Self care is a term that is commonly used in the media, but mostly when it comes to women. However, surely self care is important for men too?
In this article we’ll take a look at what self care is, and explore a handful of reasons why it is an important consideration for men today, especially given the current global health situation.
What is Self-Care?
Self care might often be associated with beauty regimes and cosmetics for marketing purposes, but it really goes a lot further than that. Self care is, simply, taking time out to take care of yourself in a busy and fast paced world, where we often don’t even make the time to sit down to eat a meal.
In summary, self-care can be any kind of practice that allows you to nurture yourself, and which creates a positive impact on your life (and indirectly, the lives of those around you). Not to be confused with self-indulgence, self-care is more pragmatic, and focuses on holistic benefit, and not just instant gratification.
In the section below, we’ll explore just five of the many reasons why self care is also important for men, and some examples of what this can look like for men anywhere in the world.
Why Self Care is Important for Men Today
1. Physical Health has become more of a priority
In the current global landscape, taking care of one’s physical health has become more important than ever, as we need to become aware of all of our actions, from touching surfaces to coughing and sneezing without potentially infecting anyone else with the airborne germs we might be carrying (whatever those might be).
Eating well and exercising are certainly important for staying fit and healthy, and for being more able to cope with a potential infection. However, at the same time, self care for men in this realm could also mean stretching and taking a walk, or really taking time out to savour that single malt whisky or vintage wine you’ve been saving (without going overboard and putting too much strain on your liver of course).
2. Mental health is being given more attention
We might have thousands of thoughts a day, but how often do you take the time to realise how much they affect your mood and how you experience the world?
While talking to a trained therapist is certainly a form of self-care, journaling and writing about how you feel can be a very powerful way to get perspective on your life and make sure you’re taking care of your mental health, which is a topic that is receiving more attention the world over.
3. Mindfulness has become a more common practice
Following on from the previous point, self-care can also mean just taking ten minutes out of your day to be present, perhaps sitting outside in your garden and enjoying the sun shining on your face, or just sitting on your couch.
Meditation and mindfulness, while perhaps being seen as esoteric and unaccessible in the past, are now more accessible than ever before on a wide variety of apps. In fact, overall research has shown that this kind of self-care, when practiced regularly, can have profound benefits for managing stress, for both men and women.
4. Downtime is important to stay sane
When it comes to taking a break, self care becomes important for everyone, especially men, who might not be as prone to booking a manicure or massage as the average woman to take time out and treat themselves.
In this realm, self-care could mean taking time out to watch a movie, or spend time with your family, or even calling to catch up with an old friend. For some, the ideal mental break could even be reading a book, or downloading an entertainment app to kick back and relax.
5. Taking care of yourself helps you to take better care of others
Many of us spend our days running ourselves ragged trying to complete one task after another, often not giving ourselves a chance to check in with ourselves, or give ourselves the rest and pleasurable experiences that we really need.
We might be prone to thinking that this is the only way to be successful, but it’s important to remember that if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t really take care of anyone else. Self care therefore provides an opportunity for everyone to make sure they’re doing okay, by giving themselves the benefit of taking time out to do something that truly makes them feel good (which can have lasting benefits).
We’ve given a brief overview of what self care is, and why it’s also important for men. To do this, we’ve given five reasons why you should take some time for self care, whether this means taking care of your physical and mental health, taking time out, or just making sure you’re feeling at your best so you can take better care of the people around you.
As we touched on before, there might be some who think that self-care is indulgent, but with all of the stimulation, fear and stress that we deal with on a day to day basis, finding ways to take time out to recharge, reconnect and nurture ourselves has become more essential than ever before.