last man standing – how to

Men’s Health: 10 Tips for Handling Anxiety & Tough TimesIt’s not about “manning up”

Written by Jennifer Xue

Jennifer Xue is an award-winning author with bylines in Forbes, Fortune, Cosmopolitan, and Esquire. 

Everyone processes stress differently, and no one is immune to grief.

When Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, suddenly became a widow at age 45, she experienced feelings of tremendous loss. In the beginning, she blamed herself for not taking good care of her husband, which is called “personalization.”

Next, she experienced a sense of sadness that reached every part of her life and felt as if it had been permanent. Psychologist Martin Seligman calls these thoughts “pervasiveness” and “permanence.” Every grieving individual experiences the 3Ps, but the length and the depth might differ.

Men, in particular, have difficulty expressing their anxieties because society has invented abstract definitions of “toughness” and “strength” that males are expected to live up to; as if showing emotion would somehow discount their masculinity.

The thing is, “masculinity” is a fabrication. According to Dr. Earlanger A. Turner, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and university professor, boys learn from an early age to conceal emotions and not show “feminine” traits like crying, looking sad, or being vulnerable. Over the years, bottled up emotions can have a negative impact on mental and physical health and cause relationship issues.

Life pressures can include anything from taking care of a sick family member, to going through a divorce or break-up, to experiencing a financial disaster from an unexpected accident. In this article, we’ll discuss how men can healthily tackle grief and stressors while continuing about their daily lives.

1. Accept things as they are and give time to grieve

acceptance and time dealing with anxiety

Aron

When something unfortunate happens, you’re naturally angry. In fact, your stress level might be through the roof. It’s normal. Tell yourself that going through a hard time is part of the process.

You’re working things out. All these negative thoughts and feelings will eventually subside.

2. Channel your energy elsewhere

dealing with grief channel your energy elsewhere

Jacob Miller

While you might feel like punching a wall, channel your destructive energy elsewhere. Try exercising and meditating for at least half an hour a day. You might be busy with work, but 30 minutes of energy release is not a luxury; it is a necessity in trying times.

3. Communicate your pains

dealing with anxiety communicate your pains

Nina Conte

Share your pains, worries, and anxieties with a close and supportive friend who has proven to be a positive force in your life.
When you’re ready, consider talking to a therapist to help cope with misfortunes through reframing, a tool in cognitive behavioral therapy that allows you to change your perspective and challenge negative thoughts as they emerge.

4. Nothing and no one is to blame

dealing with anxiety don't blame

Ian Dooley

Skip the blame game, even though it’s a part of the process as well. You might feel compelled to blame yourself or someone else at the beginning, which is okay. Just don’t dwell on it. Stop any rumination in its tracks, because the habit is only self-destructive. Remind yourself that nothing and no one is to blame. What has happened has happened, and your focus should be on where to go from here.

5. Take note of the small blessings

dealing with anxiety Gratitude Journal

Brad Neathery

Some people have a “gratitude journal.” It’s an excellent idea, wherein you can take note of every single triumph, no matter how small. This could include having lunch with a friend, sending off that e-mail to your supervisor, admiring the blue sky, calling your mother, etc.

6. Be grateful in action

Dealing with anxiety showing gratitude

Eric Ward

Make your actions reflect gratefulness. In other words, don’t just be grateful in thoughts, but express appreciation by doing something meaningful. This could simply mean smiling more, making eye contact, and holding doors.

Maybe you have the overwhelming responsibility of caring for a sick loved one or handling the reconstruction of a water-damaged house. These tasks can seem daunting, but add a layer of appreciation for it. You are growing in the process.

7. Create a new routine

Dealing with anxiety create a new routine

Timothy Choy

Create a new routine to distract you from dwelling on negative thoughts. Sometimes going about our usual schedules can be difficult when old tasks are now tinged with a new grief.

A new routine can include small, positive additions like, taking a short stroll at the park after dinner or playing the guitar. Positive daily changes can actually alter brain chemistry, creating new pathways that can help alleviate the effects of stress.

8. Take time for yourself

Dealing with anxiety take time for yourself

Chuttersnap

Choose anything that you’ve been wanting to do. Escape for several days as a necessary refresher. You’re not running away from your issues. You are taking a scheduled recharge so that you can best handle what’s to come next.

Your emotional and psychological health is a valuable asset, so make sure to take good care of it.

9. Don’t Force Things

dealing with anxiety let go

Evan Kirby

Let time heal. Don’t force things to go according to your plans, because sometimes what we plan isn’t what we get. Just stay cool, calm, and collected with grace and acceptance.
It’s impossible to control everything. Wanting to “win” or be “alpha” doesn’t equate to being a strong person.

10. Keep Dribbling the Ball

dealing with anxiety keep dribbling the ball

Tommy Bebo

Maintaining productivity during a stressful period isn’t easy, but it’s done through resilience. When you keep dribbling the ball, your mind will focus on tasks at hand instead of inner ruminations and negative thoughts. It allows you to maintain a sense of normalcy and groundedness when most things remain on the same path. Don’t give up your exercise routine, your diet, your sleep schedule, or your attention at work.

While there is no right or wrong in dealing with an issue that is unique to you, we should all strive to experience every struggle in the healthiest manner.

The vessel of life will continue to sail despite changing winds and rough waters. Continue having a positive outlook on life and career, as any storm will eventually pass. As John Grohol, PsyD writes, “there is no easy answer, but grief is temporary, never permanent.”

