-In what ways isn't she a happy person?
-What is her age?
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Counseling sounds like a good idea especially if she feels all of the burden is on her and the fact that gambling is her way out means she could be digging herself into an even deeper hole. She is stressed to the max having everything fall on her and she is taking it out on anyone that is in her sights and since you and the co-worker works with her and is with her much of the day she chooses you as her sounding boards. A counselor can teach her other coping mechanicisms besides gambling or anything else that can become a very bad habit now the chore will be getting her to go. She has to see that being unhappy and stressed is not healthy and she needs someone to talk to and vent to beside you and her other workers. If she doesn't get help things will get worse and could possibly lead to an addiction to gambling because as things get more stressful with the economy she will find her out in gambling more and more and that is not healthy or good for her financial situation. Now is the time more than any for her to build a nest egg for her and her husband to live off of because the future is not sure and neither is her finances. Consider talking to her about going to counseling alone and then if it seems to help her then suggest going as a family unit also.
Stress comes in two common forms, personal stress and work-related stress and since you have to deal with stress both at work and out of work with your mother it has to be doubly hard for you to cope. In our personal lives we deal with issues related to personal relationships, family life, our health, our home maintenance, managing our time and our financial well-being. Any of these areas can create significant increases in her stress levels but when you have to deal with it everyday all day it can take a toll on both your mental and physical health. Stress can become overwhelming at work because of issues related to our job responsibilities, your co-worker relationships, our supervisors or in your case your mother. When a situation presents itself do you come up with positive changes to resolve the problem at hand? Or do you ignore recurring problems and hope they will disappear? Developing new methods for dealing with difficult situations can lead to efficient problem solving and it is much less stressful. Also poor communication causes misunderstandings which are the root cause of a growing number of problems in the workplace. Improved communication is the second method for coping with stress. If your mother is upset try saying "I'm sorry you are upset is there anything I can do to help?" or possibly tell her to take a short walk and get some fresh air and that you will handle things in the Salon.
When conflict arises, search for common ground, share your feelings and ask her what she is feeling. Taking time to understand what other people want to get out of a conversation can help you avoid the stress of communication problems also. It's time for you and your mother to have mother/daughter time, find a time that is right for you both and have a day together go to lunch or dinner or to a movie, go out with friends to a club or a concert together, as long as you are spending quality time together it will bring you closer together. People that are close to people in their life tend to carry a lot less stress because they can see when the episode is going to happen and then they have time to find a way to deal with it before it happens. How flexible are you when it comes to reacting to difficult situations with your mother? We all need to stand our ground on certain issues but we also have areas of our life where we could be more flexible. It doesn't matter if you choose to do this through compromise or by choosing which battles are worth fighting, she has to realize that your way is not always the right way and that other people may be just as effective doing things their way. Don't always argue the issues and remember "A voice without an audience has no voice." which means if she is yelling and you walk away she has no one there to yell at.