When we talk about mental health, anxiety is usually a main topic. We’ve all seen an increase in anxiety and depression symptoms since the pandemic. Unfortunately, some people, especially men, don’t want to admit this reality. Let’s face it, barbershop conversations aren’t built around mental health but who knows? Maybe one day it will be added to the rotation. For men, feeling anxious can be viewed as an open wound that only makes them weak. While this is understandable because of society and how we are conditioned, this belief is not the truth. Understanding our emotions and feeling vulnerable can be scary for anyone, especially us men. Once we understand what we are dealing with and what is needed for our mental wellbeing, then we can access our coping skills across different environments.
Thousands of men live with anxiety each and every day. Anxiety itself cannot kill, but not managing anxiety and panic can have negative consequences. When you learn to manage your mood, you’re also taking care of your physical body, which is important for overall health. I want to leave you with 3 tips that you can add to your routine during the week. Remember, self-care is part of a healthy lifestyle so don’t stress yourself when adding something new to your life. Find out what works for you and be consistent in implementing it.
1. Develop a good nighttime routine; try going to sleep and waking up around the same time. Some days, aim to get an additional 30 min of sleep: You will be surprised how much this helps.
2. Take time to release some of your anxious thoughts (about 15-20 mins): This can be through journaling, art, conversation, or music. You might think you don’t have time to do this daily, but just think about how much time we spend scrolling on social media!
3. Practice deep breathing throughout the day. You can try box breathing: inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds and repeat.
What are you already doing that helps your anxiety? Remember to keep what works and practice patience. And as always, lead with love.