How one studio is navigating the virtual landscape (and has for years)
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With parenting comes planning. There’s before-school care and aftercare. There are sports leagues and carpools. There's homework, and there are way too many hormones. It’s overwhelming. That’s why parenting guides are such big business—it’s one of those things you just don’t want to get wrong.
Now, though, all around the world, still-working parents suddenly find themselves shut away with their school-age kids, and neither side has any sort of manual or idea of how to make it work, other than just making it work.
In that sort of moment, how can you even think about prioritizing wellness?
The key for Christy Diaz, a Mindbody Workplace Safety & Security Specialist, is capitalizing on "the time my son is occupied with an activity that he can do all by himself.” She and her son are following a schedule, but not too closely. “When the sun peeks out here in California this week, we take a break and go outside for walks, play ball, and exercise.”
In need of some activities to do while you and your kids are homebound? Here are some ways we’re keeping the kiddos (and ourselves) happy during quarantine:
According to Alesha Lynch, a Mindbody Solutions Engineer and now WFH mom, setting a Mon-Fri schedule is very important:
"I have three little ones, and juggling homeschooling and work is very challenging, but if your kids know that there is a consistent schedule that they will be held to, it will help ease their little minds as well. Knowing what to expect each day, in these unexpected times, will help your little ones adjust.”
Just as we all are trying to find our own WFH routines, our kiddos need them as well. Whether it’s ringing a bell in between subjects, making sure they eat at the same time each day, or even designating a specific window of TV-time, we could all benefit from a little structure right now.
If you’re struggling with the whole homeschool part, check out Youth Remote Learning, an online platform that connects K-12 students to free, fun, and engaging courses in a variety of subjects taught by volunteer professors, teachers, and specialists. You can filter by grade level, topic, or time (to fit right into your schedule!), and take classes on anything from Spanish 101 to Storytelling with your Smartphone Camera.
Just as yoga can benefit our minds and bodies during this stressful time, it can benefit our children's as well. You may be taking advantage of virtual classes for yourself, but did you know that plenty of studios offer virtual kids yoga classes as well? Not only will this be a fun and healthy activity for your child, but it will help support small businesses as well! Here are some of our faves:
Shorty Yoga is a kids’ yoga studio in Beverly Hills that offers *tons* of classes designed specifically for your little ones. Browse their schedule to find classes for different age groups from pre-crawlers to tweens!
If you want to check out what the East Coast has to offer, Karma Kids Yoga in New York has tons of classes to choose from! From Baby Yoga to 7-10-year-old classes (and even Pajama Yoga), Karma offers classes for all age groups. Plus, they have a Family Yoga class you can all do together! Talk about keeping the family peace.
How about one specifically for tweens? We all know they love to act like adults. Be The Love Yoga in Boston offers a Virtual Tween Yoga class that “helps preteens navigate the journey from childhood to teenager by teaching the tools they need to improve concentration, reduce stress, and navigate the social emotional experience of becoming an independent young adult.”
If you notice your children are feeling particularly anxious right now, Free Spirit Yoga in Long Beach offers a yoga class for 4 to 8-year-olds that focuses on developing confidence, concentration, and reducing stress. In this 45-minute class, they’ll learn yoga poses and breathing techniques to build strength and promote calmness.
If you’re looking for one class for all your kids to join, Namaste Fitness in Chula Vista is offering their all-ages kids' class virtually as well! In this 30-40-minute class, students will practice deep breathing, relaxation techniques, and various poses in a fun, mindful, and imaginative manner.
And if your kid isn’t exactly running around yet... Blooma Yoga in Minneapolis has an awesome Prenatal Yoga class!
In a time when we’re forced to stay distant from others, it’s important to find other ways to get connected, not just for yourself, but for your little ones as well:
"I let my 5-year-old record live videos of herself reading bedtime stories to her friends. This helps her feel connected with her classmates.”
- Alesha Lynch
In addition to keeping her daughter connected with her friends, Lynch makes sure to keep her family close as well: "We try to take a family walk once a day, getting fresh air is super important while still practicing social distancing.”
Bridget Finegan, a Senior Technical Account Manager at Mindbody, says that in addition to being a homeschool teacher for her children now, she is also a “Zoom game night host for (her) cousins and friends." This presents a unique opportunity for her family to bond not only with one another, but with friends and extended family as well.
Another fun way to stay connected with your family is to treat your spouse and kids as coworkers, says Baron Wills, Solutions Engineer at Mindbody Australia:
“Being here with my children keeps me positive, and controlling whatever I can keeps the stresses low."
