Episode 301

Jun 19, 2020

The Mask Issue: Why, how and what to say to clients who are fussy about it.

Listen to "E301: Masks Unmasked" on Spreaker.
Image for E301: Masks Unmasked


Weekly Roundup

Discussion Topic

  • The Mask Issue: Why, how and what to say to clients who are fussy about it. 
    • How to breathe in a mask
    • Hairstylists in Missouri who wore masks and no clients got sick
    • Allissa's script
      • Wearing a mask is not optional for either of us. The state requires it/I am requiring it because right now it’s the best option we have for keeping each of us safer. Specifically, you wearing a mask keeps me safer, and I want to be as protected as possible so I can continue to work.

        With that in mind, are you willing to wear a mask during treatment or would you prefer to find another MT?

Quick Tips

  • Start a budget with YNAB (FYI, this is Allissa's referral link)
  • Try a bunch of different mask styles and do some housework in them



Sponsor message This episode is sponsored by Yomassage. Become an expert in all things restorative stretch, mindfulness meditation, and therapeutic touch in a comprehensive three-week virtual Yomassage therapist certification. In this training, you will learn practices you can offer your clients virtually and an innovative modality that enables you to serve clients in a group or one-on-one setting. You will build community with the other therapists going through this training. You'll have assignments due each week, weekly discussion posts, live Q&As, weekly quizzes, and lots of one-to-one feedback from your instructor. Payment plans are available for the May and June 2020 virtual trainings. And this training offers 10.5 NCBTMB CE hours. And because that's not enough, our listeners can get $50 off courses May through July. Use the code BLUEPRINT -- one word, all caps, BLUEPRINT. To learn more and register for Yomassage virtual training, visit massagebusinessblueprint.com/yomassage.

Michael Reynolds Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where you can find refuge from your racist family members' Facebook memes. I'm Michael Reynolds.

Allissa Haines I'm Allissa Haines. [Laughing]

MR [Laughing] And welcome to our show.

AH I was not --

MR Did you not read that before I said that?

AH I didn't. I didn't. It's so funny because Walt and I were having a conversation yesterday about his super conservative family members in Upstate New York, and one of the things we were talking about was -- I'm just going tell -- I'm going to tell the story. I'm sorry, people, you're getting a little banter.

MR Please do. Please do.

AH It's so good. They're all super pro-gun. Okay. Fine. I've taken my NRA handgun safety training because I wanted to learn how to safely operate a gun.

MR I own a gun. Yeah.

AH I want to, yeah, disarm and discharge a weapon safely. So anyhow, I don't have any guns, whatever. Anyhow, he was talking about -- so one of the memes, and I guess a thing Elmer Fudd doesn't have a gun anymore in the logo or something, and so people are up in arms about that. And somebody posted a picture of Elmer Fudd without a gun and Marvin the Martian with a gun, and said something to the effect of like, so we're taking guns away from citizens and giving them to illegal aliens?

MR [Laughing]

AH And it's not funny because these are serious conversations, and now we have to talk about gun control and labeling humans as illegal. But darned if that wasn't hilarious.

MR I'm laughing at the ridiculousness of that meme.

AH It's a solid joke. It's a solid joke, also not like -- so we were talking about that in depth the other day and about his racist family members and his aunt who thought it was horrifying that we decked our car out for the local car pride parade.

MR I saw that on Instagram. [Laughing]

AH Oh, my gosh. It was so much fun. It was wonderful.

So anyhow, thank you for giving us refuge from our racist family members and Facebook memes.

MR Here to help, H2H.

AH What're we doing now?

MR Let's talk about what we're reading. That's a great segue. Although, mine's fairly boring. Yours is more interesting and timely.

AH All right. All right. Do it.

MR I am reading -- not so much reading but noticing that YNAB, which is yours and my favorite -- I'm always awkward at saying that -- how to say that. Our favorite budgeting tool, YNAB, stands for You Need A Budget. They have come out with a program called YNAB for Good. And I'm thrilled about this because I'm a huge budget nerd as you are as well, Allissa, and you're the one that actually turned me on to YNAB. I've got to mention that up front because credit where credit is due.

