Coping With Quarantine: Hairstylist Ashley Medina

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Coping With Quarantine is a recurring feature that examines how people across Greater Lansing are being affected by the coronavirus. City Pulse aims to interview a diverse cast of residents as they adjust to a new lifestyle under the measures taken in Michigan to curb the pandemic. If you are interested in being featured, please contact ashleycitypulse@gmail.com

MONDAY, March 30 — Ashley Medina, 40, is a hairstylist at Bliss Salon Spa Boutique known for giving people unique cuts. She often shaves patterns and designs into the back and sides of heads or graces people with quirky styles such as mullets. But with hair salons bunched in with businesses deemed nonessential, she’s stuck inside managing social media accounts for herself and Bliss. Medina isn’t too upset with having more personal time at home.

“This situation has allowed me time that I would have never gotten or given myself,” Medina said. “I’m determined to come out of this stronger, smarter and more prepared.”

She, like many others, is turning to food nutrition to help cope with the countless hours spent indoors. “I’m not saying better nutrition will prevent the coronavirus, I’m just saying it won’t hurt,” she said.

She’s catching up on sleep and still finding time to exercise, despite gyms being closed. Medina suggests others dealing with quarantine-related stress try the same techniques. Her favorite dishes at the moment are loaded with broccoli, leafy greens and mushrooms.

“I keep stress low by getting plenty of sleep and exercising regularly. I limit sugar, processed meat, vegetable oils and alcohol because they tend to be inflammatory,” Medina said. “All of these choices not only make me physically stronger, but they also aid in more clarity of the mind, which keeps my spirits high and keeps my nerves calm. All of these things are helpful when coping with tough and scary times.”

Even without access to the salon, Medina is still finding new ways to persist with her hairstyling career. She uses social media to find other avenues to improve her craft once things finally get back to normal, such as collecting information from her regulars to gain even more familiarity with their personal hair care preferences.

“I've started a new project to get to know my clients better, and help serve them better in the future,” Medina said. “I’ve been working on collecting data from my clients over the past few months and, with all this time at home, I've had the opportunity to actually enter all of the data into a spreadsheet.”

With schools closed statewide, Medina has to balance her at home responsibilities with Bliss, while also looking after her 9-year-old daughter. Medina said she isn’t enforcing the usual limits on her daughter’s screen time with technology, and that she regularly plans activities to keep her active and imaginative. The two like to spend time together making homemade popsicles, playing soccer in their backyard and crafting simple sewing projects such as DIY pillowcases.

Medina believes the coronavirus should bring about permanent societal change, and hopes things don’t simply return to the way they were. She notes the extreme overwhelming of hospitals nationwide and the tidal wave of unemployment applications.

“Unemployment offices and hospitals are overwhelmed; it’s so unfortunate. Maybe in the future, the government could distribute monies through social media avenues,” Medina said. “There are literally billions of people on their phones daily. Technology can give us what we need. I'm on team technology.”

City Pulse also needs your support now more than ever. Advertising — almost all our revenue —has fallen sharply because of closures due to the coronavirus. Our staff is working seven days a week to help keep you informed. Please do what you can at this time to contribute to the City Pulse Fund. All donations are tax-deductible.

 

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