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How to lace all your dress shoes(the right way)

…don’t let your formal look down with your last detail…

Even that three-piece Tom Ford suit isn’t going to be enough to make you look good when you’re lying face down in a pile of your own teeth, surrounded by startled party guests, with your shoes a few yards behind you.

While it may be an unpleasant one, that mental image should illustrate to you the importance of ensuring your smart footwear is laced up correctly.

We know, tying your shoes isn’t exactly rocket science. After all, the likelihood is you’ve been able to do it since before you could even spell shoelaces. However, not all footwear was created equal and different smart shoes require varying lacing methods.

What Are Smart Shoes?

It may sound obvious, but every weekend thousands of men are left scratching their heads after being turned away from nightclubs for wearing their Nike Air Max. This suggests that there is still some confusion about what the term ‘smart shoes’ actually means. So, let’s revisit the basics for their sake.

Being as broad as possible, if you’d wear it to the office with a suit, chances are you can consider it a smart shoe. We’re talking leather, black or brown, no excessive detailing and certainly no big logos.

Closed Lacing Vs. Open Lacing

When it comes to lacing your smart shoes, you’ll need to understand the subtle difference between what are referred to as closed-lace and open-lace styles.

In closed-lace styles, the part of the shoe that covers the front portion and sides of the foot, known as the ‘vamp’, is stitched over the bottom of the part of the shoe that contains the eyelets, known as the ‘facing’. This results in a cleaner overall look but at the cost of flexibility. In general, closed-lace styles tend to be much more formal due to their uncluttered appearance.

Open-lace styles differ in that the facing is stitched on top of the vamp. This offers more room for adjustment and makes shoes more flexible, but it’s not seen as ‘dress shoe’ styling owing to the busy look this creates on the upper.

What Is An Oxford Shoe?

Weirdly enough, Oxford shoes first appeared in Scotland and Ireland. They feature a closed lacing system and have become the definitive dress shoe and the only real choice when it comes to black-tie dress codes.

However, the Oxford isn’t exclusively a dress shoe. Added detailing such as wingtip panels and perforated patterning known as ‘broguing’ can help to make the style look a little more laid back.

Because of this, the Oxford is the only shoe that can function with everything from a tuxedo to a pair of jeans and a T-shirt.

Oxford Shoe Closed Lacing System

What Is A Derby Shoe?

The Derby shoe is a businessman’s best friend. The trusty stomper that’s comfortable enough to be worn every day, yet smart enough to do a suit justice. It may not be as dressy as an Oxford, but hey, it never claimed to be and what it does do, it does well.

Unlike its Oxford cousin, the Derby features an open lacing system. The facing on a pair of Derbies is always open at both the top and the bottom, which is the reason for their trademark comfort.

For an everyday shoe that can hold its own in the boardroom, a Derby is what you need.

Derby Shoe Open Lacing System

How To Lace Oxford Shoes

Due to their closed lacing system, Oxfords have to be laced up in a certain way. If you’re replacing the laces in your shoes, measure your old ones to ensure you get the best possible fit. Then it’s a case of finding something thin and round that matches the colour of your shoes perfectly. There’s no room for colourful statements here.

Once you have the right laces at your disposal, you’ll want to use one of two methods: either European straight lacing or ladder lacing. Both of these methods will leave you with neat horizontal lines running from eyelet to eyelet, while the lacing hidden underneath will allow you to tighten things up.

“Ladder lacing, or show lacing as it sometimes called, is only really practical on shoes with less than four eyelets,” explains Oliver Sweeney’s cobbler-in-chief Tim Cooper. “This is as it doesn’t pull evenly and over time will pull the shoe out of shape.” European straight lacing is more versatile, so if your pair has more than four eyelets, go for this method.

Steps for European Straight Lacing Smart Shoes

Steps For European Straight Lacing

  • Insert both lace ends downwards into each of the bottom holes.
  • Take the left lace and insert it up and through the next free right eyelet.
  • Take the right lace and place it up and through the third eyelet on the left, skipping out the second. There should now be an empty hole on the left hand side.
  • Insert what is now the right lace downward into this free eyelet, which should be directly opposite it.
  • Follow this process until completion, repeating the steps above for each lace.

How To Lace Derby Shoes

The process for lacing a pair of Derby shoes is much the same as the process for lacing a pair of Oxfords. First, you’ll need to find laces that are the correct length, colour and shape to fit your shoes, then it’s a case of fixing them in place.

Again, these are smart shoes so the method of lacing should be neat. However, the difference here is the open lacing system which means the tongue of the shoe tends to be partly visible. This rules out any type of lacing that uses diagonal lines to tighten the shoe, so the best option is to use straight bar lacing, which snakes in an ‘S’ shape from eyelet to eyelet, leaving straight lines with everything else hidden beneath the facing.

Steps For Straight Bar Lacing Smart Shoes

Steps For Straight Bar Lacing

  • Insert both lace ends downwards through the bottom two holes, leaving equal length on both the left and right laces.
  • Looking down on the shoe, insert the left lace up and through the next right hand hole, with its end pointing to the ceiling.
  • Now put the right lace up and through the third eyelet on the left, skipping out the second. There should now be an empty hole on the left hand side.
  • Take what is now the right lace and cross it over, inserting it downward through the empty eyelet on the left. This should create another straight bar, mirroring the first.
  • Do exactly the same with the left hand lace and cross it over, inserting it downward through the empty eyelet opposite it. You should now have three bars.
  • Keep lacing in this way, crossing each lace over to its opposite side to make new bars until you reach the top.