YNAB is an amazing budgeting tool, and YNAB is releasing -- they've released a program, again, called YNAB for Good, and it's basically for non-profits that offer some sort of financial education as part of their programs. And anyone can basically apply if they're a non-profit, and you can apply with YNAB's program. And if you are approved, they will give you free YNAB licenses to give to people that you serve in your community. So it's a way of helping non-profits give tools to people who need help budgeting, managing cash flow, getting financial literacy, financial education. And I can think of no better thing that YNAB could be doing right now. It's amazing.

So I'm going to kind of talk about it a little more in my quick tip as well, but my initial call to action for this -- I'd love to give a shout out to YNAB for doing this and ask anyone who's listening if you think this is cool like I do, and if you're connected to a non-profit that offers some sort of financial education or any kind of -- I mean, financial education kind of touches so many things, so it's pretty universal. But if you have a non-profit you work with or connected to that you feel would benefit from having free licenses of the YNAB software to give to people they serve, definitely send this program to them. The link is in the show notes. It's at youneedabudget.com/good, so check it out and share it. That's what I've been reading though. Yeah.

AH Sweet. Thank you. I saw when you posted it and checked that out. That's awesome.

MR Yeah.

AH So I have a couple of things I'm reading because I wanted to note that I forgot two resources when we recorded last week, all of our resources for COVID and also race-related issues. The top two resources that a member of ours recommended didn't make it into my spreadsheet -- my podcast notes -- and I just totally flaked.

So I did put them in the podcast notes, but I did want to mention that the top two books suggested to me by a black woman were -- and she said in this order -- is to read White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. And then after that, read So You Want to Talk About Race? By Ijeoma Oluo. And you'll find that these books are both at the top of the best seller list right now as a -- I think the New York Times best seller list is dominated by books about race issues and mostly by people of color. White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo's written by a white woman, but I think everything else on that list is written by a person of color, the Ta-Nehisi Coates book. So anyhow, I just -- I messed up my notes, and I'm very sorry. I was overwhelmed by the topic. So those two, they're in those podcast notes from Episode 300 from last week, and I wanted to mention them here.

But what I'm actually listening this week was a phenomenal episode of Whitney Lowe and Till Luchau's podcast, The Thinking Practitioner. And they interviewed Benny Vaughn. Benny Vaughn is kind of legend in massage, but also, don't feel bad if you've never heard of him. It just means you haven't launched into that area of massage. Benny Vaughn has been around for 45 years. He is a black man who started his practice in the deep South in the '70s, and he is super -- he's like a leader in sports massage and that kind of genre. He has led up the massage teams for multiple Olympic games, specifically track and field, I think. And he is just a wonderful and calming and kind voice in our industry, but he doesn't do a ton of tech stuff, so I think this is like the first time I'd seen him on the internet. I met him once. A mutual friend introduced us years ago back at a conference, an educator's conference.

It was so exciting to hear him because you just don't get to do that much because he's not -- he doesn't do a lot of stuff on the internet, although that seems to be changing. ABMP has featured him a couple of times. I think he was a big spread in an issue last year. And such a wonderful perspective to hear from a black man who has been in this industry for so long. And the stories of how he had to start his practice and how he didn't see white women patients for a long time and then kind of developed a method to be able to do that without risk to him. And it was just -- it was a great episode. It was thoughtful, and everyone should go listen to the thinking practitioner episode with Benny Vaughn. It's titled Benny Vaughn: Black Lives Matter. And thank you so much to Whitney and Til for bringing this to us. It's important, and it was informative, and it is a wonderful foundational step for all of us learning how to support our black colleagues and support the profession as a whole. They had a wonderful conversation about what schools should be doing to recruit more diverse clientele and why they haven't -- or to recruit more diverse students, pardon me, and why they haven't and what we need to get over and getting over ourselves to make that happen and how that's going to be a really big factor in schools surviving this wackadoodle crisis we're in.

So sorry. I've expanded on that enough. Go listen to the Thinking Practitioner, Episode 16, Benny Vaughn: Black Lives Matter.

MR Awesome. Thank you for that.

AH What are we doing now?

MR All right. Let's show some love to our sponsor, Jojoba!

AH I'm so glad you took the full Jojoba on that because I had to clear my throat, so.

MR I was ready.

