! Those commitments.

Yup, we all have them. But some of us have more of them than others. And that can cause a LOT of stress. So let’s clean house this holiday season and start practicing saying “no”.

Watch A Funny Movie

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Watch A Funny Movie

Have you noticed that it is kind of hard to feel stressed or unhappy while you are laughing? So it may be a short-term fix, but sometimes a good belly laugh is enough to completely lift my spirits and make me feel better. At the very least it takes my mind off the stressful situation for a while. It also allows my body to create mood elevating chemicals which can do wonders on a dark, dreary winter night. I have also noticed that after a good laugh, I am actually able to think clearer too.

Last night I turned on the television and When Harry Met Sally was on. Now that movie has some funny scenes in it. (OK, so you know the one I mean. If you don’t you need to go and rent it.) Other funny favorites of mine are The Full Monty, My Big Fat Greek Wedding and My Cousin Vinny. What are some of yours?

Laughter IS great medicine. So rent a movie, invite some friends over…. and have fun!

Garbage in, garbage out

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Garbage in, garbage out

OK, so it is the time of the year to eat, drink and be merry. And I am all for having a good time. But remember, what we eat and drink fuels our body – garbage in equals garbage out. True vitality has a direct correlation to the quality of foods and products that we choose to eat. And when we are under stress, our body is especially susceptible to bad food choices.

So during this holiday season take the time to listen to your body, be aware of what your body is telling you, and savor your food like you savor your life.

Just Put On Your Walking Shoes

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OK, OK, I can hear you. “Elizabeth, I’m already stressed out so why in the world would I want to add EXERCISE? All that huffing and puffing sounds stressful in and of itself.” The reason is this: exercise is the number-one tension tamer. It releases endorphins, which shut down your body’s stress response. These brain chemicals can also help you deal with depression if the short, dark days of winter happen to get to you.

So now I hear you complain about how exercise can make you feel tired… and it might for the first few days, but just imagine how CALM you will feel. And once you get into it you will be amazed at how much extra energy you actually have.

If you have gotten a bit of out the habit, here’s a neat trick. Tell yourself that all you are going to put on your walking clothes and shoes, and just stand outside. THAT’S ALL! If you feel like walking you can, but it is not mandatory. The next day tell yourself that all that is required is to walk to the end of the driveway and back. Each day increase the amount that you commit to just a tad. And before you know it you will be back in the swing of things.

And while you are exercising be aware of what you are focusing on. Try not to ruminate or think about your problems but instead notice things around you (if you are outdoors in nature) or listen to uplifting music.

And remember, you cannot control the moods of your massage clients, co-workers, family or friends, but you can control your response to them. With exercise, you are more relaxed and are able to anticipate rather than merely react to issues.

Put Things In Perspective

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All right, so it may seem like the end of the world when your computer crashes and you have not backed up any of your massage client files. Or you get 3 no-shows in a row and rent is due tomorrow. And that IS a drag. However, in all probability this is not a life or death situation. When something really, really gets to you, stop for a moment and think about how important the situation will seem in a week, a month, or even a year from now.

More often than not we automatically go into “panic mode” before we have stepped back and assessed the reality of the situation. In retrospect, it is usually not as bad as we thought. And if it is, by giving ourselves some perspective we are better equipped to deal with it. And remember, this too will pass. Most of the things we get worked up about in life are just not worth the price that we pay.

My “thing” was that every time I was about to leave on a trip (and I travel quite a lot) I would get all stressed out about things that HAD to be done before I left. It got ridiculous. Things that had been on my “to do” list for months and months suddenly seemed absolutely critical. And I would get all worked up trying to get everything finished.

Then one day a supportive friend began at the top of my list and asked me very bluntly what would happen if each item did not get done. I squirmed a bit and got rather defensive, and tried to explain the dire consequences of each unfinished task. But the more she turned up the heat, the more I realized how ridiculous it was, and we both ended up in floods of laughter.

And my new mantra became, “If it doesn’t get done…… so what!”. (Actually these are not the exact words that I used, but you get the idea.) It was very liberating.