14 Jul 6 Self-Care Tips for Men
Self-care is certainly a term that’s burst onto the scene with an essential oil infused splash. In fact, today there’s a $10 billion self-care industry to advise you on all things self-care, from the newest fitness apps to the best scented candles on the market.
But even with all these options, men still seem to pull back from the idea of self-care. Why is that? After all, even traditional masculine ideals tend towards independence and being able to take care of you. Self-care is just another cog in that wheel.
WHY IS SELF-CARE IMPORTANT FOR MEN?
Whatever the reasons behind the push back, men should be encouraged to embrace the idea of taking care of themselves, physically and emotionally. There are so many benefits that arise from self-care – from better physical and mental health to lower stress levels. And it can lead to higher levels of creativity and resilience, and better general performance across all aspects of life.
Put simply, there really is no downside. To that end, we’ve pulled together six self-care tips for men to help you get started.
SIX SELF-CARE TIPS FOR MEN
Make time for yourself.
Let’s get this out of the way – making time for you isn’t selfish. It is a necessary part of being your best. Many men fall victim to the idea that there are more important things to do with your time. Work and family commitments and other parts of your daily routine take precedence. But it’s important to make time for you as well.
It doesn’t have to be a full day on the golf course, or a weekend fishing trip. It could just be going for a run in the evenings, or listening to your favourite podcast on your way into work. Whatever it is, find something that makes you feel good, and implement it into your life.
Look after your health.
Many men find it difficult to prioritise their own health, especially when they have young kids or a demanding job. But looking after your health, both mentally and physically, is essential for long-term wellbeing.
Book in an annual check up with your GP, exercise regularly and eat well. These things will keep you feeling in tiptop physical condition. Mentally, be sure to check in with yourself. If you are feeling a lot of stress or worry, try a mindfulness practice. They can be very short and simple, but daily mindfulness routines can really help. If the worries and stresses are too big, engage a mental health professional.
Nurture your relationships.
Spend time with the people that you care about. Plan a guys’ night, or book a fancy dinner with your wife. Take your kids to the park on the weekend, or if you have older kids, plan to do something fun, like rock climbing or even catching a movie. Even phoning up and checking in will give you a great boost.
Maintaining meaningful relationships is proven to positively influence mental health both in the short term and over the long term.
Focussing on the needs of others helps us get out of our own heads. Research shows that giving of your time with no other agenda other than to help out is an excellent way to feel great.
Grab your lawn mower and mow the lawn for the family who just had a baby. Visit your widowed auntie, and spend time just talking to her. Work as a mentor for young people. It doesn’t have to be a massive time commitment, but doing something for others taps into the highest, best part of you.
Find a passion.
Everyone, kids and adults alike, need to find an interest that sparks passion in their life. This could be anything, as long as it brings you true pleasure and enjoyment. Playing (or watching) rugby, bushwalking, running, even reading – any one of these (and a myriad of other choices) could be your thing.
Finding your passion and being proactive about including it in your life has been proven to increase wellbeing. Plus, it can be really fun.
Many men find it difficult to take time out to reflect. But putting pen to paper is a great way to deal with any stress, worry or negativity that is floating around inside of you. No one is reading it, so write how and what you like. You can even tear it up and throw it away, if that feels right.
Getting your thoughts down on paper is a fantastic way to gain clarity about situations in your life. And research shows it actually helps us to cope more effectively with stress in the long term.
Author: Di O’Malley – Founder and Managing Director of Young Minds Health and Development Network, and Counselling Psychologist.
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