It's an unprecedented time for us all. Not only was it unprecedented for beauty industry people to sit home for months at any given time, it is now new territory as we start to return to the workplace (sending extra good thoughts to those of you who are still unable to return).
My first week back to work was a mix of emotions and experiences – and learning how to best handle other people's emotions and experiences. One very important thing to remember is to allow each person – client and staff alike – to have their own experiences surrounding the current state of the world.
Many people are full of fear, and that's ok. I feel that it's best to allow people have their fears and to simply listen and stay positive. It's important, however, to not feel pressured into solving everyone else's problems. Listening and being supportive does not have to mean taking on the stress of everyone else's lives. I am working to not harbor and 'take on' everyone else's emotions – and not to feel responsible to hold them and/or to comfort everyone.
I was SO grateful to be able to practice my craft again! I must admit that it was a challenge to cope with all of the new protocols: having to wear a mask while having clients do the same; the checking of each client's temperature upon arrival; increased sanitation and disinfection procedures; the practice of proper social distancing; and the list continues… Through it all, however, I have found a few silver linings in bits of the newness.
One example is that my salon is a bit quieter and more peaceful with social distancing standards. Fewer clients in the salon at a time and breaks between clients allow for a slower, more relaxed pace. When client visits are spaced out a bit, you can better ensure that each client feels pampered and well taken care of.
A slower pace also allows your body a chance to catch up slowly while focusing on booking clients that have been patiently waiting for their hair to get cut/colored. It's that old phrase "easy does it…" or "less is more."
A way to ensure that you are prioritizing self-care in this new climate is to schedule time in between clients for deep breathing, relaxing, hydrating, short walks or meditating. Think of it like a cleansing experience; you are literally cleansing away the energy of one client and welcoming the next.
Another vital way to practice self-care is at home– every night and every morning. Allow yourself to rest when needed; I mean whenever it's needed. If you need to take a nap when you arrive home, do it! Be mindful of the importance of diet as well. And hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Our bodies are our temples and when you're on your feet all day, taking care of your body is of the utmost importance. Drink a lot of liquids. Stretch, practice yoga and stretch! Get as much exercise and rest as possible.
As we all work to adjust to an uncertain and new normal, the most important thing to remember is to be kind to both ourselves and to others. We are all in this fight together…whether it be fighting the pandemic or fighting for equality. We are all human.