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Self-care is often painted as a necessary task to sustain your life, but that isn’t exactly true. Self-care for men goes beyond shaving and wearing fresh clothes. It involves getting in tune with your inner man and working to better yourself while refreshing your mind. Here’s everything you need to know about self-care and how it helps you grow.
What Counts as Self-Care?
Self-care comes from taking care of yourself. You must go beyond the bare minimum of doing things like showering or brushing your teeth — those are necessities you have to complete every day. Self-care involves taking a conscious inventory of your feelings and working to better yourself, which sometimes entails taking care of yourself until you feel like you can be around people again.
Self-care means going above and beyond what you already do to take care of yourself. So, while simply washing your hair with any shampoo might not count as self-care for men, using a specialized shampoo for your hair type and texture and splurging on that unique formula could count as self-care.
Why Is Self-Care Important?
Self-care is essential in so many facets of life. If you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re only living half of the life you could live. By doing just the bare minimum to take care of yourself each day, you may feel stressed out and approaching burnout.
Taking care of yourself can help you avoid the dreaded burnout, a state you enter once you’ve been working too hard without a break and now don’t have time or energy for anything or anyone. Burnout can build up over time or happen suddenly, so you should take measures to avoid it whenever possible. By taking care of yourself, you may be able to eliminate or ease symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as increase your performance at work or school.
When you practice self-care, you prepare yourself for future obstacles. Taking care of yourself correctly can help you understand how to navigate certain situations and respond to major stressors in the future. Practicing self-care can help you learn to take inventory of your own feelings and navigate your relationships with greater awareness, too.
All you need to remember is that self-care for men is not selfish. You aren’t a bad person for wanting or needing to take care of yourself. You might have heard the stereotype that it’s not proper for men to take care of themselves and practice self-care the way women do. Everyone is entitled to take care of themselves — it’s a concept that transcends gender. Check in with yourself often. If you feel like all your reserves have dried up, it’s time to practice emergency self-care.
Easy Ideas for Self-Care for Men
You want to avoid falling into burnout at any cost. Burnout keeps you from being who you truly are because you’re running on empty. A little self-care for men that deviates from your usual routine can be exceptionally healing. Try out some of these techniques the next time you’re starting to feel stuck in a rut.
1. Get a Massage
Massages are pleasant and relaxing, and they could be just the thing you need to destress and avoid burnout. It’s called “massage therapy” for a reason, after all. In addition to making you feel more relaxed, regular massages can boost your immune system and repair your mental health. If you’ve been feeling stiff, especially due to your daily workload, try getting a massage. It may heal you from the physical and mental complications that ail you.
2. Read a Book
Books help you learn and grow. Plus, reading is a relaxing activity that anyone can do right before bedtime. Try reading a book instead of using your phone in the hour before you fall asleep. It’s a great way to wind down your body and mind while still stimulating it with something interesting that won’t disrupt your body’s circadian rhythm.
You might be excited about what you can learn, whether you prefer reading fiction or non-fiction. Non-fiction books, like those about philosophy or finance, can help you learn techniques you can apply to your own life. On the other hand, fiction can help you relax and disappear into other worlds and teach you more about empathy and other viewpoints you didn’t know existed.
3. Practice Meditation
Meditation doesn’t require a special place or technique. All you must do is sit somewhere quiet and comfortable to be alone with yourself. During meditation, you’ll let your thoughts come and go freely. Don’t worry about stressing over something that hasn’t happened yet. You can make yourself more mindful by focusing on taking deep breaths to relax and center your whole body.
Mindfulness meditation can absolutely transform your body. It can eliminate physical ailments and help lessen symptoms of depression and anxiety, among other mental illnesses. Even if you think it won’t work for you, try meditating for five minutes each day for a week. By the end of the trial period, you’re bound to see a difference in how you’re thinking and feeling — both physically and mentally.
Take Your Self-Care to the Next Level
Self-care for men isn’t selfish, nor is it boring. You should romanticize your life, meaning that you need to do something for yourself beyond the basics you must do already. Then, you’ll understand the true meaning of self-care and refresh your mind. Make sure to listen to your body and mind to understand when you need a little extra time with yourself. It might just save you from spiraling into burnout.