We spoke with UK Spa Association General Manager Yvonne Ebdon, to find out more about the impact the spa and wellness industry can have on your mental health and wellbeing.
How does the spa and wellness industry promote good mental health and wellbeing?
Everything the spa and wellness industry does is to promote good mental health and wellbeing. From day spa packages, incorporating elements which are outside such as relaxation spaces, experiences, al fresco dining, to individual treatments and meditation experiences. It is often wrongly assumed that treatments, thermal journeys and experiences are linked purely to the physical aspect of our health and wellbeing, but there is so much more that the spa and wellness industry can do for people’s mental and physical wellbeing. Encouraging people to take Twilight Spa experiences, so they can fit this into a working week whether its for 2-3 hours if they are unable to take a full day. It showcases how just a small amount of time can really impact an individual’s mental health in a positive way.
What activities exist within the industry, which involve nature, to better improve people’s mental health and wellbeing?
There are so many ways to incorporate nature into wellness activities in order to assist with individual’s mental health and wellbeing. For years many spas have brought the “outside in” and had feature walls of forest landscapes, sounds of nature and water soothing through speakers into treatment and relaxation areas.
Forest Bathing is something that can be offered to guests to simply encourage them to take time and breathe in nature, especially in a post Covid-19 era. Focusing quietly on what they can see, hear and smell is an amazing way for individuals to focus and rest their minds, whilst at the same time taking in nature. The addition of the ways operators have had to pivot their businesses, and offer yoga classes, gym classes, meditation and even treatments outside is also a great way that spas and wellness operators will continue to offer.
From your experience, what top tips would you provide to leaders to help support their employee’s mental health and wellbeing?
Employers need to ensure that they really do understand the various ways in which they can signpost their teams. It is not always for operators to be trained in mental health and wellbeing, but to ensure they can support. Mental health first training courses are readily available and it would be extremely beneficial for managers to have access to these courses, in order to spot the signs that there may be assistance required. Walking one to ones are great ways to encourage open conversations when meeting with employees, it not only can include nature if taken outside but can relax individuals into talking more openly. It does not have to be around personal matters but can just open up those conversations around operational aspects which have an impact on those individuals.
Find out more about the work of the UK Spa Association here.