What do men talk about at home these days? Sports, news, hunting? COVID hair? There’s nothing worse for your self-image than finding oneself in desperate need of a haircut with no place to go due to COVID-19 lockdown. Tempted to take out the ol’ weed whacker and have a go? Wondering how much you would mangle your mane if you attempted the deed yourself? You’re not alone. And, we won’t all get the same attention as Justin Trudeau from our unkempt selves.
You don’t have to wait for the barber to reopen, get a full buzz or end up looking like the Tiger King (unless you want to??) because YOU are in the driver’s seat. Yup, you can now add “barber” to your list of skills you’ve picked up during isolation.
Steps to cutting your own hair at home
It’s been almost two months since social distancing because of the coronavirus pandemic began, and that means most guys are overdue for a haircut. Yep, the internet is now full of dozens of videos on how to cut your own COVID hair! This wiki tutorial (with pictures) will give you everything you need to know: How to Cut Your Own Hair (Men). You might want to recruit someone to help you, though, so you can get an even cut.
Time to try something new
Have kids? Let them start your haircut, and the whole family will have a blast! Check out the hilarious results in this video. Pro tip: afterwards, ensure your clippers are stored somewhere secure, so you don’t end up waking up to another hair cut down the road!
Although no one knows for sure when social distancing will end, the good news is, there’s plenty of ways you can take control and keep your mind and body in great shape.
Keep your daily life ‘normal’
Cutting your own hair at home is one way to keep yourself looking and feeling like yourself, and so is showering, getting dressed, brushing your teeth, and sleeping 7-9 hours a night. Keeping up with normal everyday self-care activities will keep you looking and feeling great.
Cut yourself some slack
So what if you find out your second calling was not to be a barber after all? At least no one is going to see your handy work! The same goes for all areas of life at the moment. There is no manual for working from home while homeschooling kids during a toilet paper shortage (yikes!). Take each day as it comes and accept that you’re doing your best.
Social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic is creating some elevated stress and anxiety for many, even in menial chores like grocery shopping. In one jarring hour, I experience thoughts of hyperawareness in the new COVID reality and turn to kindness to cope.
My story starts at 8am on a Saturday amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Vancouver. There’s about a cupful of milk left in the fridge at home. Crap! We need to go out shopping, which I have grown to loathe. Maybe we ought to stock up on some groceries now when fewer people are in the store. Grocery shopping at this hour should be a cinch, or so I think.
My partner and I leave the apartment while I tuck away my blue latex gloves and a small bottle of hand sanitizer in my sweater pocket. We uncomfortably ride the elevator down twenty-three floors, wondering how many people have been in here and who has touched what. After getting rid of recyclables and garbage in the basement, we attempt to lather up with hand sanitizer from the dispenser that the building provides, but it’s empty.
We walk in a single file instead of side-by-side uphill — just about the only outdoor cardio activity I’ve done in the last two weeks. A masked lady says good morning while keeping her distance. My partner says, good morning back. I give the nod and keep on walking, taking deep breaths as the cold breeze sweeps behind my back. Should I have worn a mask outside today? I pull my hoodie over my head as an automatic response.
Everyone takes turns to shop
Standing about two arm’s length apart, people wait in line to enter the store while a store clerk stands at the top of the line by the door, letting one person in as one person leaves. No one seems to be wearing a facial mask, but a young lady has her scarf wrapped around her face and neck.
We split up the shopping list as we stand in line, checking out the “list of essential items” at the start of the line. On my way in, I hesitate to grab a shopping basket, but I do anyway. The store has milk and, surprisingly, toilet paper. Still no hand sanitizers and thermometers. I grab a bottle of honey from the top shelf, but my partner says we have more than enough honey at home. I place it back. How many people have done the same thing with their bare hands?
Meanwhile, an elderly lady with unkempt hair and a blank stare on her face stands motionless a few feet away from me, waiting for me to leave the aisle. It creeps me out and, yet, there’s something very human when people go shopping in their pajamas!
No shopping list equals impulse buying and tension
The lineup of physical distancing customers to the cash register snakes through the dairy aisle. My partner hints we should get some yogurt as he keeps our place in the queue. I pick up a couple of jars. Then he suggests what’s for dinner tonight and points at the cold meats section.
I go over and pick up a pack of chicken breast and, stopping halfway as I step back, a bundle of fresh sausages — just as well since we’re already here. One basket turns quickly into two basketfuls of groceries, and it feels like we’re hoarding.
At the checkout, the lady at the cash register politely asks us to stay farther away from her. There’s no plexiglass barrier on her till. We take two steps back, forming a triangle with the clerk. Awkward!
The clerk places three plastic bags on the table. As my partner bags our groceries, I tap my credit card on the card reader, but it won’t read it. I slide it in the slot and punch in my PIN code. Dang it, I touched the keypad! My partner snaps at me to put the receipt away as I frantically stuff it in one of the bags. He just wants to get home as much as I do.
