Nick likes to share
2021 Interview with Changing times magazine
A CHANGE OF MIND
BY NICK BRACKS
The seismic changes that 2020 brought about have taken a toll on many of the barbering industry’s mental health. While it can feel easier to brush those feelings aside and push on, we do so at our peril. If we don’t confront issues head on, they will only become worse. When it comes to our physical well being, we should not wait until we have a heart attack to start exercising. Likewise, we should not wait until we become mentally burnt out or overwhelmed with stress before we start looking after our mental health. You’ve shown how strong you are as an industry, but navigating uncharted waters will always be difficult. My firm belief is that the creative and entrepreneurial drive you possess can help you break through any negativity you face along the way, but an accompanying roadmap is always helpful. I’ve highlighted some keys points and tools you can take into the future on the next page:
A lot of us have had our working lives altered, so heading back to work will be a shock to the system. We need to make sure we are doing things daily to deal with this potential stress. This includes checking in with friends, family and people who support us, taking time out for our wellbeing (exercise, meditation, gratitude journaling etc) and not putting too much pressure on ourselves. Remember, COVID or not COVID, life and barbering will always have ups and downs. The lesson here is to learn to deal with them rather than avoid them.
SHAKING THE BLUES
Getting back on track after a tough time can be difficult. Stay positive by reminding yourself about what it is you are passionate about and what your purpose is. Again, having daily wellness habits in place will help to deal with negativity. Take things one step at a time and focus on the present.
ADAPTING TO NEW WAYS OF WORKING
Change in life and work is inevitable. With change we always have two choices – embrace it or fight it. Rather than looking at all of the negatives that come with change, try and focus on the positives. There will always be uncertainty in life, so why not look at COVID as a chance to create healthy ways to manage it? If we look at it this way then it is not just about coping and getting through the lasting effects. It is about finding ways to thrive long term – no matter what life throws at us.
BEING A ‘MAN’ ABOUT IT
The most important thing we can do as men is learn to speak up about our emotions. Male or female, we are all human and we all feel things. It is incredibly unhealthy to bottle up emotions and push them to the side. Men have been taught in the past that it is weak to speak up – this could not be further from the truth. It takes far more courage to show vulnerability than to bottle things up. Set an example and make note of those around you – are they supportive or are you around toxic people? If you have toxic relationships, how are you going to change them? They say we become a sum of the top five people we spend our time with, so make sure you are around positive people.
MAKING WORK, WORK
Work can be all consuming and we often feel scared to speak up when we have an issue. Remind yourself that it is in the best interest of everyone if we look after our mind and body – we will perform better, be happier, and get more out of ourselves long term. Make sure you make time to create daily habits that you can incorporate into your lives. Mediation, mindfulness, exercise, gratitude journaling, eating and sleeping well are all examples. Remember, everything in life is about balance.
KEEPING CREATIVITY POSITIVE
Creativity is so important for our wellbeing and general happiness. Work and stress can inhibit our ability to be creative and often when we make a career out of our creative passions, we can lose the joy of the passion we initially had due to the immense pressure and stress work brings. Again, balance is critical here. Check in with yourself regularly and look after yourself. When negative thoughts arrive and you feel overwhelmed, remind yourself it is ok, take a break, breathe, and remind yourself what you love about your work. Exercise Simple movement can make all of the difference. Find a small space at your shop and do 15 minutes of exercise per day. It can be anything… push ups, lunges, skipping… just move at your own pace!
Meditation Take 5 minutes a day to sit with your thoughts. There is no perfect way to do this… you can use a mantra, focus on breathing, use an app (there are hundreds of free ones online). Put the scissors down, and just give yourself the time out.
Phone a friend Call your best friend or a loved one (or a few of them) and offload your stress. Make it clear that they can do the same to you. Being heard can go a long way.
Nutrition Make sure (to the best of your ability) that you are eating well and drinking enough water.
Sleep Stress can affect our sleep patterns. If we follow the healthy behaviours above, we will sleep better and in turn have less stress.
Nick is an Australian actor, mental health advocate, model and fashion designer, who is passionate about men and women’s physical and mental wellbeing.
From releasing his own underwear label and appearing on Neighbours, to presenting two TED Talks on creativity and how to combat depression, Nick is a much admired character in the American Crew family whose resources are available to everyone below.
Check out Nick’s Mental Health Masterclass program.
He’s also created a podcast called Move Your Mind with Nick Bracks. It is available on Apple podcasts, Acast, and Spotify. Direct links can be found here: nickbracks.com/ moveyourmind