KEEPING YOUR SANITY
In 2018 and 2019 US media is focusing on chefs and owners’ mental health. If you are in hospitality, you know this topic intimately. Let’s move right along to what any of us can do about it! Traditional care is great, if you have a great medical plan. Many people in our industry do not have that access, or you know someone on your team is unable to access long-term therapy. So, let’s look at untraditional care, with an eye on cost saving care. Let’s look at alternative therapies that may bring solace.
What would be good for a chef and owner? what would work for staff if you notice they are suffering? Seek mental relief through untraditional mental health care rather than a shot of whiskey!
Having a professional who does bodywork, can be a wonderful release from the everyday pressure on your back/legs/knees. One philosophy about massage is “why do it, if you can only have it once a month?” As one who never considered massage as a therapy, I am a reformed! I reached out to Jane Marinelli of Rotunda Massage to respond to that question. This is what she says,
“Massage even once a month benefits more than your weary legs and back. Making (and keeping) an appointment with yourself for self-care does many things including reinforcing that you are worthy of taking a pause; the world will still be here when you get off the massage table, but your mind and body have taken a break and together have rested, stretched, detoxed in a way that nap alone doesn't provide. You are better able to face what's next with clarity, less tension, and hopefully be more open to new ideas and ways to inhabit yourself. Hopefully you've learned something about your body along the way -- maybe that you hold more tension in the base of your head than you realized and with the help of your practitioner, you can learn to stretch, do some scalp massage in the shower, and release the headaches that plague you.”
How can you fit that into your schedule? Call and talk to a massage therapist. Many massage therapists have their schedule on their website. Don’t give up. Teach yourself the value of taking care of your physical self. .
Your schedule, according to you, may not allow in the concept of exercise. Turns out, it is vital to life, and keeping mind-body balance.
How can you fit that into your schedule? We also aren’t looking for a full athletes’ life. Just a habit that you can repeat every other day or so. A walk with your dog may not seem like exercise, but compared to what? If you just need someone telling you what to do, AAPTIV (an app) is fantastic. If you are out of the habit of exercise, return to it in some small form. Your mind with thank you for taking care of your body.
Nothing so far in this article is more directly linked to your mental state than meditation. It has been the best source of calm, and yet productivity when I ran my kitchen. It’s also arguably the most flexible of your options—takes 2 - 20 minutes. You can fit it in, if you are willing. You needn’t become a monk. That’s not the goal. How can you fit that into your schedule? Emily Fletcher, who wrote Less Stress, you can get the benefits of meditation, with some simple meditative practices. Meditation sessions follow a pattern, the Three M’s: mindfulness, meditation, manifest. Listen on Audible.
This therapy has been successful for relieving stress and physical pain. The other side benefit of many untraditional practices is to keep focus and clarity, so that daily operations don’t shut down you bigger picture plan. Don’t know Reiki? It’s an alternative medicine, with energy healing. Reiki practitioners call their practice palm healing or hands-on healing through which a "universal energy" is said to be transferred through the palms of the practitioner to the patient in order to encourage emotional or physical healing.
IN CONCLUSION . . .
There. Alternative treatments. Open your mind to them. Learn to do mediation on your own. Reach out to practitioners for others. You can learn more. Follow your own research. Meet practitioners. Explore how much your mind and body will thank you for seeking out a journey to care for yourself.