Try setting up their desks next to your own, allowing them to feel like you’re all part of the same team.
Sometimes, the same way too much of anything can get to be too much (except yellow Starburst—you can fight me on that, but know I haven’t cut my nails in a few weeks now), there comes a point when what you really need is to maintain familial distancing on top of social.
Acknowledging and respecting that emotion isn’t just OK—it lets you find healthy avenues to alleviate some of it.
Kim Haile’s ideal “me-time” is silent time—at least while it lasts.
“I usually lock myself in the closet or bathroom,” says Haile, a Senior Marketing Communications Specialist at Mindbody:
“I sit in silence, snack (not in the bathroom), or paint my toenails. Most of the time, my five-year-old finds me, and the ‘me’ time is over.”
If you’re like Haile, and you just can’t seem to get that “me-time” to last, try a more scheduled approach. Alesha Lynch appreciates “me-time” with other moms, to vent and share tips for working from home with kids: “My mom friends and I have been hosting a zoom meeting as "Moms night in." We come with our coffee and have social time to vent. We have also stayed social by hosting a Netflix viewing party and sharing recipes as well."
Whatever it may be, always be sure you’re making time for yourself, and know that you are not alone. This parenting business is tricky, but we’re all just taking it one day at a time.
Want to try a fitness class for yourself? Check out all our new virtual classes on Mindbody!
Times are strange right now, as you all know. We’ve all heard the phrase “new normal” about a million times already, and all the while, things are still changing every day. If you asked me a few months ago what I’d be writing about right now, I would never have guessed I’d be interviewing someone about what it’s like to get a haircut.
Nonetheless, we’re all doing our best to band together and help each other out right now. You may have noticed salons and spas offering messages of support, video tutorials for DIY beauty, and now, waitlists and announcements of reopening their doors. But as we all know, this isn’t the “old normal” anymore, and there will be changes.
Here’s what you can expect to be different when you finally head back into the salon or spa:
As salons and spas begin to reopen, they’ll likely have to make changes due to new social distancing requirements. When you enter the space, you’ll probably see a complete rearrangement. Stations will be separated by at least six feet, and some might even be removed to allow for more space. Salons that don’t have that much space to spare are putting in temporary walls or partitions.
On top of that, there may be fewer appointments scheduled at the same time (and definitely no walk-ins) to limit the number of people in the building. Say goodbye to waiting rooms and lobbies—you’ll likely be asked to wait outside or in your car until the exact start time of your appointment to prevent too many people crowding the front.
In addition to their increase in space, salons and spas will likely up their cleaning standards and procedures. We surveyed active consumers on the Mindbody app and learned that among the many changes beauty and wellness businesses can make upon reopening, following rigorous sanitization guidelines is the most important. You’ll probably see social posts or confirmation emails that outline new cleaning protocols, and you may notice some signage hanging around the building to reassure that the areas have been disinfected. Employees, and even guests, will be wearing masks and/or gloves, and you may even get a spritz of hand sanitizer at the door. According to Salon 124 Group, getting these supplies is turning out to be one of the largest obstacles for reopening.
In between each appointment, they’ll thoroughly disinfect the area before the next client arrives. Not only that, but each time you move to a new station (like from shampoo to haircut), they may also wipe down the station as soon as you get up to make sure it’s clean for the next guest.
After a good haircut, we all want to check ourselves out. And now that we’re all more cautious of germs and bacteria, we also want to literally check ourselves out at the end of our appointments. Out of the various fitness, beauty, and wellness businesses on our platform, consumers feel most comfortable returning to hair salons, and 62.7% said hair cutting, coloring, styling, barbering, or blow-drying would be the first beauty service they book once restrictions are lifted. An extra, important layer of comfort can be added in the form of contactless payments.
Many salons and spas will likely be incorporating some sort of contactless checkout process to limit touch points. They may end up taking your payment information at check-in via text and removing the front desk, so you don’t have to interact with another person face-to-face.
All-in-all, you can expect changes—and lots of them. Whether it’s increased retail offerings, curbside pickups, virtual consultations, at-home appointments, or video tutorials, many salons and spas are getting creative with how they offer support to their clients. Above all, they want to help us feel beautiful, confident, and somewhat normal during this time—and for that, we’re so thankful.
Want to hear about a real salon experience firsthand? One of our own got her hair done at a reopened salon in Georgia—here’s how it went.
Are you a salon owner yourself? Check out the Reboot Kit for Salons, Spas, & Wellness Businesses for extensive info and advice on how to prepare for reopening.