This is my 10th week back to work. My business closed very abruptly on that infamous day - Friday the 13th!! of March. Little did I know then that my business would not re-open its doors until Monday the 29th of June. I don't think I will forget those days in a hurry. Don't get me wrong - it wasn't all bad. I spent more time with my family, I never exercised or baked as much and I had time to reflect both on a personal and business level.
Anyone who lost their job or had to close the doors of their business will know the stress and helplessness that you might feel. I do know I have covered that in a blog previously. This is all about what happened afterwards - The feelings and emotions I felt since re-opening, the changes I had to make and the reactions that my clients had to all of this.
It has never been so crucial to keep the lines of communication open with my clients as since re-opening my business. The pandemic is an on going situation with ever changing guidelines and restrictions. I was very aware that although I have followed the guidelines for re-opening, I also have to consider the feelings and needs of my clients.
I worried about asking my clients to wear a mask, asking them to fill out the contact tracing form and then asking them to put their belongings in a box and to top it all off - the room was stripped back to its bare essentials. (AAAGGHHH!!) Turns out people were just glad to be back and being able to get some relief from their pains and aches and everything in between. All the rest just became "the new normal!"
Personally I wasn't prepared for the mental exhaustion of it all when I started back working. I was feeling so tired. I wanted to give my clients my all (there was a lot of tension in those bodies!) but what nearly tipped me over the edge was the paperwork! I thought working less days in the week and making them longer would help but it was a lot. I am now glad that I have gone back to working 5 days but spreading my working day out to give some recovery time. There is a lot more preparation for my classes. I supply everything now including mats, birthing balls, pillow etc. which are all washed and/ or sanitised after each session.
A major part of overcoming the tiredness was in fact getting back to exercising. This had become such a part of my life in lockdown. How quick we can all forget the resolutions we make when we have all the time in the world to make them. Life is definitely a work in progress and we are all just figuring it out. We need to adapt constantly in this ever changing world we are living in with our health and well-being at the top of the list of priorities!
On re-opening I wanted my clients to feel peace of mind - to show that it is still the same here at Lodge Road Therapy and I am offering the best service possible to meet their individual needs. Whether that is, Reflexology, Massage, Pregnancy Yoga or Baby Massage. When starting the process of writing this blog I knew I needed to find out what my clients had to say and what they actually thought of coming for a class or a treatment while also taking into account the new guidelines and restrictions in place. I really was blown away by the response. Below is a sample of what my clients had to say:
I have only been a client of Angela's since the lockdown. All measures necessary were put in place at Lodge Road Therapy Rooms but nothing felt intimidating or off putting. Angela is a total professional and very knowledgeable. I have felt the benefit of every treatment I've had so far. - A Reflexology client
I'm so delighted I decided to do the baby massage classes with Angela, all guidelines were adhered to, social distancing, cleaning etc, I felt safe and relaxed, it was lovely meeting other mothers and their babies, we had plenty of laughs along the way" - A Baby Massage Client
I'm attending pregnancy yoga at Lodge Road Therapy with Angela. I was a bit nervous due to Covid and being pregnant but wanted to attend a yoga class with an instructor to make sure I wasn't gonna injure myself. Angela has taken really good precautions keeping class numbers low, making sure mats are at least 2 metres apart and all equipment is cleaned after each class. The classes are really helping with my backaches and restless legs and I always feel more flexible and sleep great after the class. - A Pregnancy Yoga Client
On reflection I have made a list of what I know for sure since I re-opened:
- I adore the job that I do and I consider myself very fortunate to be in a position like this.
- I love meeting my clients and helping them on a daily basis.
- I appreciate and learn from each client that comes through my door whether it is for a treatment or class.
- The job that I do is essential and expectant mothers and new mothers need extra support for their physical and emotional needs. I was made aware of this when I started reading the feedback that my clients gave to me.
- I need to lead by example and strive to stay as healthy as possible to continue doing this long into the future.
Below are a few more quotes from clients that have come here since the restrictions were lifted. Please contact me if you too would like to make an appointment for a treatment or one of the pregnancy yoga or baby massage classes.
I attended the baby massage classes in July. I was initially worried about doing any kind of classes in current climate especially with a 9 week old but was immediately reassured by all the precautions Angela has in place - the cleanliness of the studio, the small class size and the social distancing between mats etc. I felt completely safe and at ease and thoroughly enjoyed the classes and the chats at the end of the classes with the other new mums. Would highly recommend. - Baby Massage Client
I found the environment so safe for both me and my baby to do the course in. Not once did it enter my head of Covid as you and your work place felt so safe and comfortable. It felt so nice to do something with other mammies during these strange times and I looked forward to your class every week. - Baby Massage Client
It has been lovely being out and meeting other mums and babies this summer as my birth and new born experience from April to June was a very lonely one in a lot of ways due to covid lockdown. It has had many positives but I feel that myself and many other new parents and new babies have received less support and reassurance at this time. I was delighted to do Angela's baby massage course to have an opportunity to learn new skills for bonding with and helping my little boy Oisin, but also to network with other mums and babies. I have felt safe and comfortable in Angela's lovely home centre/therapy room and feel that she has taken all necessary measures to follow public health guidelines. I've really enjoyed the 5 week course and would recommend it to other new mothers. - A Baby Massage Client.