Building a successful lash artist career is a constant balance. Like any other technique-based trade, your responsibilities run the gamut of a business owner, marketer, manager and of course, trained artist. When one category tilts off balance, the rest of the pieces can come tumbling down. But is this inevitable? Should lash artists expect burnout simply due to the nature of the demanding business?
Burnout can and will happen, and that’s okay, even the most experienced artists hit a wall from time to time. To avoid this, begin by recognizing the demands of the art. In the long run, it’s about seeing the signs, calling them out and setting up a support system to keep things in perspective.
Recognize the Signs
With any form of long-term exhaustion, it’s always easiest to pull yourself back from the edge of burning out than after you’ve hit a breaking point. Do you suddenly feel resentful toward a full schedule? Are otherwise-easy tasks making you feel frustrated? Even simple things become complicated when the mind hasn’t had the chance to decompress.
The life of a lash artist is dependent on the balance between customer connection and extreme concentration. It constantly requires both social and focused awareness. When either of these seems off, it’s time to step back and take a breath to reassess. Catching yourself early in the process will keep things from coming to a head.
Develop Ongoing Self-care
As mentioned in the blog post, Four Self-Care Practices that Improve Your Health, both body and mind require rejuvenation to stay at the top of your game. Stress is linked to low-quality sleep and vice versa — creating a frustrating cycle. Set a time at the end of each night when career-related planning is off limits. Shift to a more personal, relaxing task such as reading or light exercise at least an hour before sleep.
Also, remember that a busy schedule is no excuse not to stay nourished, hydrated and rested. Working without a break does not speed up your career. Prepare lunches with well-balanced ingredients and try to stay mindful of caffeine vs. water intake.
Make an Education Plan
Long-term self-care is just as important as our day-to-day needs. Ongoing lash training builds your business and feeds your motivation toward constant growth and improvement. Education requires a financial plan, both in time and for class fees. Set up a separate budget goal for your education and certification wish list. A timeline with tangible dates can propel you through a period of burnout.
Reach Out to a Mentor
It’s important to remember that someone has been in your shoes before. When feeling stuck, worn out or just confused about where to go next, reach out to a lash artist or company you admire or one you have wanted to meet in the field. Excited to be seen in a mentor capacity, they will enthusiastically offer advice while greatly empathizing with your perspective. This not only provides insight into the long-term picture but also builds new connections for future career opportunities.
As with any self-run business, ups and downs will come, no matter how settled in your skills and business plan you may feel. Take the feelings as they come and know that burnout never means failure — it’s simply a guiding light to remind us we’re all human, and all deserve time to reassess and rejuvenate.
Writer | Actor | Long-Distance Hiker | Absolute Tree Hugger