The pandemic and other global events have skyrocketed our stressors and made it more difficult to connect with loved ones and friends. Self-care is more important than ever to stay mentally and physically healthy. We are incredibly thankful that we are starting to turn the corner with this new year and the vaccination rollout, but there is still a ways to go before we return back to our lives prior to Covid-19. For the time being, our go-to wellness practices feel less accessible. How do we find our way back to our healthy routines and habits? What are ways that we can connect with our communities that are safe and feel comfortable?

There is a lot of fear and uncertainty right now, about what is safe to do and what’s risky. We all must follow the mandates but there is a lot to sort through even within what’s allowed. We have different comfort levels and need to figure out what’s right for us. I thought I would share what’s happening at Release and a behind the scenes look at how we are handling Covid 19.

I’ll begin with what’s happening in the wellness industry as a whole. While there are no absolutes, there is compelling statistical data that indicates that the spread of Covid does not occur in fitness centers, yoga studios or spas. The Mass Gov website shows trending of cases and where they are happening. Release services all fall into the Recreation category and there are few cases with very little spread.

At Release, there has not been a single instance of transmission between staff members, between guests, or from staff to guests or guests to staff. There is a complete Covid-19 protocol on the About Us page of our website and we are also available to answer any questions you have about how processes and procedures.

To do all we can to make this true and do our best to keep this true, the Release Team came together and exhaustively researched the recommendations and guidelines to safely operate. We implemented organization wide procedures to meet or exceed CDC and state mandates, including nightly professional cleaning of the entire facility, wiping down frequently touched items like door handles and iPads, signage to provide guidance to staff and guests, protocols for health screening before people enter the facility, waiving cancelation fees for health related issues and much more.

We also brainstormed and implemented innovative ways to provide our wellness offerings to accommodate different comfort levels and preferences. I’d like to walk you through Release to show you some of our creative approaches.

Nourish Cafe – Nourish is a scratch kitchen that serves healthy and delicious food. Guests may opt to come in to order and eat. We provide a QRL code so they can check out the menu from their own devices and orders are placed through the safety partition. We ensure that guests have plenty of room to socially distance while eating, and set up tables in other rooms as needed to make sure everyone has adequate space. Our primary focus right now is providing yummy, healthy food to go. We offer curbside pick up which can be ordered online or by phone, and stock our cold case with great entrees, soups and snacks to grab and go.

Classes: We have so many options to participate in classes so we can truly meet people where they are as far as comfort level. We have two large studios with a specialized indoor/outdoor air exchange system for maximum ventilation. We exceed state guidelines for spacing between participants in all classes, and ensure that all other protocols are followed including mask usage. We utilize partitions and open the outside doors during our more vigorous classes, and even offer classes outside when weather permits. We thoroughly sanitize the studios and all equipment between uses in addition to the professional cleaning crew that cleans every night. For those who are not ready to come in to Release, we offer over 40 live stream classes per week, including all class types: fitness, cycling, yoga and meditations.

Spa: Release limits the number of appointments at any given time to prevent a crowded space and have added extra time between appointments for a thorough cleaning and airing out of each room. All linens are laundered between guests. The staff wear appropriate PPE at all times and change smocks between guests. Again, not everyone is ready to come in so we offer live stream facials, and live stream workshops for partner and self-massage. These are offered as one on one services or as a fun event with a group.

Bliss: Our Bliss rooms, including the Himalayan Salt Room and 10,000 Lux Light Room, are available by private appointment, so you have each room to yourself or with your your own private group. We sanitize the rooms and air them out between visitors. After relaxing in our Bliss lounge, we provide cards to place on your chair so we know to wipe them down between visitors.

Locker rooms and rest rooms: We have created a signage system to ensure that restrooms, showers and lockers are sanitized between visitors. We regularly sweep the facility to sanitize these spaces.

The Release mission is to promote self-care. That doesn’t mean doing what anyone else says you should do to take care of yourself. It’s doing what is right for you. We all need to find our own way with this and your self-care doesn’t need to look like anyone else’s. I hope this information has been helpful as you find your individual path to self-care.