Studies show that self-care is no longer just for the ladies – men embracing self-care is essential for their overall health and wellness
Men often approach self-care as though they were approaching a rattlesnake… with a ten foot pole! For many men the initial reluctance is being replaced by a realization that self-care, or “me-time”, is more than a luxury for the ladies, it is becoming a necessity in their lives too.
Historically and without a doubt in our current society, women often fill many roles and within those roles, they juggle heavy, heavy, responsibilities. Dealing with the weight of these responsibilities has caused women to become acutely aware of the fact that they must slow down and put their your own ‘oxygen mask on first’ if they are to love and nurture a family, create and contribute in their community, and ultimately affect the world for good.
Despite the cutesy memes that society teasingly re-shares, self-care is not all about “quiet time” under a DIY avocado and spearmint face mask, after an invigorating “do it for you” ten-minute tummy tightening workout and a tasty salad topped with a creamy cucumber guilt-free salad dressing.
Jokes aside, making time for consistent, everyday healthy rituals will help keep your body and mind energized. The fact is, whether macho men want to admit it or not, there is a growing amount of research that details the deadly effects of daily stress on our bodies. Stress-related illness in our society is at an all-time high and men are paying the price with their health and sadly, their lives.
Researchers find that men under daily common stressors are more likely than women to suffer acute headaches, debilitating digestive issues, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The bad news gets worse, as research shows that when men are under major stressors they suffer a disproportionately high risk of death when facing things like marital separation, job loss, personal injury or death of a loved one. Men may want to shrug off the findings, but the facts point to serious mental and physical consequences resulting from stress.
Perhaps understanding the seriousness of stress, men can go on to grasp the importance of self-care and consider it as a real solution. Connecting these dots is imperative if men are to get a handle on the stress that is costing them their health and their lives. However strange it may seem at first, quietly knitting in a rocking chair or long soaks in a tub by candlelight is much the same as going to bed in a cool, quiet, dark, room to the soothing sounds of meditation music and the calming scent of essential oils being diffused.
That one simple ritual can be the antidote to the “got to go, got to go, got to get it done” hours spent at work. The simple sleep routine gives your mind and body a break from the constant stimulation of the world and a much-needed sense of well-being, in sum this is self-care.
Here are a few simple suggestions of “man style” self-care that will reduce stress on your body, and have the added benefit of freeing up mental and emotional space for your family.
- Get a massage.
- Get in a hard workout.
- Eat simple meals of whole foods.
- Call a good friend and laugh.
- Go fishing.
- Play with the kids.
- Go hiking alone.
- Make the time to finally get your closet, desk, or toolbox decluttered.
- Take a nap.
These are only a few of the many ways you can start caring for yourself. Remember, for self-care to be effective in reducing stress you must do a little bit every day. Don’t make a plan, simply pick something and start reaping the benefits to your mind, body, and soul today.
In this chaotic uncertain world, self-care practices are crucial for fostering peace of mind and for strengthening and renewing us. We need self-care so that we can be at our best creating, contributing and loving our families. Let’s stop teasing each other about ‘me-time’ and start encouraging each other to embrace a simple daily self-care solution.