Regardless of your age or gender, caring for yourself is essential for positive health outcomes and improved well-being. However, men, in particular, struggle with or end up neglecting their health due to gendered views of self-care. What prevails is the social pressure for men to “man up” in the face of challenging times. As a result, men are stigmatized when they respond to their own needs by engaging in self-care and reaching out for help.
But performing self-care should not make men feel less of themselves, and neither should it mean they are being selfish or self-indulgent. Rather, self-care is a way to normalize men’s vulnerability and take steps toward improving their relationships with themselves and others. Self-care may vary according to one’s specific needs, but here are a few general ideas for men to boost their health and overall quality of life.
1. Get enough sleep
Sleep is fundamental to living a happy and healthy life, but there remains a stereotype that getting less sleep is manly. As a result, sleep deprivation occurs more commonly among men compared to women; this significantly impairs their physical, mental, and emotional health. Additionally, insufficient sleep can negatively affect men’s performance at school or at work, as well as the decisions they make in their day-to-day lives.
Rather than conforming to the traditional conception of masculinity, men can work towards getting around seven hours of sleep by turning off their devices before bed and upgrading their bedroom setup in terms of lighting, temperature, pillows, and sheets.
2. Eat well and healthy
Another lifestyle change that you can make as a form of self-care is eating well and healthily. Instead of focusing on what kind of body is ideally perceived as masculine, weight loss plans for men should be designed to meet both nutritional needs and fitness goals.
Customized meal plans guided by the right choices and portion sizes also aid in forming a healthy and sustainable relationship with food, as opposed to diet fads that are otherwise restrictive and frame food as a punishment. Sticking to healthy eating habits is made possible by tracking the food that you eat, as well as searching for hearty recipes that can easily align with your meal planning and prepping.
3. Invest in a grooming kit
Keeping up with body maintenance and grooming allows you to look and feel your best—and it’s not just women who deserve to do so. Aside from making regular appointments to get your hair styled and trimmed in a way that makes you feel confident about yourself, you can take charge of your body care by investing in the proper products and tools.
Beard oil products not only help keep your facial hair healthy and well-groomed, but the use of natural and organic products also soothes the skin under it and prevents itching and inflammation. Remember to include nail clippers in your kit; even small details like neatly cut nails can enhance your hygiene and evoke a good impression.
4. Follow a skincare routine
While mainstream skincare is catered towards women, the industry is increasingly recognizing that men can also pursue healthier and younger-looking skin through various products rather than being constrained to a simple routine.
The basic skincare tips for men start with identifying which skin type you have and whether it’s sensitive, normal, dry, oily, or a combination. This will help you choose the cleanser, moisturizer, toner, and/or serum that will be included in your regimen. Washing your face twice a day, wearing sunscreen, especially when going outdoors, and paying attention to your shaving technique can all contribute to better skin health and appearance.
5. Try yoga and mindfulness practices
Last but not least, self-care is holistic and must involve mental health. Yoga is a perfect way to combine physical exercise and meditation; it physically benefits your cardiovascular and respiratory health while also providing an avenue to release the stress and tension that may have been building up inside you.
Meanwhile, mindfulness practices can range from breathing exercises to journaling, as their main goal is to pay attention to what you are currently feeling and accept yourself as you are. If you are a beginner in yoga and mindfulness, then you might find apps like Headspace useful for guiding you through each session.
This article was last updated on May 29, 2024 .