How to be more mindful of what you invite into your space.
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If you’re one of the millions who are choosing to stay home right now, you know that isolation can feel, well, isolating. For those of us living outside of our hometown, like myself, it can be even more challenging to access the usual comfort of being at home. I’ve been living in San Diego for six months now and still feel myself settling into my west coast community. A big question I’ve been asking myself is, “how can I create a feeling of familiarity as a transplant who still feels foreign?” In other words, what are some ways I can establish a sense of community and comfort without being able to explore my new city? Here are some things I’ve come up with that are making staying in my house feel like being home.
Coming together around the dining room table is an experience that’s been elevating social wellness for thousands of years. Growing up, sitting down to have dinner as a family was an important piece of my home life. Since traveling of any kind is currently off the table (or is it?), gathering with family is an impossible task. We’ve instituted virtual family meals over Zoom that transport me right back to my seat at the table.
Moving to a new city means leaving behind your family, friends, and favorite instructors. While it’s been a blast to work up a sweat trying all the local studios in San Diego, I still have a huge place in my heart for my hometown teachers. One of the hardest parts about leaving New York was knowing I'd have to replace my regular yoga schedule at Hudson Yoga Project with a new one. But over the last few weeks, they’ve rolled out virtual classes that help me feel like I'm right back in the studio with my favorite east coast instructors. All I have to do is book on Mindbody, open my computer, and roll out my mat. Win-win, right? If you want to check out the virtual classes your hometown has to offer, just set your location and start exploring.
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name. Shopping at small businesses is an awesome way to immerse yourself into a new community. Though you may not be able to sit down for some corner eats or shop for a new work-from-home wardrobe at your local boutique, there are plenty of ways to support your local business owners from the comfort of your own home.
Call in a takeout order from a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try and strike up a conversation with the staff. Let them know you’ll be in once they’re back to business as usual. Donate your piggy bank funds to your favorite shop. Shop online from your local boutiques. Kick it up a notch by sharing your support on social media, letting them know you’re grateful for their communal contribution.
If you’re on social media, odds are you’ve stumbled upon friends challenging one another to different quarantine activities. Workout buddies usually make showing up for your fitness routine way easier. With the rise of virtual fitness, it’s easy to corral friends from near and far to join in on your fitness schedule. Share a link to your Mindbody virtual class and snapshot your workout in action. Nominate your workout pals from across the country and keep the movement up from city to city. Hint: Tag @mindbody in your WFH workout stories for a chance to be featured!
Modern technology keeps it pretty easy to stay in touch with friends between Zoom, texting, and social media. However, nothing feels as personal as a handwritten letter. I ordered some postcards from one of my favorite local shops and wrote letters to my friends with a list of what makes them so amazing. This kind of reflection is a great reminder of what a strong, loving community you’ve already got under your belt.
Remember that social distancing doesn’t mean diminishing community. Follow us on Instagram @mindbody to stay connected with our like-minded community. Have an exciting way of finding comfort in your home away from hometown? Give us a shout and we’ll spread the word.
Want to support local salons? Browse Mindbody to find one near you, then head to their website to see if you can purchase products or gift cards!
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.