How to Manage COVID-19 Anxiety in the Salon.
For most, dealing with some level of COVID-19 anxiety in the salon is an unavoidable reality.
Learning how to manage COVID-19 anxiety in the salon prevents a downturn in productivity and reduces client dissatisfaction.
This article will give you an understanding of anxiety, along with ways to manage or reduce anxiety. Included are many resources for further reading on each topic.
So, let’s get to it.
What is Anxiety?
According to Psychology.org, “Anxiety is a natural and usually short-lived reaction to a stressful situation, associated with feelings of worry, nervousness or apprehension. It typically occurs in new, unfamiliar or challenging situations, where the person might not feel up to the task, or where the outcome is uncertain”.
The World Health Organisation states that 1 in 13 people suffer from anxiety. However, since the COVID-19 pandemic has emerged, the rate of anxiety in some countries has more than doubled.
Not surprisingly, workplace anxiety has also increased dramatically, especially in the hardest-hit countries.
If you feel your anxious thoughts, feelings, or physical symptoms are severe, upsetting, frequent, and interrupt your daily life, please see your healthcare provider.
How to Identify COVID-19 Anxiety in the Salon.
Learning how to identify anxiety in yourself and your staff enables you to take quick action to prevent disharmony in the salon.
The following signs may be indicative of anxiety:
- Feelings of restlessness and irritability
- Feeling anxious, nervous, or hypervigilant.
- Dry mouth, sweating, racing heart.
- Decreased motivation or lack of interest.
- Change in eating patterns.
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
- Muscle tension and headaches.
- Intense, excessive, and persistent worry.
- Decreased quality of work or productivity.
- Increased absenteeism.
- Inability to make decisions.
- Poor treatment of clients or work colleagues.
- Excessive worrying about COVID-19.
Below, are some anxiety specific resources to gain a deeper understanding of anxiety disorders, plus when and where to get treatment. Simply click on the pink text to visit the webpages below.
Beyond Blue: Anxiety, the facts.
Black Dog: Anxiety Help & Support.
Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand: Anxiety
Ministry of Health NZ: Anxiety.
United States of America.
Mayo Clinic: Anxiety Disorders.
Anxiety and Depression Association of America – Understand the Facts.
Mind.org: Anxiety and Panic Attacks.
How to Manage Covid-19 Anxiety in the Salon.
Once you have identified an anxiety issue in yourself, you can take steps to reduce your anxiety.
Similarly, if you notice a colleague is experiencing extreme stress, you can step in and give them the resources they need.
Be Selective With News Media Sources.
Chances are, news media consumption regarding the COVID-19 pandemic is contributing to everyone’s anxiety. Of course, we need to keep ourselves up-to-date with all the latest mandatory infection control measures for our salons, but other than that, try to limit media consumption to once a day.
Constant exposure to frightening news stories makes it harder to disengage from your COVID-19 anxiety.
Source all COVID-19 information from non-sensationalising groups like your industry’s information site for workplace protocols or your country’s government website for general pandemic information.
Keeping the salon a news-free zone can help to keep everyone calm and focused on clients. Clients can pick up on tension in the salon and this may trigger anxiety for them too.
Be Selective About “When” You Consume News Media.
Try to be mindful of the time of day you are consuming news media and avoid media consumption first thing in the morning.
Burdening yourself with stressful news will only contribute to starting the day off in a negative mindset.
Instead, aim to begin your day with a relaxing routine to prevent the onset of anxiety.
Additionally, avoid consuming news media just before bed, as this can exacerbate your anxiety and affect your ability to fall asleep.
Think about ways to form a relaxing sleep-friendly routine. Switch off all your devices two hours before bed, your brain and body will thank you for it.
Encourage your staff to do the same.
Implement Practical Workplace Guidelines.
The onslaught of COVID-19 has disrupted the salon industry tremendously, and salons have to adapt their workplace guidelines to continue to trade safely.
Try to channel anxious energy into implementing a salon plan of action with clear and concise guidelines.
Educating your staff by sharing these written guidelines can help to reduce COVID-19 anxiety. Allow yourself and your staff time to adapt to the new conditions.
To read more on the practical aspects of COVID-19 and your salon, click here.
Anxiety and stress can be a result of feeling events are out of our control. So, focusing on what we can control in the salon will bring about a sense of calm.
Of course, the new mandatory infection control rules and regulations can be time-consuming and challenging to maintain. However, they are imperative to keep your salon safe.
If you are feeling burnt out, read “Salon Burnout: 10 Prevention Strategies”.
Acknowledge the positive role you are playing in helping to reduce the spread of infection to yourself, staff, and clients.
Everybody has a social responsibility to do the right thing, especially in a service-based business. Accept this responsibility with a sense of pride and thank yourself and staff for following the correct procedures.
Moreover, constant complaining or moaning about these new regulations will not change reality, but encourages resentment and poor workplace attitudes.
Practicing and promoting acceptance can do wonders for developing a harmonious salon culture. Therefore, try to make peace with your new schedule and focus on the positive aspects of your workday.
Remember, attitudes are contagious too.
Hold Staff Debriefing Sessions.
Debriefing sessions are meetings that allow team members to reflect upon their feelings and experiences.
Allowing the team to discuss what is and isn’t working well within the salon can help to improve the workplace for everyone. Not sure what you can do to motivate your salon team? Read “How to Build a Motivated Salon Team”.