Sponsor message As you know, I, we, everyone recommends HobaCare jojoba for use in your massage practice since it never goes rancid, it's safe for all clients, and it won't stain your natural fiber sheets. And if you've been out of work for four months or so, it has not gone rancid. I just want to reemphasize because it doesn't go rancid. It's wonderful. But with all the handwashing we're doing and that we're going to do as we go back to our offices, keep in mind you should slap a little jojoba on yourself and on your hands after you wash your hands. A couple of drops on the back of your hands is going to keep your skin from getting super dried out and yucky. So you can get 10% off the price of the products on orders of $35 or more when you shop through our link massagebusinessblueprint.com/jojoba.

AH What are we talking about today, Michael?

MR All right. You made me choose this title, so I'm going to go ahead and say it out loud. We're talking about Masks Unmasked.

AH Yeah. And Michael wanted to have a really boring title that was like "Massage Etiquette and Protocol for Massage Therapy Practices." And I was like, nope because frankly, we're not getting that detailed also. It wasn't just because it was boring, Michael. It's because we're not getting that detailed.

MR [Laughing] Mine was super boring. I'll give you that. Yours is way better.

AH I wanted to just touch on a few things. We're not diving deep into mask protocol here, but there have been a lot of conversations in massage venues and other places online, just regular old laypeople, non-massage therapists, and I wanted to clear a few things up.

In our new reality, in most places, wearing -- we are wearing masks out in public, in our treatment rooms, and our clients are wearing masks out in public, out in treatment rooms. This is a new reality. And I'm just not going to discuss the people who refuse to wear them yet. We'll get there.

So of course, masks are uncomfortable, right? They're super -- if you're not used to wearing one, they're very uncomfortable. And so of course, because it's uncomfortable and you get a little hot and you get a little sweaty and you get a little anxious and whatever, there's been a whole thing going around about how if you wear a mask for a long period of time, you get carbon dioxide poisoning. Now, we breathe in oxygen. We breathe out carbon dioxide. So I just want to -- carbon dioxide poisoning is not a thing. It's not a thing you get from wearing a mask. Surgical, papery, clothy, and full-on cloth masks, they have enough give typically. They're not fitted to our faces so tightly that air can't get out at all. It's why they're not perfectly perfect and perfectly protective. And even the fitted N95, the super fitted ones where you actually do an air pressure test and all that stuff, even they have the ventilation to let out carbon dioxide. If they did not, if these masks really did cause carbon dioxide poisoning, our surgeons in eight-hour surgeries would pass out. And that's not happening. We haven't heard of lots of medical workers who have passed out or suffered brain damage or whatever because of carbon dioxide poisoning from wearing a mask. It's not a thing. If you google it or snopes it, you're going to see a whole bunch of doctors saying, yeah, this isn't a thing.

But I also want to open up a little space here to acknowledge they're super uncomfortable. So if you're experiencing lots of discomfort from wearing a mask, validated. It's yucky. It's gross. I've struggled to get through the grocery store, a full trip, fully masked, because I get really warm, and I can feel my face getting red, and all that moisture makes my nose want to run a little. I get super overheated, and then I get really anxious about it, so that kind of works me up, and I notice my heart rate going up. That's what's happening. And also, we're probably breathing more shallow when we're in masks because it's so weird, and we don't want such a long, warm exhale.

So I noticed this a while back, like after my first outing going grocery shopping, and I was so grateful because I found a little video tutorial from Dr. Cathy Dooley, who runs The Immaculate Dissection website and Facebook page, which is awesome. It's a couple of doctors and also an anatomy drawing -- pardon me, anatomy artist -- I don't know exactly what it's called -- Danny Quirk, who just draws beautiful anatomy pictures. But they have a wonderful site, and they are kind of demystifying the inside of our bodies for practitioners and also laypeople.

And Dr. Dooley posted a wonderful video about how to breathe in a mask. And that really, really helped me. So I'll link to it in the show notes, or you can even google "Dr. Dooley breathe in a mask," or I think he even found it by just "breathe in a mask." But I'll put the link in the show notes. And watching that video and learning some of -- and there's even some yoga-related breathing that you can do. So keep that in mind. There's no such thing as carbon dioxide poisoning from wearing a mask, so anyone who's sharing that information, you can tell them that's incorrect, and you can find some resources to show them that. And they're probably not going to believe you anyway because people are boneheads, but -- people are bozos.

