Self-care is not feminine. Self-care is necessary.
But for many men, that is not the case. In their minds, self-care consists of going to the gym and eating healthier. But it goes far beyond that and what prevents them from delving further is the misconception that self-care isn’t masculine. The truth is self-care is for all and when not implemented, the only person it hurts is yourself.
Taking Care of the Outside
Taking care of yourself physically is more than cardio, weights and diet.
Yes, diet and exercise provide many benefits and should be part of a healthy lifestyle and the clothing you wear can provide a significant boost in one’s confidence but an important factor that’s often neglected takes place in the bathroom. We’re not talking basic grooming and bubble baths. We’re talking about skin care.
Too often men neglect their skin, particularly their face. They’ll shave, perhaps apply aftershave or moisturizer and leave it at that. But throughout the course of the day, their faces take a beating, whether it’s being out in the sun or working hard in the gym, and when they come home, it’s most likely the least of their worries.
But something as simple as washing your face at night and applying a nighttime moisturizer combined with wearing an SPF moisturizer during the day can make a huge difference in the appearance and overall health of your face. After all, when you meet people for the first time, that’s the first place they’ll look.
Taking Care of the Mind
Good mental health is crucial to overall wellness and it starts with getting enough sleep. We’re not at our best when we’re tired and simply getting more sleep can make a world of difference. But it’s not that simple is it? Oftentimes, we’ll find ourselves stretched too thin, whether it’s long hours at work or extracurricular commitments that leave us sacrificing Z’s to please. Get your eight hours, even if it means saying no to a night out. Your body will thank you in the long run.
It’s also important not to fall into the trap of thinking that discussing mental health is not masculine. Boys are conditioned at an early age to “act tough” and conceal their pain – physical and emotional – which leads to hesitation reaching out for help as adults. Start by talking with family and close friends, and when you feel comfortable, take the next step and reach out to a mental health professional. Look into relaxation practices like yoga to provide an additional stress release.
Humans are emotional beings and bottling up those feelings is just not natural. Make time to engage with those whom you care about and don’t be afraid to express yourself to them. Relationships, whether with friends, family or significant others, have been shown to positively influence mental health and boost well-being, mood and productivity. Be mindful that if you’re going through something, someone close to you probably has gone through a similar experience and having that connection and feedback can get you back on your feet sooner. The people who care for you are willing to help – you just need reach out and ask for it.
Make Time for Yourself
Self-care is not synonymous with being selfish so don’t feel guilty taking time out for yourself. Listen to your body and give it what it needs. Don’t be afraid to take a mental and/or physical break from the things that are wearing you down. You’ll be amazed the difference even a single day can make. Let others know that you’re taking a “me day” so they don’t feel like they’re being neglected. If you feel like their company would be beneficial, then invite them along.
While these tips are geared more toward men, who may be more wary of the thought of skin care routines, mental breaks and being vulnerable, these tips apply to everyone. Self-care is a necessary part of living a happy, meaningful, healthy life that results in looking good, feeling good and, more importantly, being good. ￼