**Updated Monday, March 16th @ 9:00p.m.**
I am still seeing clients! One-on-one sessions in a clean, controlled environment are safe for both of us.
Below is a copy of the email I sent out to clients this on Sunday morning 3/15/20. This post has been thrown together quickly and somewhat haphazardly, but I plan to revisit it often with updates regarding how COVID-19 impacts my practice, and wellness and massage in general. Please be patient.
I felt it was time for me to reach out to my clients regarding the COVID-19 virus and discuss what I’m doing to keep you and me safe, changes to my schedule and my personal reflections on what is evidently becoming a crisis in our world.
By now your inbox is flooded with messages from every company or newsletter who has your email address, all doing what I am here. Because this situation is rapidly evolving and things are changing daily, I’m going to update this blog post as often as needed. I will not send out constant updates, so please bookmark this page and check it often if you want to know what, if any changes or updates I’ve made.
Here’s what I’m doing to keep you and myself safe. Many of these are just standard protocol for me (and should be for any other body worker), but I’m going to outline them here for quick, easy reading:
- I disinfect my office between each client.
- I thoroughly wash my hands/arms before and after each client.
- I sanitize linens after each use.
- I diffuse an antimicrobial, immune-stimulating essential oil blend for every client who wants it, NO CHARGE!
- I will not come to work if I am feeling unwell (coughing, sneezing, fever etc) or if I know I’ve been exposed to COVID-19. I will cancel appointments as soon as I realize I’m unwell or exposed, but please understand this could be last minute.
- I ask that you do not come to your appointment if you are feeling unwell (coughing, sneezing, fever etc) or know you’ve been exposed to COVID-19. I understand that this could be a last minute decision, but ask you to give me as much notice as possible so I can fill your spot.
- Over the next few days I’ll be integrating a credit card processor on my site so you can have more payment options. I still prefer cash, but for those of you who don’t want to handle it, I’ll make sure there’s another way. Venmo is also still an option. Please just let me know if you’d like to pay with Venmo.
Recommendations for social distancing make sense, but can lead to isolation, especially since schools and businesses are closing and folks are in quarantine. I want to improve efficiency and accessibility for people who are facing the challenge of social isolation. Here’s what I’m doing.
- Offering phone and video calls for those who cannot come in. I am not a therapist or even remotely trained to talk to people about anything. And no, phone calls won’t feel like a massage at all. But, I am a human who cares; you probably know this because you have been on my table. If you need a friendly, familiar voice or face to listen to whatever is going on in your head, or to ask questions of someone who is still going out and about, I’m here. Click here to schedule a call. It’s free!
- Increasing my hours. I’ve opened up more hours in my schedule. Because we work one-on-one and I adhere to a strict sanitation protocol, I feel that accessing body work is one way you can safely combat the stress of this pandemic. As long as we’re both healthy (read above), this can be a lifeline to my clients, and I’m committed to serving them as long as I’m able.
- Offering house calls again. For anyone in quarantine or just too overwhelmed or afraid to go out, I will come to you (with sanitized equipment). We’ll need to talk about your space, your driveway and your health status (and mine), but please don’t allow yourself to isolate too much. I have increased my fee for this service because it takes a great deal of time and effort to coordinate a house call. I am aware this may present an accessibility challenge, and I encourage you to talk to me about that so we can discuss payment/barter options.
Here are my personal reflections on all of this:
Things are rapidly evolving and changing. Fear is becoming a major presence for everyone. Some of us are afraid for our health, some of us are afraid for the health of people we love, some of us are afraid about the economic impact this is going to have on us and our community. If you’re feeling fear, please try these things:
- Start each day with some deep breathing and/or meditation.
- Limit your media exposure
- Read something inspirational
- Give yourself time and space to process emotions
- Connect with your loved ones
- Focus on something to be grateful for every day
- Give yourself and others grace and understanding
- Be flexibe
- Help where you can. Being of service to others can make all the difference, to everyone.
A word about your community and the small businesses that tenuously stitch it together.
I won’t lie, some of my fellow small business owners and I are worried. We don’t operate on huge margins. One lost “big” account, a couple cancelled appointments or a dip in foot traffic can hit hard. Here’s what some of my friends and I are doing to keep supporting the folks who don’t have much of a safety net.
- Buying gift certificates. OK, so maybe you don’t want to go out to eat now, or shop at that store, or get your nails did. Fine, your choice. But you can buy a gift certificate or two and give them to someone (now or later) or you can just save them for a time when you feel more inclined (or desperate). Have you thought about making a bigger purchase or starting a project? Considering making a deposit, and taking delivery or getting started when things settle down again. My point is, cash flow is essential to keeping everyone employed and afloat.
- Getting our self care on! If you suddenly have more downtime than usual because your workplace is closed, consider indulging in some self care. It’s very likely you’ll get antsy and bored, so why not combat that by doing something nice for yourself? Try out that personal trainer you’ve heard about (Joey Farley at R.E.P. Fitness is who I see ), go to the chiropractor (Marc Sinclair), get acupuncture (Glynn Pellagrino), visit a therapist (there are so many) . . . shoot, come see me! There are lots of ways to get out, support small businesses and treat yourself that don’t involve gathering in large groups or navigating busy places filled with strangers. I am personally doing most, if not all, of these things
What to do with all this energy?
For all my faithful readers who like my woo-woo ramblings, tomorrow I will be back to talk about some things I’m doing to deal with all this nervous energy around me. Cause lets be honest, things feel pretty unsettled right now and it’s not nice. But one of the best ways to deal with stress is to get plenty of sleep, so that’s what imma’bout to do.
Forgive my typos and non-sequetors. Be well. I love you.