So there's that information. So if the discomfort, as well as just social pressure, has kind of -- you've talked yourself out of wearing a mask or you're going to allow clients to not wear them except in legitimate medical conditions, there's some info that may or may not change your mind. So there was a situation in Missouri -- I think it was in Missouri -- yes, in Missouri, like two weeks ago. And what happened was hair salons opened, and there were two hair stylists in a salon -- it was like a Great Clips -- who found out after they'd been working for a couple of days, that they were sick. They were COVID-positive. And between them, they worked on 140 people at Great Clips over that couple of days that they worked when they were potentially contagious. And what they found after a couple of weeks when they contacted every client -- the health department handled this -- they contacted every client who had been seen there and every colleague who had also worked in that facility. And nobody else got sick. So there's a lot of layers to this story, which is that we think if the stylists work when they kind of knew they were sick, when they had a mild fever, or they had a sore throat, which is really speaks to how employees are forced to lie because they've lost unemployment and employers stink. But nobody of the 140 other clients and colleagues got sick, which speaks to the efficacy of masks.

Now, salons are a different environment than massage rooms. Massage rooms are smaller. We get a little closer to our clients for a more extended period of time. But if you kind of talked yourself out of masks, or you've been reading some of this information that's like, masks are really that effective, maybe reading a little bit more about that incident in that article will help you consider wearing a mask again.

So I want to -- the second part of this here is how to handle talking about masks in your practice, specifically if clients don't want to wear one. Now, lots of states have lots of different rules, and some states are requiring the therapist wear a mask, but the client doesn't have to. Some states are requiring that everyone has to. Some states are doing absolutely nothing. If you are not a wearing mask in your treatments, again, I'm going to refer you back to that other article about how it really can increase the safety. And if you're not making your clients wear masks in a session, with the exception of legitimate medical circumstances, I think you're doing it wrong. I don't like to say right or wrong that much, but if you're not taking the most simple and basic and probably effective precaution in your massage room, you're not taking care of yourself properly, and you're not taking care of your clients properly.

So I'm going to say that. I'm probably going to get some feedback on that. Whatever. So if you are requiring -- either by your state or because of your own protocols you are choosing to stay masked and insist that your clients mask, you're probably going to run into some little kickback. Clients are going to say, well, I don't want to, they're not that effective, the government's not going to tell me what to do with my face, it could be an issue. So if you are choosing to wear a mask, and you are choosing that your clients should remain masked, either because state or your own rules, you're going to get some kickback. And here's how I would handle that. I kind of wrote out a little script, and I'll put that in the show notes, and you're going to want to adjust it for you.

My script is zero tolerance on this crap. I would say, wearing a mask is not optional for either of us. The state requires it, or I am requiring it because right now, it's the best option we have for keeping both of us safer. Specifically, you wearing a mask keeps me safe, and I need to be protected so I can continue to work. With that in mind, are you willing to wear a mask during the treatment, or would you prefer to find another massage therapist? Period.

Any client who doesn't care enough about your well-being to wear a mask is the same client who's going to lie. They're not going to tell you that they just flew in and out of whatever, Seattle. They're not going to tell you that they had a sore throat three days ago. They're not going to tell you that they woke up in a fever sweat last night. Any client who is so insistent --outside of a medical circumstance -- is so insistent about not wearing a mask is the same one who's going to screw you over by lying about exposure and symptoms. That's the same client who's going to lie and tell you they're not on Coumadin because they think they can handle a deep tissue massage. It's the same client who's going to push all your other boundaries. You do not need to tolerate it.

