Self-care is widely acknowledged as being a key component of health and wellbeing, however, in the media, it’s often portrayed as being the domain of women. The truth is that we can all benefit from self-care, regardless of our gender and with increasing numbers of men struggling with their mental health, it’s vital that as a man you know how to look after yourself and make sure you’re prioritising your mental health and wellbeing.
Whether it’s an intense workout in the gym, a stroll with friends or a solo run giving you some time alone with your thoughts, physical activity can help improve your mood as well as improving your physical health.
Exercise releases endorphins, which are brain chemicals that help us to feel good. They help lower stress, boost energy and make you sleep better. Regular exercise has also been shown to help with mental health problems like depression and anxiety and can reduce the risk of serious health conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
The great thing about all this is that any exercise will do so if hitting the gym isn’t your thing then swimming, walking, cycling, climbing team sports and other forms of exercise are all just as good. It’s important to choose an activity you enjoy that you’ll feel motivated to continue with. If you haven’t done any exercise in a while, then you should pace yourself and take it slowly, to begin with, so that you don’t overdo it.
Allowing yourself a treat every once in a while is a great way to reward your positive behaviours and celebrate your achievements. We all deserve to treat ourselves so whether it’s buying a new pair of mens diamond earrings, getting a massage or booking tickets to that festival or gig you’ve been wanting to go to, be sure to allow yourself a little bit of luxury now and again.
Create a Routine
Having a consistent routine will help you remain consistent in your behaviour no matter what else might be going on in your life. Creating healthy sleeping habits is crucial for wellbeing so try to implement a bedtime routine that will help you get a good night’s sleep.
Don’t use screens (like a tv, phone or tablet) just before bed as these have been shown to interfere with sleep quality. If you struggle to get to sleep, you could try meditation or using a noise machine to help you drift off. If you get hot during the night, switch your duvet for cotton sheets and lower the temperature of your room by sleeping with the window open or using a fan.
Find a Hobby
Having a hobby that you can channel your energies and passion into is a great way to practice self-care. Hobbies can help you feel relaxed whilst also being productive in your spare time so can give you a real sense of achievement. Maybe you already have an activity or pastime that you love but don’t always make time for. If so, stop waiting for the perfect time or a quiet moment to get back to it, and start now!
If past hobbies or interests don’t appeal anymore, then why not try something new? Think about things you’ve always fancied having a go at and give them a try. Trying new things is great for building confidence and boosting self-esteem and you never know, you might discover a brand new passion.