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What we eat and how we feel are very closely related. The way we consume food has deep emotional roots. I came to this realization in my early twenties when I found myself combating anxiety and weight loss. The highs, the lows—my feelings influenced what I ate. No matter my food choices, I was in a continual anxious mental state, not allowing my body to digest and absorb nutrients properly.
Then, I made a shift. Instead of just eating to eat without much thought of what I was consuming and where it came from, I began to take a conscious intuitive approach with food. “What actually makes me feel good and gives me energy?” Changing what I ate and my thought process, in general, was a huge puzzle piece in healing—and essentially—eliminating my anxiety.
With that being said, diets scream “one size fits all” to me. We know that isn't the case. The culture of crash diets and fads are seldom long-lasting. It’s time to stop body shaming and trying to look like someone else. What matters most is eating nourishing foods to feel good and being the best version of ourselves we can be! It’s about how you feel on the inside, how you are sleeping, and the energy you get from your meals.
I have learned to live by an intuitive eating lifestyle. With a base of healthy foods that I consume throughout the week, I also allow flexibility to support my mind and body in the present moment. It’s all about listening to your body.
If I feel like coffee is too much, I want a huge salad for lunch, or that I haven't eaten out in a while and pizza sounds amazing, being conscious and checking in with yourself is the cornerstone to intuitive eating. It’s about being your own friend! Self-awareness is essential when we are emotionally eating—maybe even take a few minutes to stretch, meditate, and revisit your food choices after taking a step away!
Some tips I use and that I give to my clients to practice eating intuitively in everyday life is first and foremost, to check in with yourself and how you feel:
With these thoughts, create a plan to support you and what you want to eat that day. Intuitive eating in a healthy way means that you eat until you are full! Yeah, you read that right. Full. If you are eating healthy, nourishing whole foods, there is no need to restrict your diet in fear of counting calories. I am a firm believer that you should never stay hungry in hopes to lose weight. The true purpose of food is to feed your body and soul all the good stuff, to feel good–for you.
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.