So I'm going to wrap this up a little bit with a little pep talk to tell you that your boundaries are valid. It is okay if you only want to work masked in this environment even if your state doesn't care. It's also okay to not want to work in this environment even if your state says it's okay, and your clients are begging you. It is okay for people to say, I know a lot of people are going back, but I'm just not comfortable yet. And if you have that ability and that privilege, rock on. Stay out of work. I know a lot of people are being forced back. I'm not lecturing you. But if you don't want to return, and you're able to not return, and if you don't want to return just because it makes you super uncomfortable and really cringy and really concerned about safety, that's okay. You don't owe anyone increased risk to yourself or them. And also, if you want to return back to work, validated. You get to place any boundaries, even above and beyond what the state suggests, or above and beyond what FSMTB suggests, or above and beyond what Healwell suggests. And you don't need to feel back about raising your protocols even higher. And don't let anyone make you feel like it's overkill because that is an ego-based attitude on your client's part, and that is not how we make decisions in our practices, and it's not the attitude we want in our practices. Our clients don't get to make treatment decisions based on their ego and their desires that violate our boundaries and our safety concerns. So keep that in mind. These conversations are so much like the client with a complicated cardiac condition who wants deep tissue massage, or -- I don’t know. You name it, any variety -- a pregnant client who wants you to work out that weird and inflamed cramp in her calf. It's just -- there's a lot of [indiscernible] examples, but the clotting stuff always comes up.

If you want to return to work, and you're following all the state guidelines, and that's all, then validated. I'm going to assume because I trust your ability to properly think through these decisions with context and removing your ego from it. So if you choose to go back to work, and you're following the state guidelines and that's all, even if they don't meet the FSMTB or the Healwell guidelines, I'm going to assume you've examined all the context and that you've considered all the potential issues and that you've made an educated decision based on risk and not ego and not an invincibility complex. So good for you.

That's what I have to say. I really want to validate your ability to make your own decisions, and I also want you to consider your own potential to be ego driven and perhaps put a little bit of, well, that can't happen to me because I can guarantee you I didn't think that I could be exposed and accidently expose five clients. I wore a mask when I was in with my client who we thought had a head cold, and I didn't make them wear a mask, and then I had to quarantine and tell five clients that I exposed them. So if you think it's not going to happen to you, it can. So examine the context of that. Examine your risk factors. Make sure you're not being naïve based on your ego and an invincibility complex. And once you've examined all that, do the things you need to do in accordance with your state requirements and your conscience and your ethics.

Good luck, and I mean that in the most legitimate, not sarcastic way. People do need our work, and if you're able to go back to work and you're able to provide it in the safest possible environment right now, do what you got to do. Do what your clients need with your boundaries in place. I want to hear your success story of returning to work. I've heard a few. I've heard a few not-success stories of people returning to work and what they now know they want to examine and rethink before they try to return again. And that's really, really important. And I'm really proud and impressed by a lot of the stories I've heard about how people are thinking these decisions through.

I am done for realsies, Michael.

MR [Laughing] Yeah. I'm surprised at how divisive and political this whole mask thing has become. It's just really surprising. Some of -- one of my friends posted on a Facebook recently. She's like, hey, wear a mask. My seven-year-old does it without complaining. I feel like, as grown adults, we should be a little more polite and reasonable about this.

AH Right?

MR So thanks for sharing all of that reasonable information.

AH You know what I thought the other day -- I'm just going to off and get all of this.

MR Go for it.

AH When I ordered some masks online from a seamstress. And they've really funny and fun designs on them, so I got one for each of the kids because I only got one -- I wanted to make sure it fit right and everything. I got the older one, it's like this print of the macaroon cookies, and she had just made some, so it was totally appropriate for her. And the little guy I got him -- he picked out his own. It's got -- it's like almost a cartoony print of sunshine and rainbows. And they just love them so much. Now they're a fashion statement. And whenever I see someone refusing to wear a mask, I'm like, well, maybe you need one with a really fun print. Maybe I feel like we have to treat everyone like children with this mask situation like, maybe we just need to find one that's really fun for you, so whatever. I'm like, well, maybe I can make up masks with, I don't know, hunting rifles on them or with pictures of your pickup truck.

MR [Laughing]

AH I'm totally stereotyping, which is not fair at all. Yeah. So anyhow.

MR Eli has a Star Trek one made by our friend Kelli. I want to shout out to Kelli. She made masks for my family, which was awesome, and she made Eli a Star Trek mask, which is adorable. He doesn't go out that often in a huge public situation, so he wears it occasionally. But when he does, he wears it without complaining. He puts it on. He understands. Yeah. I feel like -- yeah. This should be this big a deal.

So thank you for all of that.

AH What are we doing next?

MR Let's talk about our favorite online scheduler, Acuity.

Sponsor message Acuity is a scheduling assistant that makes it easy for traditional businesses to become virtual if you want to, and it works behind the scenes to fill your calendar 24/7. Acuity is the business suite that takes hours of work off your plate -- it really does -- and gives you the freedom to focus on all of the important aspects of your business.

