How Lockdown Created a Change in Direction

It happened very suddenly. I was in Portugal enjoying a weekend break when the threat of coronavirus began to get serious. Cafes and shops were starting to shut down.

Soon after, booking cancellations started to roll in. Firstly, from clients who suffer with chronic illnesses, they didn’t want to cancel, but their doctors had advised them to self-isolate because ‘the virus could be fatal’. The big event I was booked for was postponed. Whether we were prepared for it, or not, we were soon to go into lockdown.

Nine months earlier, I’d quit my job and retrained as a Reflexologist at the London School of Reflexology. I submitted the folders thick with months of coursework on Sunday, and jetted off the next day for an epic three month trip to South and North America, with my partner and four year old.  

When we returned home, I built up a business with some amazing clients. I began working from two therapy rooms in central London, and was about to take on two more spaces in South East London. I was helping people to improve their health and fertility, and I felt that I had finally found my calling.

When coronavirus hit, I was thrown into home-schooling my five year old, whilst getting used to this new way of life. Thoughts of my business were no longer at the forefront of my mind.

During this time, I occupied myself by completing the fantastic Reproflexology course with Barbara Scott, studying for a master herbalism diploma, and continued to make and sell therapeutic creams and balms.

I’ve kept in touch with clients through emails, social media and newsletters. Some have become like friends and it feels strange not be able to support them at this time.

As a new business, being connected with organisations and associations, such as the Association of Reflexologists (AoR), and Association of Reproductive Reflexologists (ARR) for news, information and support was really useful. I work at the Neal’s Yard Remedies Borough therapy rooms and they have been excellent in sharing resources on their online community page.

I had also signed up with Urban, who have developed guidelines and training. The expectation is that we should wear a reusable cotton mask and clients will need to wear disposable ones.  

One decision I have made during lockdown is that I will no longer be mobile when it’s time to go back to work. The old garages in our garden are being removed, making way for a log cabin. This is an exciting opportunity to reframe my business and to create my own space.

No doubt it will take some time to get used to the new way of working. I would not have thought this when I was back in Portugal, but I now I feel grateful for this challenge as it has helped me to change direction.

Isabel Fowler
Isabel Fowler

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