Working as a barber is so much more than cutting hair.
Your customers trust you, there is an intimate hour shared whilst sitting in the barber chair.
One of my favourite parts of the job is getting “up close and personally”, literally.
Honestly, there is nothing more satisfying then getting your client into the chair, making them look good physically and then seeing their state of mind life with ease after a good heart to heart chat in the confines of a safe space.
A barber shop is not a consultation room, at least not in the professionally recognised sense, but it is a great place to speak out, let go and feel heard.
So many of my clients are successful, corageous and hard working men.
They don´t get to where they are by doing nothing.
So it´s only natural that sometimes things can build up and the truth of the matter is, that as men, we are just not all that used to talking about it.
There is still a social stigma about being male and life feeling heavy under the weight of burdens and stresses.
Having said that, there is something about the barber´s chair, while cutting away at unwelcomed hairs, conversation comes up, thoughts get spoken out loud and some real brotherly bonding happens.
If you feel like you are struggling with the stresses of life, here are 6 ways to get back some of that control.
1. FILL YOUR FEEDS WITH POSITIVE INFLUENCE
Although some stats show that social networks such as instagram can leave a feeling of inadequacy, but actually you can use these networks and fill your feeds with positive influences.
Manage your feed by choosing to see only positive and motivating posts – that way when you are feeling down scroll through and focus on phrases and imagery that helps to put your mind in the right place.
Sometimes, it really is, a question of perspective.
2. GET BACK TO NATURE
Depression can be worsened by a sedentary lifestyle.
Today like today, we are often slaves to our offices and work, so make sure you get out there and connect with nature.
Not only will a walk in the park help you get your thoughts together, but it will also help to boost your physical health too.
Find a nice spot near your work place to stroll through with a coffee, or take a weekend away and just disconnect for a little while.
3. QUIET YOUR MIND
Now, I will be honest here, I struggle with this.
I find it hard to sit still and not think for 3 seconds, much less 3 minutes to meditate! Nonetheless, I have been trying to get into this and although I admit I don´t do this daily, there are times where I feel overwhelmed and I have to take a step back, breathe deeply, close my eyes and then get back to it.
Try this when you feel like it’s all too much.
Download an app like Calm or find a short 3 minute relaxation video on youtube – guided meditation is so much easier than alone.
4. FIND A PASSION FOR FUN
Whether it’s the gym, swimming, woodworking or book club, finding that something that lights your fire will help you keep a fresh mind and distract you from what’s getting you down.
Social leisure activities rather than solitary ones have been proven to slash depression and psychological distress.
A group activity like a football match, for example, is the perfect combination of workout and team building, plus a post celebration trip to the pub is always a plus!
5. GET IT OFF YOUR CHEST
As the saying goes; “it’s good to talk”.
I have to put my hands up here too, sometimes, it really is hard to open up.
The reality is though, that when you talk it out, the burden feels lighter and sometimes, the person you are talking to has some good insight to share that can lead you back onto the right path.
Don´t be afraid to reach out, whether it’s to someone you know (like family or friends, or even your barber), or even someone you don´t (say on social sites, a counselor or the barista).
Don´t suffer in silence and remember, no one is perfect.
6. TAKE SOME TIME OUT
Have a break! Let’s face it; you work hard, you are committed, you are loved, but sometimes, you just need some you time.
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
You have achieved great things and anything else left to conquer can be done with a good action plan in place.
Remember that everyone is at a different stage in their journey, and your path will not be the same as anyone else’s.
Take some time out to refocus, write down what you want, what’s getting you down and what you can do to turn things around in a positive way.
Don´t be fooled by the perfection you see on social media, everyone has a struggle of some sorts, so comparing your life with that of your colleagues, insta idol or friends will only set you up for a bad feeling. Stay positive, stay focused and do you.
If you really do need a helping hand at tackling any negative thoughts, contact your doc and they will be able to guide you in the right direction or reach out to www.mind.org.uk or www.thecalmzone.net
Photo with Magic Singh showing a couple of tricks to our customers at a gathering at our lounge – always nice to get everyone together for a meet and greet