The ultimate guide to self-care for men
It’s a bit of a misconception that self-care is tied to a certain gender or type of person. We all need to look after ourselves in order to help us recharge, find a balance in life and be at our best.
This is true of everyone, including men.
At its essence, self-care is just taking a bit of time to focus on yourself, whether that’s a few minutes every day or a few hours set aside during the week.
People sometimes use the phrase ‘self-care Sunday’ and dedicate part or a whole day every week to hit the reset button. It’s a time for men to set aside life’s stresses and simply do something that they find rejuvenating and relaxing for a while, which might look completely different to the next guy’s self-care, as we’re all different.
You don’t need to be having mental health problems or experiencing a crisis in one or more areas of your life to start practicing self-care.
In fact, prioritising some time and space for yourself and self-care activities can potentially help you to function better and assist with managing stress and beating anxiety if it does ever crop up, so getting into positive routines can be beneficial in lots of areas, including physically, mentally and emotionally.
Self-care has long been marketed as something more for women than men, but we believe that every man needs and deserves some ‘me-time’ in order to live a balanced and healthy life where you can be at your best.
As mentioned earlier, the things that you find relaxing and help you ‘refill your tank’ are truly personal to you and might be different to those of your male friends and family members, so the key to starting a beneficial self-care regime is to find out what works for you. We’ve come up with some ideas below if you’re not sure where to start.
Do something physically active
Not everyone is a natural athlete or enjoys exercise, but it does release endorphins that can help you to feel good, as well as being a good thing for body and mind.
If going to the gym or taking a run is what floats your boat, go for it. However, if that’s not the kind of activity that motivates you, you can always try an active hobby instead.
Anything from regular footy games with your mates, a round of golf, a bike ride, open water swimming or a brisk walk, to joining a climbing club and giving bouldering a go, is all exercise and is a great place to start if you’re not sure what you enjoy yet.
Keep a record of your thoughts, feelings and goals
Making a record of how you felt and what you were thinking about at a certain point in time is a great way to track progress and provide inspiration for you to move forwards and think more positively.
It can sometimes be very difficult to see whether things are changing or improving when you’re still in the midst of whatever you’re dealing with, but keeping a record of it means you can more easily see transformation over time.
Whether it’s writing things down in a journal, a quick daily or weekly note in a phone app, sketching or doodling, writing lists or even just planning the week ahead, it helps you reflect, create and explore ideas that you otherwise wouldn’t give yourself the time and space to do.
It can be easier said than done, but getting a good quantity and quality of sleep can make a huge difference to pretty much every aspect of your life and making this a priority is a good way to care for yourself.
Being well-rested is great for you physically and mentally, and the opposite can be true if you’re not getting the sleep that you need.
Poor sleep can be caused by lots of outside influences, such as having a young family, living in a noisy neighbourhood, working unsociable hours and trying to sleep while everyone else is awake, a snoring partner, a playful pet in the early hours, or can sometimes be a result of unhelpful sleep habits.
It’s hard to do much about some of these, but you can try to ensure that your sleep routine is geared towards helping you get the best possible rest.
Getting into a good nightly routine is an important part of readying the body and mind for sleep and trying to go to bed and get up at roughly the same time every day is an important part of this.
A weekend late night followed by a lie-in might seem ideal, but this can actually have a negative impact on some people’s sleep for several days afterward and increase the feeling of tiredness during the week.
Avoiding screens for the last 30-60 minutes before bed is ideal, but the rest of it is about finding what works for you. It might be a warm bath before bed, combined with a relaxing CBD bath bomb, or you could try a meditation podcast if you sometimes struggle to clear your mind before you sleep.
If you want to give CBD a go to help support a good sleep wake cycle, but prefer to take it another way, you can try CBD gummies an hour before bed, or a dose of CBD oil under the tongue or dropped into your favourite warm bedtime drink. Some people also find that a herbal tea before bed helps them to relax and a weighted blanket can be effective for many as a sleep aid.
We believe that every man can benefit from self-care and dedicating some time to renewing your soul and doing something that gives you positive feelings and energy, rather than draining you as daily life often can do. Finding out the different things that do this for you and incorporating them into your regular routine can have a really beneficial impact on your life and well-being and help you live up to your full potential in every area.