Once it comes time to put away the beach gear and dig out the boots, hats, coats and gloves, it’s easy to let the appearance of the grey, overcast skies dampen your spirits.
However, there’s no reason why your massage therapy practice can’t be a little bit of sunshine in the clouds for your clientele.
You can provide them with some much-needed peace at a time when the days are getting shorter, yet they still have to face the bustle of the holidays lying squarely ahead.
Changing seasons, Changing Emotions
Psychology Today reports that seasonal affective disorder, or SAD as it’s most commonly known, is a form of depression. Although SAD can hit during the summer months, it tends to peak in the fall and winter.
Affecting roughly 10 million people in the U.S. alone, as well as an additional 10 to 20 percent of the population on a milder level, the actual cause of SAD is unknown. However, the shorter, darker days are thought to play a role.
Many other factors contribute to increased rates of depression during this time of year, according to Healthline. A couple of the most notable include feelings of being socially isolated and dealing with memories of a loved one who was lost during a previous holiday season.
MedicineNet adds that anxiety can go up for people as well, especially with the added financial burdens, parties to plan and trying to figure out how you’re going to get everything done.
Although you may not be able to help clients overcome all of these types of issues during their soothing massage sessions, there is one thing you can do that can help brighten their spirits. It starts with changing up your décor.
Get In the Holiday Spirit
“Getting our spas ready for the holiday season can bring so much joy to the space,” says Gretchen Tiernan, founder of Sand Spa in Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach, California.
Because joy is what a lot of people need this time of year, honoring the fall and winter months with a couple of small decorative alterations can certainly help.
For instance, adding some traditional fall colors—oranges, yellows, browns and reds—as soon as the weather begins to turn can improve your clients’ spirits. Color Matters indicates that these colors often elicit a positive emotional response. Orange creates feelings of cheer, warmth and good health, while yellow symbolizes happiness, optimism and enlightenment.
When you get closer to the holiday season, you may also choose to transition to the greens and reds commonly seen this time of year. Although these particular colors have different meanings on their own—with greens being associated with nature and the environment and red often the color of passion and adventure—when placed together, they tend to evoke the holiday spirit.
That being said, it’s important to remember that some people find the holidays difficult, so less is sometimes more. Additionally, certain cultures react to certain colors differently.
For example, red is a symbol for good luck in Asian cultures, while in China green symbolizes infidelity. Although this doesn’t mean you have to avoid the use of all color in your massage practice, keeping this in mind can help you create a more soothing environment for all of your clients, no matter the time of year.
Accessorize Using Your Current Décor
Another way to celebrate the changing seasons without having to shell out a bunch of cash for fall- and winter-themed decorations that you’ll only use for a couple of months is to use your current décor as much as you possibly can. Tiernan shares that that’s what they do. “By swapping out chair pillows with more festive options, we are able to transform our spas into wintery wonderlands,” she says.
You could also cover the pictures on your wall with gift-wrap and ribbon so it looks like presents are hanging on your walls. This option is great in that it could potentially enable you to use wrapping paper that contains hints of your current color scheme, adding an even greater effect.
Picking sheets and towels for the massage room to complement the overall color scheme makes it easy to mix and match sets.
Use Dual-Purpose Decorations
Some decorations serve more than one purpose, making these options ones to consider as well. Tiernan uses Christmas trees with themed ornaments, providing her clients the experience of the holidays while adding scents in the air.
“By bringing natural fragrances into your spa, you can really do wonders as far as creating a holiday-specific feel,” says Tiernan. “It can be a really fun process for both our clients and employees to bring the serenity of winter into the spa.”
Be creative and think of different ways you can transition your practice by using dual-purpose decorations. Maybe you can play soft melodies of cheery holiday music in the waiting room, helping your clients lighten their moods while giving your practice a more festive feel.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of setting up a tree, what about diffusing pine scented oils in the air with a holiday-themed diffuser? This can give your clients the comfort of nature while honoring the holiday season.
Focus on Areas Outside the Massage Rooms
Because it can be costly to redecorate your entire massage practice, not to mention that many of the fall and holiday colors tend to be rather bright, creating an effect opposite of the one they’re trying to achieve, one way to lower your costs and provide your clients the relaxation they seek this time of year is to only decorate areas outside of your massage rooms. That’s what Tiernan does at Sand Spa.
“We typically limit the decor to outside and in the waiting areas,” says Tiernan, adding that, “since the holidays can be overwhelming, we want to bring a subtle relaxing feel.” This way, no one “gets their tinsel in a tangle,” says Tiernan.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to changing your décor in a way that honors the colder weather and holidays, yet still stays true to your practice brand and your goal of relaxing and rejuvenating your clientele. These are a just a few ways you can achieve all of these goals, helping your staff and your clients better enjoy the next months ahead.
Who knows, it may even help them actually look forward to them. That’s a nice thought, isn’t it?
About the Author
Christina DeBusk is a freelance writer dedicated to providing readers relevant, research-backed content related to health and wellness, personal development, safety, and small business ownership.
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