Lockdown life is tough for us all, so Respect editor, Ellie Agius asked Talley counsellor Micheline Kuevi, for advice, tips and coping mechanisms. Talley is a mental-wellness platform that provides a safe space to speak to someone; basically it’s a way of connecting with people going through similar, and helping each other. There’s no fee, no waiting list and no judgements. Brilliant! You can talk in confidence with one person, or, we love how they hold weekly Talley Talks, which are anonymous conversations for anyone to join. This allows you to speak freely about mental health and life experiences. Find out what Ellie and Micheline discussed…
Getting through the low days
We are creatures of habit, who strive for a routine. Micheline tells us to take some time to ourselves and think about self-care and find a new routine. Pre-Covid we were all busy doing things and didn’t necessarily have time to think about ourselves and what makes us happy.
When you are used to socialising as much as the hairdressing community is, Micheline told us how important it is to keep up this communication. Lockdown life is tough because it’s different a way of doing things, but keeping up with friends, family and clients is vital for our mental health.
We’re so ‘over’ Zoom pub quizzes
Micheline suggests finding new ways to communicate with each other:
- Write a letter
- Share a hobby with someone
- Share your creativity
Will my business survive? What help am I entitled to? Are my staff OK? Am I OK?
Sometimes it just all feels a bit too much with overwhelming thoughts going through our heads – especially during lockdown. Micheline advises keeping a journal and writing your thoughts down. When it’s in black-and-white in front of you, it’s possible to break things down and work through your worries in a structured format.
Micheline also advises to connect with other business owners who might share your feelings, and not necessarily within the industry. Joining groups and forums to share your thoughts and frustrations can be a helpful method of coping.
With most salons employing apprentices aged 16-18, we understand the importance of safeguarding. We asked Micheline what signs should employers be looking out for when they are unable to see staff.
- If the staff member is difficult to reach or get in touch
- If the staff member seems withdrawn when you speak to them
You have a duty of care to your staff and it’s important to let them know that they can come to you if they feel they are struggling. Find out if they have friends or family members to talk to and check in with. Remind them there are services out there if they are struggling to cope.
Your go-to person
With the risk of sounding like Meredith [shout out to my fellow Grey’s Anatomy fans], have a think about who your “person” is. Micheline stressed the importance of having someone you can go to when everything gets too much and things feel like they are spiralling downwards. This person doesn’t judge you and you know you can say anything and trust it goes no further. You may speak every day, you may speak once a month. However, I have no doubt that this person has kept you going this past year, and you may not have even realised it yet.
You can watch the full conversation about coping mechanisms for lockdown on our Facebook page.
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