As a society, how often do we hear men openly talking about their feelings? Often, it seems they’re encouraged to keep their feelings to themselves, and to carry on with their daily responsibilities. But men need self-care too. They benefit when they can take time for themselves, connecting with their mind and body.
When men take time for themselves, they can be better fathers, providers, co-workers, and friends.
- Making Time for Yourself
Making Time for oneself can be the first step. It doesn’t have to be something “girly” like a bubble bath, tea-time, or spa day. It can be as simple as listening to your favorite music, going for a run, or reading a book.
Taking time out of your day to relax can reduce stress and help you avoid burn out in your daily life.
2. Taking Care of Your Physical Health
Physical health plays a large role in mental health. Go for a run, jog, or walk. Play catch with your dog. Hit the gym and lift some weights. Whatever it is, find a form of exercise that makes you smile.
Getting regular exercise can increase your cardiovascular strength, reduce stress, increase energy, and improve quality of sleep.
Even if it’s only a half hour per day, make sure you take time to move your body. It can make all the difference.
3. Grooming Like a Pro
Now, this may sound “girly” but there is nothing wrong with a man taking pride in his appearance. It can help boost self esteem, and those around you will notice as well.
Whether you do it at home, or make an appointment at a salon every 6 to 8 weeks, you may notice that a little grooming goes a long way.
Skin care is important too. All you need to do is develop a simple skincare routine – nothing fancy. Making sure to wash your face and use sunscreen can keep your skin looking healthy and young. It can also be refreshing to wash your face first thing in the morning, and before bed each night.
4. Meditation and Stretching
Meditation and mindfulness are growing in popularity, and it is no surprise, after reviewing the evidence. Apps like Headspace and Calm have helped many people develop a meditation practice.
It has been shown that starting or ending one’s day with meditation and deep breathing can reduce stress and improve quality of life. Even if you have to wake up 10 minutes earlier, or take 10 minutes before you go to bed, try incorporating a short meditation practice, and reap the benefits.
Stretching can go hand in hand with mindfulness and physical health. You’re more than welcome to join a yoga class, but it’s not necessary. You can stretch at home for a few minutes each day to improve posture and alleviate aches and pains.
Try taking breaks to stretch at work too. It can help break up the day, get your eyes away from a computer screen, and get your body moving.
5. Upgrading Your Wardrobe
Wardrobe, while seemingly insignificant, can make a big difference in a man’s life. If you’ve ever watched What Not to Wear, you may have seen how one’s appearance can affect self-esteem, success at work and relationships.
You don’t need to spend a fortune on clothes but having classic staples in your wardrobe that you can mix and match make you look professional, polished, and put together.
If you hate shopping, don’t worry! There are now subscription services, such as Stitch Fix Men, that come with a styling fee. Professionals help you pick out clothes that fit your lifestyle, and a small fee is added to the items you decide to purchase. You can also return the items you don’t like.
A cheaper option would be to bring your most fashionable friend to the mall with you. Either way, investing in your style can boost your quality of life and make you feel more confident and put together.
6. Find someone you can talk to.
Everyone needs to share their feelings now and then. Even strong, capable men. Humans aren’t wired to bottle everything inside. It’s key to have a trusted friend or two you can open up with on those days when things feel overwhelming. My husband is very appreciative of a brotherhood he found in a mens group from our church who meet, share, and support one another. However, your spouse or partner is likely a great go-to. You can also work with a coach or ask your doctor for a referral if you don’t have someone in your life that can be there for you.
Remember, self-care isn’t only for women. It’s for everyone. In today’s society, it is important to take a break from the hustle and bustle to connect with oneself, relax, and indulge in a little self-care. No pedicure required.
If you (or the man in your life) could use a bit of self-care, this free course is a great place to start.