And I'm just going to say that I was messaging with one of our premium members -- hi, Travis! -- the other day because he was -- he's taking this time, the pause on his practice, to get started with Acuity. And he sent me a message about it, and he asked a question or two, and then he came back like two hours later and was like, oh, my gosh. This was so easy to set up. And it really is. Want to get into some of the deeper features, it takes a hint of learning. But he was able to do everything he needed to do pretty quick in getting set up with Acuity. So yay.

You can also take your business virtual, which is a thing. Even those some of us are going back to physical practices right now, we don't know if a second or third wave is going to hit, and we're going to have to go virtual again, so getting set up with something like this and integrating it with Zoom or an online platform for one-to-one instruction or teaching can be really valuable right now. So that's my riff.

And you can get a special 45-day free offer when you sign up today. You can check it out at massagebusinessblueprint.com/acuity. And I'll also note that they do have a free level of service, so you could get all set up, and if your trial runs out, just go to that free level of service so that you're not being charged for anything until you decide -- if you decide -- to upgrade again when you go back to physical work. And that is what I have to say.

MR Thanks, Acuity.

AH Thanks, Acuity.

MR All right. Quick tip time.

AH You go first.

MR Okay. So my quick tip is related to what I'm reading. I'm going to talk about YNAB and budgeting again. Sorry, guys. I know I've soapboxed about this a lot. But I want to take a moment and whip out the soapbox one more time, and I really want to talk about budgeting. So the reason I want to talk about it is because so much has happened this year that has really shined a light on the need for financial literacy and being intentional with your money. And I'm trying not to be all "lecturey" because we're all struggling with this. No one's perfect. Everyone has challenges with managing money.

But if I look back on all of the things that I have done in terms of financial health and literacy and improving my financial situation, the number one thing I can think of from a behavioral standpoint that has made an impact is budgeting. And I realize that budgeting is not fun. Well, I take that back. I think it's fun because I'm a dork, but budgeting for most people is not fun. It sounds very tiresome and challenging and just a drag, and no one wants to hear the word budget. So whatever you want to call it -- cashflow plan or whatever. I call it a budget because it's a budget.

I want to challenge everyone listening to -- if you aren't sure kind of what to do, and your financial situation's a little uncertain and unsteady and you're feeling stress about money and you just feel like you need some direction, the number one thing you can do, in my opinion, that has potential to help you the most right now is to set up a budget and actively maintain a budget. And YNAB is a phenomenal tool. Whether you use Mint or YNAB or EveryDollar, whatever, there's a ton of tools out there. My favorite is YNAB. Allissa's favorite is YNAB. We love YNAB. It does cost a little bit of money. It's like 80 bucks a year, I think. But it's so worth it because when you know where your money is going, when you can see where the money is going in a system and you intentionally make decisions about where your money's going -- both the inflow coming in and the outflow going out -- when you get control of that, when you really get a handle on what's happening with your cashflow, it makes everything else fall into place so much better. It doesn't magically solve your money problems. It doesn't magically create more income. It doesn't magically whatever. But it gives you enough clarity that you can find solutions you didn't see before, and you can make decisions you couldn't make before.

I know I'm being super dramatic about this and being way over the top, but I really want to stress that if you have resisted setting up a budget and intentionally managing a budget up to this point, I want to really challenge you to give it a try. Give it a real, honest, serious try by setting up a budget, preferably with something like YNAB. Youneedabudget.com is where you'll find it. And don't give up. It's really easy for people to just grab a budget and say, oh, I'm going to try this, and then a couple days later, they just fizzle out, and they just don't get around to it. They don't open the app. They don't keep up on it. Just give it like 90 days. I know that's a long time, but give it 90 days where you are intentionally watching the tutorials, following a budget, optimizing it, tweaking it, figuring it out. And at the end of 90 days, if you have truly worked at getting a budget set up, I would almost guarantee that you will feel less stress, and you will be on a much better path and feel much better about your money. So that's my long, super long soapbox about YNAB. That's my quick tip. Do a budget.

AH I'm going to make it longer because --

MR Go for it.

