Self care. As if by clairvoyance, Virginia Thornton and Zahra Ahmad pinpointed the number one need of people in a post-pandemic world. The challenges presented by the COVID-19 outbreak—layoffs, financial constraints, remote learning, family separation and loss of life – bore heavy burdens on nearly every individual across the globe. Less than one month before borders closed and people resigned themselves to a year of isolation, Thornton and Ahmad created a space to temporarily escape from the hardships of the real world and enter into a place of healing.
Get Well Soon is the region’s newest self-care sanctuary. Although its doors first opened in February 2020, the intimate meditation space celebrated its grand reopening six months later in September. Get Well Soon is located on 44th Street in Norfolk, not far from ODU and breathes open spaces bathed in natural light and accented with earthy hues and fresh greenery. At the helm of the self-care project are longtime friends, Thornton and Ahmad. “Virginia and I met through a mutual friend,” explains Ahmad. “I think we both have dealt with anxiety, depression and other fact-of-life challenges and throughout them, have looked to nourish our soul. One in four Americans take antidepressants. We [as a community] fail to recognize how much we can do individually to mitigate that fact.”
Get Well Soon is the girl bosses’ solution—a private place for people to nourish their souls, detox their minds and better their bodies through specialized treatments. Comprising the self-care staff are two estheticians, two massage therapists and three meditation instructors, as well as a sanctuary manager. The sanctuary’s services include yoga, an Infrared sauna, massage therapy, facials and individual or guided meditation. Social clubs events occur on select days too and range from beading parties to full moon-themed sound baths.
“Everything we do has a mental health twist,” explains Thornton, a Norfolk native. “During a beading event, for example, we remind people that the goal isn’t just to make jewelry, but to have busy hands and quiet minds.”
“While we have our social club events, a lot of our services are geared towards things you can do by yourself,” adds Ahmad. “We’ve [hosted] some teacher-driven courses through Get Well Soon University so [clients] can learn how to do things on their own at home.”
With one year of full-service treatments under their belts, Thornton and Ahmad are excited for the future of Get Well Soon, including its existence as a private venue. The urban space can be used for group spa days, mediation retreats, parties and the like. “When we finally reopened in [September], we were a little slow because people were fearful of COVID, which is where the private rental idea came from,” remembers Thornton. “We’ve named the private groups Pandemic Pods, the people you spend most of your time with.”
Thornton also notes that the team is working hard to keep up with the demand for Get Well Soon merchandise. “When we were closed for our six-month period, we were able to stay afloat by selling our merch online,” she says.
Apparel adorned with Get Well Soon’s whimsical logo has garnered much attention across the nation, with nearly 90% of online sales coming from out of state purchasers.
Shop Get Well Soon anytime online or schedule an appointment to visit the sanctuary during regular business hours. Appointments are required and accepted up to two hours prior to a scheduled service.
Learn more at GetWellSoonXO.com