Late clients, cranky bosses, nails that lift — these are the kinds of things that can place a strain on an otherwise easy-going nail technician’s nerves. Since April is Stress Awareness month, NAILS asked a group of nail technicians what they do to unwind and keep stress at bay.

Teresa Stempak, A Perfect Tan, Lynnwood, Wash.: If I’m having a bad day, I go into the back room and sit there alone for a minute. Later I go home and take a bath. All the nail techs at the salon are pretty close and we talk about everything, so there’s not much tension.

Dottie Batliner, Collins Classic Creations, Georgetown, Ind.: After working hours, I go on-line. When everyone else in the house is in bed, I love checking my e-mail from friends and other professionals. At work, I try to walk up front and greet each client, so I don’t sit all day. When I have a few minutes free, I like to go in the back where it is quiet and snack on some fresh fruit.

Tami Lewis, Nails Now!, Santa Rosa, Calif.: If I’m stressed I’ll either go outside and take a deep breath, or go in the back room and share my troubles with my fellow technicians.

Louise McCarthy, Professional Nail Care by Louise, Bellingham,Wash.: We are in a giving profession, so it’s important to be able to receive and to replenish ourselves. Some of the things I do for myself are get regular massages, go sailing, and stay close to friends and loved ones.

Belinda Moreno, Impressions Salon, Toledo, Ohio: I get a massage, with special focus on my hands and arms. I also get reflexology done — that’s even more relaxing. She hits all the parts of my body by just working on my feet.

Brenda MacDougall, Modern Nail, Brampton, Ontario: I walk three miles first thing every morning to clear my head. When I’m not there, I leave the job at work and make the most, off my off hours.

Terri Taricco, R.G. Shakour, Westboro, Mass.: I go out for a 90-minute lunch at a relaxing restaurant. Most of the time I grab something and eat it in the salon or at the off. This never lets you remove yourself from the work environment. When I come from lunch, I feel much better.

Lena LeMatty, Facial & Nails by Lena, Springfield, Ore.: I love what I do and I think that this a lot to do with reducing stress. Doing nails should be a relaxing, unhurried experience for both client and technician, I allow myself plenty of time — 15 minutes to a half hour — between clients, I feel like a little girl playing beauty shop, like I used to do with my sister and cousins.

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