Stress Relieving Techniques for Barbers: 4 Quick Tips for On-The-Job Relaxation

Here are 4 ways to reduce your on-the-job stress at the shop and behind the chair.
Jaimee Ratliff
Jaimee Ratliff is a certified yoga, meditation & well-being educator, wellness entrepreneur, and writer based in Atlanta, Georgia.

When was the last time you truly checked in with your stress levels?

Photo by Yogendra Singh on Unsplash

If it’s been a while, now’s the perfect time to reconnect with how you’re feeling mentally, emotionally, and physically. April is Stress Awareness Month, and this is your friendly reminder that your well-being is a big deal that deserves your attention. According to The National Institute of Health, “managing stress is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. Knowing how to manage stress can improve mental and physical well-being as well as minimize the exacerbation of health-related issues.”

From standing on your feet for multiple hours at a time to get your clients' lineups just right, to managing their last-minute schedule changes, as well as your finances, barbering can present many stressful challenges that can eventually take a toll on the body if left unchecked.

The good news is: you don’t have to wait until the clippers are cut off or the last customer leaves the shop to take care of yourself. Here are starting today:

4 Ways to Integrate Stress-Relief Throughout Your Day

  1. Get outside. Being outdoors can be quite calming for your nervous system. While you’re waiting for your next client to arrive, take a 10-minute stroll around the block. Walk at a pace that feels good for you. Take some deep breaths of fresh air and notice the sights, sounds and smells around you. Studies have shown that just by looking at trees, you can lower stress-related hormones like cortisol and adrenaline and also reduce blood pressure.
  2. Meditate. Take a seat in your barber chair. Place your feet firmly on the ground, relax your shoulders and press your back into the cushion. Rest your hands in your lap and close your eyes for a moment. Notice your breath as it enters through your nose and exits out of your mouth. Whenever a thought arises, continue to re-focus on your breath. Stay present in the moment. Practice this for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Stretch your body. Feeling stressed can increase tension in places like your shoulders, neck and back. Take some time to smooth out these kinks by rotating your head, shoulders and even wrists in circles. For some neck relief, let your head tilt forward, backward and side to side, holding for a moment at each stop. Lastly, while hinging at your hips, fold your body forward letting your head and arms hang freely upside down. You’ll feel this stretch in the back of your legs and back.
  4. Practice progressive muscle relaxation. This technique involves clenching and relaxing parts of your body, one by one. Start with making a fist with both of your hands. On your inhale, clench them as tight as you can for 5-10 seconds. Then, release the tension on an exhale. Notice how you feel after you relax before moving on to another body part or muscle group such as your abs or glutes

These are just a few ways to help mitigate stress in between clients. Take note of the activities that have the biggest impact on your stress reduction. Everybody and every body is unique. We all respond to things differently. As always, take what serves you and leave what doesn’t.