May 19th has officially been dubbed National Barber Mental Health Awareness Day.
While we’re pretty on board with keeping your mental health in check every day, we definitely think this day is a great idea to raise awareness about balancing mental health in a demanding industry like barbering.
As part of that day, we wanted to throw in our two cents for barbers out there who are ambitious, busy, and uber-invested in their businesses. It’s OK to be hyper-focused on bringing your dreams to life, but you need to keep your mental health in check, too!
Not sure where to start? These tips are for you! Here’s a little NAOB advice to help you put your mental health first.
Tips for Barbers: How to Put Your Mental Health First
Check-In With Yourself
The biggest piece of monitoring your mental health is being honest with yourself. Denial is the quickest way to an unraveling of your mental health. Take time to check in with yourself regularly.
How are you doing? How are you feeling? What’s bothering you? What do you wish was different? How are your stress levels? Do you need extra help in life, in the shop, or in your social circle?
Asking yourself these questions on a regular basis is the first step. The next is answering them honestly and being okay with not being okay. Struggling or dealing with issues with your mental health is nothing to be ashamed of.
This is something that everyone (even badass barbers you admire) is dealing with–and to make sure you’re dealing with it healthily, you’ll need to ensure you’re being honest with yourself.
Schedule Time Off
Even if you’re the most ambitious barber you’ve ever met, you still need time off. Why? Because people–no matter how successful–were not designed to work around the clock. You need rest. You need breaks.
You need to do something other than work. If you’ve got a workaholic personality and barbershop-oriented brain, you might need to schedule time off for yourself ahead of time. So, do that.
Force yourself to take days off. Leave the shop early. Put trust into the hands of an employee who deserves it. You need to rest and do something other than barbering–so do it! Your brain will thank you.
Eat Well, Sleep Enough, & Move Your Body
This all might sound like physical wellness advice, and to be fair, it kind of is. But we’re not saying this for your body’s benefit exactly. Making sure you’re resting enough, drinking enough water, sleeping plenty of hours, moving, and fueling your body will benefit your physical health–but these are all key components to a healthy brain, too.
When you fuel your body well, let it rest, and give it what it needs (hydration, great food, movement), you’re ensuring that your brain is getting the endorphins, serotonin, and cortisol monitoring it needs. All of which help you regulate your mental health and feel better.
Meet with a Counselor
You don’t have to be on the brink of a breakdown to talk to a therapist or work with a counselor. In fact, we’re #TeamTherapy for everyone–whether you’re going through something or you just know it helps you feel better.
Talking to your friends and family is great (and you should do this!), but talking to a professional can help you balance your mental health in ways you never knew possible. Our advice? Just try it once. Give it a fair shake. See how it feels to talk to an expert who can provide you with real, tangible help in balancing your stress, anxiety, mental health, and life.
Surround Yourself with an Understanding Circle
Remember how we just said talking to your family and friends is a great way to balance your mental health? We meant it.
Surround yourself with a supportive circle of friends, family, colleagues, and associates who are there for you, understand you, and want the best for you.
Having a team, you can rely on makes all the difference in the world. And you know what? You need to be confident and ready to lean on them when you need them because we all need it sometimes, no matter how strong or capable we are.
Take Breaks Often
Like, throughout the day! Don’t wait until you’re super overwhelmed to force yourself to take a break. Build-in some smaller breaks throughout the day so you can work on things that help you feel better. Meditate, do some breathwork, go for a walk–whatever small action helps you feel better, do it–and do it regularly.
Make Time for Things You Love
What’s something you’re super passionate about? Is it creative barbering that’s all about exploration? Is it creating art? Is it exercising? Cooking? Whatever you love, make time for it! Your brain needs stimulation, good feelings, and positive hormones to stay balanced–that means you need to do what you want!
Be Mindful & Present
Stress and anxiety are two results of not taking care of our mental health, but they also just exist as part of our world–you probably know exactly what we’re talking about, right?
How can you tackle this part of your mental health game? Start with focusing on mindfulness and being present.
Try to focus on the now instead of what could happen in the future. We understand that’s a lot easier to say than it is to do, but if you can start implementing practices to help aid your mindfulness (like meditation, long walks, doing something creative, etc.), you’ll likely find yourself in a calmer, more stable place–even when bad things or anxious things happen.
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We’ll keep you posted on the latest industry gossip, the news you need to stay in the know, and any tips and tricks we’ve got up our sleeves to help you become a better barber and a more balanced human being at the same time.