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A Year Since Lockdown - Wendy-Anne Steer
Today we're talking to Wendy-Anne Steer who is The Well-being Alchemist based in Lincolnshire. Wendy-Anne is an EFT Practitioner (Emotional Freedom Technique), meditation teacher & wild swimmer.
Last week marked a year since lockdown began and the reality of the pandemic hit the UK. What are your memories of that day?
March 23rd itself was an eery day; the stillness was tangible and yet we felt upbeat in our household. I saw the opportunities it was presenting quickly; I don’t believe I would have felt that positive had I known how long this would drag on for though. The anticipation is what I remember more.
I had had a flurry of activity catching up with friends and ensuring I had things in the home. For me it was like planning to be snowed in. I was weeks ahead of everyone else and had done a big shop at Costco for toilet roll and flour already!
Thinking back, how did you anticipate the way forward for your business over those for st few days?
The first few days I was sad that just as I was gaining momentum with the business I had to stop. I cancelled all my clients and workshops I was due to run at my clinic.
Having taken a hiatus of a year as we had relocated from Milton Keynes to Lincolnshire my business was in its infancy. 2020 was the year I was stepping up my game again so the rug was being pulled from underneath my feet.
Having always been passionate about working face to face with clients I had to start considering online work, something many of my fellow practitioners did already.
What actions did you take to save/change/pivot/support your business?
Initially I focussed on my clinic. I facilitated a group Zoom call and came up with ideas to keep us in the clients' minds. However this lost traction and I knew my focus had to be on my own business.
I knew online was my only way forward as it was the only thing I could control. I joined a women’s networking membership hub and tapped in to it. I subscribed to Zoom and started scheduling meditation classes and workshops.
Name any positive outcomes of the last year for your business?
The positive business outcomes really centre around the fact that everything was brought in to a sharp focus; so all aspects of my business I have had to challenge. The most important being how I spend my energy and my work life balance. I am very clear now on who I can serve and for how much of my week.
The personal positive outcomes have been many but the most important ones for me have been the time to read books, getting jobs around the house and garden done and the headspace. I feel less cluttered mentally and physically.
What do you most look forward to doing IN BUSINESS as we slowly move out of lockdown?
I am excited about running retreats and workshops again as I get to witness people/ hold the space for them.
What do you most look forward to doing IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE as we slowly move out of lockdown?
This last lockdown has meant that I have been unable to travel to my wild swimming locations. Wild swimming is my mental and physical reset and I had come to depend on it as much as my meditation practise.
I normally swim at least three times a week, even through winter. I cannot tell you how excited I am; I take my own well-being very seriously and it gives me so much joy.
What are your predictions for business generally in late 2021 into 2022?
I believe there will be a drop off for group activities on Zoom as we are all getting rather Zoomed out. I believe people will need some things to look forward to; so workshops and retreats will hit the spot.
I also think people will be outdoors more for a while so other outdoor activities will have a good uptake.
Name one person who has been a lockdown hero for you over the last year?
My lockdown hero is Mr Gareth Baker; my son's Head of Year in secondary school. He really has my son's corner at school with not just his academic needs but his well-being and has been proactive and kept in touch through the lockdowns. Both my son and I consider ourselves very fortunate and are grateful for his ongoing support.
Name one business which has been heroic for you or your community over the last year?
The business that has been heroic is the Southwood Social Hub led by Hayley Southwood (www.southwoodliving.co.uk). This community of women (known as Mavens) has thrived.
We have met for regular online coffee breaks, masterclasses and brainstorming sessions. These women lift and support each other both personally and professionally (many beautiful friendships have been formed).
This past year has been a year of extremes and has tested us all in different ways. I will be honest and say I felt a little smug for the first few months as I believed my life balance to be good. However different and unanticipated challenges appeared and adjustments needed to be made. As we emerge from this I sincerely hope we integrate the lessons learnt and do not attempt to step back in to life as it was; we have an opportunity here...
For more information visit www.thewellbeingalchemist.co.uk
Image credit - Karina Sanchez (fellow Wild Swimmer)
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