Caring for your mental health during the outbreak
We’re going to be honest here – times are tough, especially for the hair and beauty industry. After being deemed “non-essential”, salons, spas and solo hair and beauty professionals have been forced into lockdown. Unfortunately, this situation not only takes its toll on our finances, but also on our mental health. Now more than ever, we need to take a few deep breaths and focus on our mental well-being – here are a few ways of doing so.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Currently, the most impactful stress-inducers are the coronavirus itself and financial problems caused by it. Like most responsible specialists, you’ve asked clients to stop sending those ever-so-tempting booking requests and informed them that you’ve gone into lockdown. The first few days probably weren’t so bad, however, being cooped up for longer will definitely affect your mental well-being, making you more prone to becoming depressed or anxious. Bear in mind that there are people willing to help you – consider reaching out to helplines and crisis contacts.
When it comes to dealing with financial troubles, the UK has a number of schemes that are meant to give salon owners and self-employed specialists some financial support – you can find the links here. Follow the links and fill out the forms that apply to your business – certain schemes, such as the Retail and Hospitality Grant or the Small Business Grant, do not require you to fill out any forms, as you will be contacted by the local authority if you are eligible. Remember that there are available resources out there, all you have to do is reach out.
Stay in touch
Although you’ve denied clients their bookings requests, you shouldn’t entirely cut yourself off from them, as this can fuel loneliness, stress and depression. Stay in touch with them, either through your fan pages, via text or email, and if you’re close with your customers – through video calls. Not only will they appreciate you reaching out to them, you too will be relieved to know that they’re there for you. For your mental well-being, try to avoid difficult topics and discuss things like how clients should care for their hair, lashes or nails at home, what they’re all doing with their free time or which hair and beauty themed movies or series they should watch! Additionally, staying in touch with your customers creates a strong, lasting bond with them, ensuring you that they’ll most likely be loyal to your business and will choose to book with you once you reopen.
Another group to reach out to are your fellow specialists. The coronavirus has impacted the ENTIRE hair and beauty industry, which means that other business owners are also in the same predicament as you are – therefore, it would be wise to reach out to them. Look for groups for hair and beauty professionals from your area and address your concerns with them. Most online communities require members to show support and respect for one another, so you don’t have to worry about being shunned in the group. Being a part of such communities will help you rest easy, knowing that there are other people in the industry that are willing to help one another.
Exercise your body and mind
Have you considered trying yoga or listening to meditative music, but never had the time for it? Well, in order to take your mind off of things, you may want to give it a go! Sometimes it’s best to shut off from your surroundings and focus on self-improvement. If you’ve been suffering from back, neck, or wrist pain for some time, now you have the opportunity to do some stretching and at-home exercises. There are a number of YouTube channels dedicated to helping stylists and beauticians find peace of mind during and after work, and many of them provide great exercise routines that help to relax the arms, legs and back. Not only will this help your body, but your mind as well. While exercising or during yoga, turn on some relaxing music and light a few scented candles to create a calming atmosphere.
We’re all different, and each of us has our own methods for dealing with mental health issues. Those of you who simply can’t switch off from your businesses are in luck, as you can still make some money, even while you’re closed. Your entire career is on the line, and if you have a fighting spirit, then you may still want to try some marketing techniques that might bring you some profit now and after you reopen your business. Here are a few ideas that can help you keep going:
- Sell vouchers: here’s an idea the Versum team picked up from our clients – sell gift vouchers during the lockdown. Clients who purchase them will either receive a free gift (treatment or product), or be first in line for your earliest available appointment slots once you reopen.
- Plan a grand reopening: if you plan on eventually reopening once everything goes back to normal, then consider doing something special for your customers. Obviously, you’re going to have to implement new safety regulations for this – so try doing a reopening with limited booking availability, in order to restrict the number of people you have to come in contact with. Do something fun like give out free sweets and sample shampoos, or offer great rewards for clients who successfully refer their friends and family to your business.
- Reward those who embrace regrowth: your clients are most likely going to be tempted to try to treat their hair, nails or lashes at home during the lockdown. And guess what? They’ll expect you to fix their DIY disasters once you reopen. Instead, encourage clients to embrace their regrowth and give out free goodies to those who don’t experiment with their looks during the lockdown.
If you’re having a difficult time coping with having to close your business and simply taking your mind off of things isn’t working for you, then you should definitely try to implement some of these ideas into your business strategies.
Tip: We’ve introduced the prepaid online vouchers feature – read more about it here.
Brush up on your education and skills
Let’s face it, not all hair and beauty enthusiasts can mentally relax by taking their mind off of things – some of us need to continue improving our skills and education, even under lockdown. If this sounds like you then you’re in luck – hair and beauty brands, such as Barbercide and Olaplex, are offering free online certification courses to give you a headstart when you reopen. Aside from this, celebrity stylists and beauticians are doing live workshops you can tune into, which are great ways for staying busy while learning new treatments and techniques.
Additionally, you may want to focus on improving how you run your business as well. Areas such as budget management, advertising and tracking busy and slow seasons can come in handy, especially once you reopen. If improving how you run your business helps you to relax, then consider taking online business management courses or get inspired by our guide for improving your business while on lockdown.
Each of us reacts differently to the current situation – however, one thing’s for certain, we all have to stick together to make it through this difficult time. Remember that your clients, other specialists and the Versum team are there for you.