Men often approach self-care as though they were approaching a rattlesnake… with a ten-foot pole! For many men, the initial reluctance is being replaced by realizing that self-care is more than a luxury for the ladies. This is a shift in thinking that is long overdue. Men need time for themselves just as much as women do. So if you have a special man in your life, take note and help them make self-care a part of their daily routine.
Men are raised to avoid their feelings and to act tough and macho. They are thought to hold it all together and be the “rock” in our families. Yes, men are tough, but real men acknowledge their feeling and allow themselves to feel and process them. That means they allow themselves to recognize they are stressed, frustrated, angry, and annoyed. Feeling these feelings is good. Many physical health problems come when we push these feelings aside in favor of toxic positivity.
What is toxic positivity, you may ask?
Toxic positivity is maintaining that one should have a positive mindset and exude only positive emotions and thoughts at all times, mainly when things are difficult. This approach is damaging because it discounts and discredits feelings that are not positive. All feelings are an important part of being human.
I feel I need to address this important topic; yes, I firmly believe in a positive mindset. I am the first to be called “Pollyanna,” but there are times when hard things happen to us, and we need to allow space to get mad, angry, frustrated, and disappointed. When that happens, allow yourself to feel it all. Be MAD. CURSE. YELL. Do what you need to do to integrate and process your feelings.
Your emotions and feelings are yours. No one can tell you how to feel.
Once you have let it all out, you can move forward and practice all the wonderful “woo-woo” awesomeness of “positive vibes” I love to talk about. But if you SKIP the step of feeling, you will explode in a very unproductive and unhealthy way. I am sure we have all been the recipient of that kind of explosion.
That is why self-care is essential, friends.
STRESS is real, especially for men. They do not handle it any better than women, except that maybe they hide it better.
Stress is something that should be managed in daily life. Without proper stress management, stress can lead to the following health issues:
- High blood pressure
- Disordered sleep, not getting enough sleep
- Weight Gain/ Weight Loss
- Body aches
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Increased perspiration
- Stomach cramps
- Skin problems
- Clenched jaws and teeth grinding
- Chest pain
- Pounding heart
Source: Very Well Mind
So ladies, help your men find a way to make self-care a part of their overall health plan. By having a proper plan in place, they can manage and stay on top of stress relief. Lowering stress levels will benefit their overall wellness. And self-care will look different for men than it does for women but in a good way. We, as women, focus on skin care, hair care, and luxurious bubble baths. For him, self-care might look more like going fishing or hunting with a close friend. The idea here is to support our men on their journey to find what works for them. Please encourage them to find a healthy outlet for their stress. Men may have a hard time acknowledging they need a break or downtime. Our modern man may need support in finding what works best for them and helps them to operate at optimal energy levels while keeping stress managed.
Here are a few simple suggestions for self-care practices for men
- Get a massage
- A long hot shower
- Reading a good book
- Daily physical activity
- Meditation – for a meditation app recommendation, check out my post, “Meditation For Beginners.”
- Eat a healthy diet
- Call a good friend and laugh
- Go fishing
- Play with the kids
- Go hiking alone to get some fresh air
- Make the time to get your closet, desk, or toolbox decluttered, finally
- Take a nap
- Get out in the sun; good light daily is essential for mental health
- Enjoy Face Masks or go get a facial
- Enjoy a close shave at Barber
- Unwind listening to your favorite album
- Get intimate – sex is a great stress reliever
- Get an annual physical with your primary care physician
- Unwind at the end of the day; what helps you unwind?
- Explore the wonders of CBD and other stress-reducing supplements
- Speak to a therapist or life coach to help you work on your emotional health and to help you process past conditioning.
The key component here is to help your man find healthy outlets for his stress. Being a human is hard; being a guy is hard. We all are struggling and doing the best we can. If we can help each other more and have more compassion in our daily interactions, what a wonderful world we could live in.
Can you imagine a world where self-care and mental health were prioritized? Where our everyday routine held space for self-care activities? Although we cannot do much on a global scale, we can take an important step and make a positive impact within the walls of our own homes.
I challenge you to sit down together as husband and wife or even as a family and spend some time figuring out how to make more time for all forms of self-care. Self-care will look and feel different for each member of your family. Long baths while reading a good book are deeply relaxing to me. My husband thinks I am crazy to sit in a tub of warm water for so long. For him, self-care looks more like going to the store and picking out a good cut of meat and coming homing prepping it and spending hours smoking it; I, in turn, think that sounds terrible.
There are no rules on what self-care means. And everyone’s version of self-care will look different. Maybe all the ideas I listed above sound terrible; that is okay! Find something that speaks to you!
However, I do promise that taking the time to help you find your “thing” will help you lower your stress and help you improve your overall health. A rich, satisfying life you enjoy will make a big difference in helping you to live a healthy life that honors you!