It dawns on us how stressful an hour of shopping for groceries has become and lament at the irritation we experience with one another. We take control of our thoughts and make a promise to better support each other when we go grocery shopping again. Not only are we buying groceries after all, but we’re also making a conscious effort to be mindful of protecting ourselves and others from COVID-19.
We remind ourselves to focus more on being patient with one another and not on the extraordinary burden of anxiety amid quarantine and social isolation. Everyone is experiencing COVID-19 anxiety along with us — we’re afraid we may unknowingly catch it or spread it. An act of kindness and patience to ourselves and others can get us through it.
What are you worrying about right now amid the COVID-19 outbreak? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
This article is made possible by the support of generous sponsors.
Anxiety is very common in our hectic lives. Many men stay busy to try and stop fears and concerns from festering, but these issues don’t go away.
Instead of feeling helpless, know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Follow the five steps listed here, and you can show anxiety the door and kick it in the butt on the way out!
Step 1: Identify anxiety
Anxiety in men can be especially problematic because we are less likely to seek help or even understand and acknowledge the importance of dealing with it. That’s why simply identifying our worries is key: It allows us to question their validity. Right off the bat, make a list of your worries and fears. You might be surprised, in a good way, simply by listing them.
Step 2: Take a few quiet moments for yourself
You don’t have to take seminars or even meditate. It can be as simple as spending a few quiet moments every day — you can do this on your lunch break, while you’re in the shower, or during your drive, or bike ride to work. The key is becoming aware of your thoughts and emotions.
Step 3: Talk it out
Talking through your worries with a friend or family member — or in some cases, your family doctor or a professional counsellor — can be enormously rewarding and helpful. Don’t let pride stand in the way.
Step 4: Engage your mood-boosting endorphins
Exercise burns away stress-inducing chemicals and can produce mood-boosting endorphins. Any exercise will help, but getting into a daily routine that’s at least 20 minutes long will make the most of your efforts.
Step 5: Sleep = happiness
Getting enough Zs is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety. By practising good sleep hygiene, the rest of these steps — and the rest of your life for that matter — will fall into place that much easier.
What do Rocky Balboa, Jean Claude Van Damme and Batman have in common? Besides being manly men in movies that guys love, all three improve their moods by working out. If you want to know how to live an unboring life, just look at Batman…
The “Big Five” Benefits of Exercise
All three of these heroes train to defeat their foes, but their shared post-workout perkiness is no coincidence. Numerous studies show that working up a sweat delivers five major benefits:
Combats depression: Exercise causes your brain to release feel-good chemicals (endorphins) and reduce production of immune system chemicals that can worsen depression.
Boosts self-esteem: Meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your confidence. Getting in shape will also make you feel better about your appearance. You may not look as buff as Rocky right away, but trust us, a bit of extra tone and firmness gets noticed.
Reduces stress: Exercise is a great way to release pent-up energy. In addition, an increase in body temperature has an overall calming effect.
Wards off anxiety: Working out is a healthy distraction that disrupts the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety.
Prevents erectile dysfunction: Research suggests that exercise reduces the risk of erectile dysfunction by about 50%!
Get started right now!
Let’s put an end to boring health tips: Download the free Guy’s Guide to Un-boring Health Tips eBook.
All too often, we avoid talking about our problems like the plague. It might be due to the fact that we’ve been bombarded with messages like “suck it up” and “be a man” since boyhood. We’re now far better at talking about our woes after they’ve been fixed, right?
CFL player and Don’t Change Much Champion, Shea Emry says that men’s mental health issues thrive behind society’s masculinity mask, and has experienced the negative effects firsthand. “[I’m] a professional football player, the mentally tough, ‘alpha-male’ type. Until I ripped off the mask this was all I—and perhaps others—allowed me to be.”
Men are four times more likely to die by suicide than women, and it’s time we rally together to get loud about what’s on our mind. Shea explains how he overcomes these ridiculous cultural and societal pressures in his article, Behind the Masculinity Mask.
With solid advice from Shea and our friend Dr. Kuhl, who specializes in men’s mental well being, here’s a roundup of guy-friendly ways to cope with mental stress:
Unmask wherever possible:Silence can be toxic, so try to practice openness as much as possible. One way to get open is to get outside – trees and plants fill your lungs with oxygen which can have positive effects on your peace of mind.
Look inward: Signs of stress and depression often go unnoticed. Ask yourself, has anything changed in how I live, act, or feel about life? Consider any unusual habits you may have noticed recently like eating more junk food, having trouble sleeping, losing interest in relationships/hobbies, or even watching more porn. Use the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mental Health Meter and assess your mental fitness.
Talk to someone you can trust: Someone who will take you seriously, listen to what you have to say, and be there to provide you with a different perspective on your thoughts. It could be a partner, spouse, close friend or someone at work.
Ask a buddy how he’s doing: It can be easier to help out a buddy than to ask for help ourselves. If he “unpacks his sh**,” you may be surprised by the outcome. Sometimes it pays to simply know that you’re not alone. Besides, bros need to stick together!
Learn more about mental health and check out the Great Information on Don’t Change Much.