This self care guide is for the guys out there. I am not sure how many men read my blog, but I felt that the topic was relevant. I talk a lot on this blog about self care, and I’ve come to realize that self care is something that is being talked a lot with women in mind, and even, marketed towards women. But the fact of the matter is, self care is as equally important for men as it is women as both are human beings with the same needs. Guys, you matter as much as us girls do.
There may be the perception that self care is for women. That it’s girly. But self care is apart of our overall practices of caring for ourselves–like showering and eating. Guys, you wouldn’t neglect that would you? So why neglect your mental and emotional health? It makes no sense for any human being to solely focus on doing things to maintain their physical health, while doing very little to support their mental health. That’s like doing all the proper maintenance on a car–oil changes, tire rotations etc without ever washing the exterior. Sure, she runs like a dream but the car looks like a hunk of junk. Pretty dumb right? So as a woman, I am here to day to tell you guys that self care is also for men.
So What is Self Care Anyway?
In a nutshell, self care are conscious acts individuals take to maintain their physical and mental health. This includes the actions you take to stay fit, prevent accidents and or illness, attend to minor ailments like cuts or colds as well as illness that may require longer term care like diabetes. It is also actions you take to care for your mental and psychological health. Saying no to co-workers who want to dump their work on you for example, is an example of self care. Taking the weekend to enjoy time doing something you like surfing or snowboarding, is self care. Any actions or activities that you engage in to reduce stress is self care, and supports your mental health. It’s important to note, that self care looks different for everyone. What works for one, may not work for the other.
And What do Guys do for Self Care?
If you go to the gym, you are practicing self care. You are physically caring for your body by staying fit, and the act of exercise releases hormones and chemicals known to reduce stress. That’s why so many people love working out! If you are engaging in a hobby like fish keeping or playing guitar, you are practicing self care. These kinds of hobbies reduce our stress levels, and anything that relaxes and reduces our stress levels is understood to be self care. These hobbies–fish keeping or playing guitar or snowboarding–give you a sense of purpose and meaning outside of our work life, boost your mood as you’re doing something you like, and increase your self-esteem.
Suggestions for Self Care
Since we are already on the topic of hobbies (kinda) I have to say that I cannot recommend hobbies enough. My stress levels have been stupid high, and hobbies have really helped me make it through another day, then another week and so on. Did you have hobbies when you were younger? Are there skills or activities you are interested in pursuing? Join that basketball team or take out your artist’s notebook, and take up that hobby.
Shaving and Grooming
I know that this may seem like more of a chore than a form of self care, but taking care of your skin is great self care. Don’t just shave off those whiskers, be sure to cleanse and moisture too. I know it sounds girly, but lots of guys are doing this, and not just young trendy millienals. Try a mask while you’re at it. If you’re the type of man who can grow a lovely full beard, take care of it if you are into wearing facial hair. Some women are really into guys with well groomed facial hair, it can be really sexy. Trust me. Consider different beard styles and enjoy caring for your tresses…if beards can be called that.
Exercise is important. It’s not my thing, but my husband loves it. He hits the gym and does a variety of sweating inducing exercises. But if weight lifting or running on a treadmill isn’t you’re thing, there is lots to do that can get you moving. Swimming, cycling, running, playing a sport, walking and even yoga. Yoga is for everyone! And if you are type of guy that loves weight lifting and running, your body is likely begging to be stretched.
Ever wanted to go to a spa? Maybe get a massage or professional facial? Or even a pedicure? Lots of guys do, so don’t be shy. Pampering yourself reduces stress as all of these activities are relaxing and make your body feel good. I know for a fact that men indulge in these services because I see them at the local spa I attend. I even know some men personally who have had facials and enjoy regular massages.
Practice Breathing or Mediation
Take the time to take a time out as it were. Ten or fifteen minutes really make all the difference if you are feeling stressed, and practicing deep breathing or meditation each morning can really go a long way towards having a smooth, less stressful day. Breathing is way to reduce stress because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax, and your brain in turn sends that message to your body. Mediation is benefical in reducing stress because you are focusing your mind and reducing the mess of jumbled thoughts that tend to race in our mind.
Eat Well, Sleep well
This ought go without saying, but you need to maintain a healthy physical lifestyle by eating healthy foods and sleeping on a proper schedule. This means you are not dining on take out every night, and staying up till two in the morning doing…whatever it is that guys do at two in the morning. Practice good sleep hygiene. Find some simple recipes you can make on your own and be sure to include veggies in your diet. By the way, cooking is also sexy.
Gentlemen, I hope tis has helped and inspired you to practice self care. Relaxation is something we all need, as is a sense of purpose that isn’t just our 9-5 job. There is nothing girly in taking care of your mind and body.
Share your thoughts in the comments below!