AH I want to jump in by saying, one, if the word budget freaks you out, just ignore that word because what I found is for me, YNAB is the antibudget because I have this hint of rebellion and scarcity reactions that happen. So when I would put myself into a really strict budget, I would do great for like two weeks, and then I would just completely rebel because I would feel like I was being denied my breakfast sandwich. And that is something I've struggled with for years and years. The flexibility of this particular bit of software is exactly what I needed because I am able to say -- I was able to look at what I was spending and say, oh, you know what? I'm just going to include the twice a week breakfast sandwich into my grocery budget and stop feeling guilty about doing that. And okay, it means I got to up my grocery budget a little bit, which means I am going to have to wait another month to buy new sneakers, and that is an accommodation I'm willing to make. It helped me to take that breakfast sandwich money from my sneaker budget instead of taking it from my "pay off my credit card" budget. It was a much more -- it's a much easier for me to visualize and be flexible in my spending so that I never hit -- as soon as I started using it, I'd never hit that scarcity mindset that made me rebel and then overspend. So that's been really helpful for me.

I am going to note that I have had a low level of guilt through this entire pandemic because financially, I am in a wonderful situation to weather it. I have spent -- it's been 11 or 12 years since my divorce, which left me with a crap ton of debt. At the same time, I was kind of starting -- I had started my business, but I moved to a new location that was all mine, and then all these expansions and all these -- I don't know what you call the opposite of an expansion, making things smaller --

MR Contraction?

AH Yeah, that. And I have had a low level of guilt for the past, whatever, four months because I am not financially hurting in this pandemic. I'm working a little bit part-time, but I spent the last several years eliminating my debt. I have exactly -- well, I have a car payment and a small student loan payment left. And in the middle of this pandemic, because I found You Need a Budget like two years ago, and because I've spent the last 12 years really working on all of this to eliminate my debt, in the middle of this pandemic, I was able to pay my car insurance the full year when it came due. I was able to pay my ABMP membership without a problem. I just bought a grill for the house because our old grill pooped out, and I'm like, well, we're pretty much exclusively at home, and I want to grill because I'm not cooking in the kitchen three meals a darn day all during the summer. I'm so fortunate that I was able to lay that groundwork over the last several years. If this had hit me three years ago, if this pandemic and this situation had hit me three years ago, I would already be living in my parents' house. I would be back there living at a friend's or living at a parent's and not having any kind of financial stability.

And You Need a Budget was a big part of that, but just laying that financial foundation has been so helpful. So be like us, and you too can have a low level of guilt for the next financial crisis.

MR You're really selling it.

AH Sorry. So my quick tip is related to our topic. If you are uncomfortable wearing a mask, which I sure as heck am, try a bunch of different ones while you're home if you're still home. Get a couple different style cloth ones. Get some ones that tie behind your head versus loop over your ears, or get some little adapters so you can do the ear loops around the back of your head so they're not irritating your ears. I have trouble with that and wearing my glasses. It's very uncomfortable, so I've had to do some adapting. Try some paper ones. And when you try a mask, don't just put it on and then take it off. Put it on and do a little house work. Cook a meal in your mask. Carry the laundry up and down the stairs in your mask. Wear it for like an hour while you are moderately active, and that will help you get used to it. That will help you learn how to do some deeper breathing. Watch that video about breathing when you are in a mask so that when you find yourself in your office giving a 90-minute massage, it's not the first time you're experiencing that weird discomfort. You will get used to it.

I have been doing a little bit of wearing my mask around the house when I'm more active. I've worn it when I go out on a walk even though I am not going to be around other people because I wanted to wear it while I was a little bit more physically active. And I'm much more used to it now, so I can get through a grocery trip without freaking out. And I could probably do an hour massage in a mask and not get too overheated or get anxious about that. So that is my tip. Get a bunch of different masks and wear them while you're doing stuff.

MR Great tip. All right. Well, thanks, everyone, for joining us today. We are happy that you are here as a listener. And you can find us on our website as usual as massagebusinessblueprint.com. Check us out there. If you're not a member of our community, check out that as well. Click on Community, and you can join us there and get access to even more good stuff. If you have a question or comment or feedback for us, you can email that to us at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com, or you can leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. And we occasionally notice and read those, and we appreciate every one, so thank you for that too. We will see you next time. Have a great day. Thanks.

AH Bye.

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