Taking care of yourself is hard. In fact, simply surviving takes a lot of time and effort, so it’s no wonder that self care gets put on the back burner. And while there are tons of guides out there to help you help yourself, unfortunately men tend to veer as far away as possible.
Yes, face masks and bubble baths may not be all that appealing, but caring for yourself goes far deeper than a pampering session.
There are several things you can do as a man to better yourself for your own benefit, and we’ve gathered 9 top tips to get you started.
Photo by Unsplash - Keegan Houser
Meditation may seem overrated and unnecessary, and you may think you have your stress all taken care of. But, more and more people are realizing how little time they actually take to sit in silence and let their mind go quiet. It can change how you approach your day for the better, and is especially useful in keeping you grounded and aware of your personal well-being.
Meditation does not have to mean an hour of sitting cross-legged, with nature sounds playing in the background. It can be done many ways, and in as little as ten minutes. If you find it difficult to calm your mind, try listening to a guided meditation, such as this one, to get you started. If you prefer active meditation for increased body awareness, give this one a try.
2. Get a Massage
Your body endures so much every day, and it is important to take care of it - you only get one, after all. Treat yourself to a professional massage now and then and you will probably wish you had done it sooner. Whether you work on a computer all day, or out in the sun in laborious conditions, you need it more than you realize!
3. Sweat it Out
Exercising helps not just your physical state, but your mental state too. In fact, the endorphins released as a result of exercise are described as euphoric, and who wouldn’t want that?
That said, it is easier said than done, so if going to the gym or running aren’t for you, try out some different techniques. Rock climbing, yoga, hiking, swimming, or team sports like basketball and soccer, are all great alternative options.
4. Get Outside
Don’t underestimate the power of the great outdoors. A walk outside, even as short as 5-10 minutes, can reset your mind and improve your day. It can also increase your productivity, allowing you to destress quickly and efficiently.
Photo by Unsplash - Priscilla Du Preez @priscilladupreez
Being outdoors is self care itself, and gardening is another great way to channel your energy into something both rewarding and rejuvenating. Growing your own garden from nothing is a long-term task to focus on, and spending some time alone (or with friends) working towards a goal can do wonders for your mental health.
5. Cook Solo
Cooking can be a chore sometimes, but the feeling of making a dish yourself from start to finish is definite self-care! Whether you want to share it with others or not, making a meal for yourself is almost guaranteed to make you feel good. A lot of people say eating healthy is the first step of caring for yourself, and that may be true, but the act of cooking is arguably just as important.
Try coming up with your own recipe, or follow an existing recipe, it’s up to you. Overall, know that food will always taste better when it’s made by you.
6. Overhaul Your Grooming Routine
Photo by Unsplash - Supply @supply
Looking good and feeling good go hand in hand, so don’t sleep on grooming! Take it further than just soap and water. A consistent skincare routine goes a long way - and no, skincare is not just for women. It doesn’t have to be too complex, but a good face wash, exfoliator and moisturizer are key steps to include in your daily routine. Also, don’t forget to include some SPF, unless you want wrinkled and sun-damaged skin by the age of 40.
Face masks may not be your thing, but one often neglected part of you is your feet. Try a foot mask and never go back. You’ll look a bit crazy doing it, but your feet will thank you.
A good trimmer for your face and body is a necessity. If you have a beard, congrats, make sure you take care of it by trimming regularly (and get a regular haircut too).
You can up your routine even more by introducing a shower sponge to the mix. It’s better than any loofah, (and manlier, if that’s important to you), and it’ll make you feel so much cleaner and smoother.
If you’re feeling stuck, check out our grooming kit to get you started.
7. Take a Break From Your Phone
Phones, and more specifically social media, are not conducive to productivity, nor are they good for your mental health. Yet, we all use them and they have their benefits now and then. Turn away from your phone for some time to truly care for yourself, sleep, or try a hobby, and you’ll realize how much time you really spend on your phone. It could be an hour, a day, a week or longer, no matter what it will benefit you.
8. Go For A Nighttime Drive
Photo by Unsplash - M. R. @wherearemyshoesdude
Driving at night is an underrated luxury. Hit the road in the later hours to avoid traffic and reflect while cruising through your favourite streets. Better yet, drive somewhere new and discover a part of town you’ve never been to. Blast music, listen to a podcast, or drive in silence, make it your time to unwind and enjoy yourself.
9. Make Sleep a Priority
Photo by Unsplash - Jamie Street
At the end of the day, sleep should be your top priority. Not only does it keep you energized during the day, it is so important for your long-term health and well-being. If you can’t find the time for self-care, make time for sleep above all else. If you want to know more about the science behind sleep, check out Why We Sleep and you’ll regret ever missing out on a full night’s worth. Also, invest in a quality mattress. Self care is not just for you now, it’s for later too.