Open and non-judgmental discussions about how everyone is coping with the new salon COVID-19 regulations can help to encourage a more supportive environment.
Encourage staff members to speak up if they are struggling with anxiety or stress-related issues.
Acknowledge Your Anxiety.
Acknowledging your anxiety may seem counter-intuitive. However, allowing yourself some time to notice and express your feelings can be beneficial.
After you acknowledge your anxiety, remind yourself that your thoughts are not facts.
Acknowledge that the physical sensations you feel are just a standard response from your body, reacting to your anxiety and nothing more.
In addition, reminding yourself that your physical and emotional feelings are temporary can also help to decrease the power of these anxious thoughts.
There are many ways to express your anxiety or any other negative feelings, such as;
- Journaling – Journaling for Anxiety Relief and Stress.
- Talking to a supportive friend or family member
- Joining an online anxiety support group – The 7 Best Online Anxiety Support Groups of 2020.
- Use Online Therapy – Best Online Therapy for Anxiety 2020.
- Taking up a creative outlet
- Exercising or going for walks – Exercise for Stress and Anxiety.
- Practising prayer or meditation. Mindfulness and meditation exercises with Audio.
- Practice Mindfulness – How to Practice Mindfulness.
- Practising gratitude – 13 Most Popular Gratitude Exercises and Activities.
- Breathing exercises – 8 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety You Can Try Right Now.
Mind your workload.
Chances are your salon is super busy if you have just re-opened after lock-down. The increased workload is bound to increase anxiety and stress levels.
Clients may be super pushy to get an appointment with you. However, it is essential not to take on too much.
Allowing yourself and your staff extra time between clients can help to alleviate the pressure. Using salon scheduling software can help you plan out your day easier.
Make sure you and your staff have an uninterrupted lunch break every day, as breaks allow us to take a breather, de-stress and maintain energy levels.
Additionally, developing excellent time management skills are a great way to get through the day with less anxiety.
To read “Salon Time Management: How to Make More Time”, click here.
Don’t suffer in silence. If you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious, it’s time to put your hand up.
If you are a salon owner, reach out to your employees. Think about how you can delegate specific tasks to your staff so you can take a little time out. Taking care of yourself is essential to keep your salon running smoothly.
If you are an employee in a salon, speak to your employer. Give your boss a chance to help you feel less anxious by adjusting your schedule or workload.
Talk to your family and friends or co-workers. Sometimes just having a good old fashioned vent to a friend or loved one can help put things into a better perspective.
You may also like to consider consulting a counsellor or other health professional if you do not have a support network or your anxiety is affecting your work and/or home life.
Similarly, if you notice a colleague or employee exhibiting signs of anxiety, let them know it’s okay to reach out.
Not sure how to approach your colleague? Here is an informative resource on how to start a conversation with your workmate.
Create a work/life balance.
Making sure you create a work/life balance is the key to feeling satisfied and decreasing your anxiety levels.
Think about the activities, hobbies or people that make you happy and find a way to carve out some time to do the things you love.
Spending time on your interests is necessary to keep you feeling fresh and revitalised. Engaging your mind on your hobbies prevents you from focusing on the pandemic.
Helping others, especially during this pandemic, may also help to curb your anxiety. Taking the focus off your thoughts and helping someone in need can help to boost those feel-good brain chemicals needed to help reduce anxiety.
“Helping others is the way we help ourselves“. Oprah Winfrey.
Look for Anxiety-Inducing habits.
Keep a lookout for behaviours contributing to your anxiety.
Caffeine is directly associated with anxiety as the stimulating effects can induce the flight or fight response in the body. Aim to reduce your caffeine intake to reduce feeling jittery. Furthermore, energy drinks also contain a considerable amount of caffeine, so it is best to avoid them altogether.
Some common medications can also induce anxiety such as; weight loss pills, asthma inhalers, cold and flu tablets, plus many others. Additionally, using alcohol and illicit drugs may also contribute to anxiety levels. Here is a complete list of medications and drugs that are related to anxiety.
Self-care means taking care of yourself so you can function at full capacity, and is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping your physical health in tip-top shape helps to reduce anxiety and can improve your mood.
Here are some ways to take care of yourself;
- Create a good sleep routine
- Get essential regular health and dental checks
- Take daily exercise
- Foster healthy eating habits – WHO: Healthy Diet
- Attend to meditation, spiritual or religious needs
- Have fun and laugh as often as possible – How Humour Can Help Ease COVID-19 Anxiety.
Maintaining a healthy body is essential to help your body cope if you do become infected with COVID-19.
Remind yourself that most healthy people can fight the virus easily and will recover quickly.
Taking care of your mind and body is the best proactive way to beat anxiety and to make the most of life the way it is right now.
Remind yourself and your staff that this pandemic will eventually pass, and life will get back to normal.
In the meantime, show gratitude to all the great people in your life and rejoice in the little things.
From all the staff at Neko, we hope you have found “How to Manage COVID-19 Anxiety in the Salon” useful.
Managing COVID-19 anxiety can be challenging. If you feel that you are unable to cope with your level of anxiety, do not hesitate to seek medical attention.
Likewise, if you see your employees or co-workers suffering, please reach out. You may be the difference it takes to change their life for the better.
We wish everyone safe passage through this pandemic.
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