It's Time to Talk about Self-Care for Men
So often it can feel like wellness and self-care is just for women, but the benefits are there for anyone to reap
The wellness industry is worth $4.2 trillion worldwide, and accounts for more than half of all global health spend. This vibrant industry is built on positivity and consumerism, which advises people on what to eat, what to wear, and what to buy.
Men’s mental health is an issue which is gaining more much-needed attention, but is still being largely ignored by the wellness industry as a whole. For men, self-care often feels like something for women. But self-care is about taking a look at every part of your life, and how you can introduce ways to de-stress, improve your mood, and maintain your health.
But self-care doesn't have to be about going out and taking on completely new things. Here are some simple self-care activities which you most likely do already, and why they’re good for you:
Technology is not all bad. Many people get a lot of their daily social interaction through social media, making it a really useful tool to keep yourself in the loop and stay social without it being too demanding. That being said, if you work in front of a screen all day, and then go home to stare at another one, it can be damaging both physically and mentally. Taking regular breaks from your phone in the evenings helps reduce the strain on your eyes and can improve your sleeping pattern, leading to reduced stress and anxiety levels.
Cooking is a simple yet effective activity that helps keep your mind occupied for an extended period of time. It also encourages creativity and provides a lot of sensory stimulation. The act of cooking requires making a lot of small decisions quickly, and typically has a tasty end result. Try finding new recipes regularly to keep your mind active and add a little bit of excitement.
Exercise is a good way to keep both body and mind in good shape. But this doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym three times a week, and attend a class every weekend without fail. Finding exercise activities you actually enjoy will be much more beneficial to your health than forcing yourself to the gym after work. Try looking for group activities like running, cycling or rock climbing to get social as well.
Whether it’s reading a book, model making, martial arts classes or regular trips to the cinema, any activity you find which makes you feel good helps you build up a self-care routine. For the modern man, it can often feel like you have to spin multiple plates at once: exercise, work, family, friends, but it’s important to remember that these plates aren’t going to drop if you let them go for a little while. Sometimes, taking time deliberately to do something you want to do is the best form of self-care you can put in place.
Another simple way of bringing self-care into your routine, cleaning and tidying may feel like the least fun thing in the world, especially after a day of work, but keeping the space around you clean has a positive effect on your mental health. If you feel like you can’t face a big clean when you get home, try breaking down the tasks across a few days to make it feel less overwhelming.
The ultimate in self-care strategies, identifying your limits and choosing when to say no will help keep stress at bay, avoid burnout and help you better identify what is good for you and what isn’t. Saying 'no' doesn’t always have to mean staying in when your friends hang out either. For example, if you feel like drinking won’t be good for you mentally, try and steer your friends away from the pub with another suggestion which you can all get involved in.
As men’s wellness continues to develop, it’s important to remember that it’s not all about what you buy. Adopting a self-care mindset in every aspect of your life will lead to more positive changes and improved health in both body and mind.
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