The world self care seems to be popping up in the media everywhere I look and it is apparently the latest trend among progressive women. So why you ask am I talking about it here? The simple answer is taking the time to relax, step back from your daily life and spend some time getting to know yourself is just as important for men as it is women. While the origins of this term come from a soft woke place, that doesn't mean we can't take things and turn it up a notch. The core concept though is the same, so let's take a look at some fun self care ideas for men.
What Is Self Care and Why Should Men Care?
Self care is the simple act of taking time out of everyday life to focus on yourself, be a little selfish by putting obligations and other cares aside to rest and focus on the most important thing in your life - YOU! The goal here is to improve your mental status by getting back in touch with who you are and gather a better understanding for what you want, need, and love without having society tell you how to feel. It's not just kicking back, relaxing and doing nothing. Instead, it's a deliberate act to take care of your mental, emotional, and physical self.
Self care is also a recognition that mental, emotional, and physical health are all closely intertwined and that to be a healthy man you need to make sure everything is aligned. Self care activities for men can be as simple as drinking more water; it can be something as personal as teeth straightening. There is no one thing that constitutes self-care, and it will be different for everyone.
For most men though, this all sounds like foreign concepts. After all, men are supposed to be rough and tough, able to withstand the verbal and physical assault on a daily basis. We've been taught since the time that we were little boys that "real men don't cry". Unfortunately, that's led to a shorter lifespan, higher likelihood to commit murders, and dramatically higher chances to die by suicide. In 2017, men were 3.54 times more likely to die in a suicide attempt and resulted in 69.67% of suicide deaths in the United States. That's one statistic I know we don't want to be the best in!
So, let's work together and change how men look at self care ideas. While a massage, long bath, scented candles and meditation sessions might be great for some guys ... here are some self care suggestions for the rest of us. Some of these are bigger than others and while some require a journey - others can take only moments to explore. That's sort of the point here. Don't look at taking time for a self care routine as something you can't afford. Take the first step and go on from there.
Check out our Self Care Gear Guide For Bedrooms for inspiring gear to help you relax and recharge.
Physical Health Benefits Of Self Care
Practicing self-care can significantly contribute to men's physical health. Regular exercise, a key part of self-care, can help maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of heart disease, and improve overall body function. Proper nutrition, another aspect of men's self care--care, ensures the body gets vital vitamins and minerals, leading to improved energy levels and immune system function.
Adequate sleep, also a crucial part of men's self care-care, helps the body to repair and regenerate, enhancing cognitive function and physical performance. Additionally, activities like mindfulness and stress management techniques can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Finally, regular medical check-ups, part of preventative self-care, can lead to early detection and treatment of potential health issues. Hence, self-care is a powerful tool for men to enhance their physical well-being and longevity.
Mental Health Benefits Of Self Care
Self-care is an essential practice for men's mental health. It involves any physical activity that we do deliberately to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. For men, self-care can help reduce stress, enhance emotional intelligence, and promote a healthier lifestyle. It can lead to improved mood and reduced anxiety, fostering a positive outlook on life.
Regular self-care activities for guys can also boost self-esteem and self-confidence, making men feel more in control of their lives. Furthermore, it encourages self-improvement and personal growth, leading to better relationships and overall life satisfaction. In summary, self-care is not just beneficial but vital for men's mental health, providing a robust defense against common mental health issues.
Focus On Fixing Something In the House or Yard
Fixing something is a great way for a man to tackle self care. Worry, doubt, uncertainty all weigh heavily on one's mental health but when you can accomplish something special then that tends to help us feel good. Start small with an easy task such as hanging a photo frame on the way, fixing an uneven table leg, or simply removing that stack of boxes from the hallway and move up from there.
Consolidate Your Debts So You Have Fewer Things To Worry About
One of the biggest stressors for most guys is money. Credit card debts, loans from friends, medical bills etc. can seem incredibly challenging. While there are services that can help you consolidate those bills for a lower interest rate, there are other options as well. For instance, you could take money from your life insurance or 401k and even though you might have a penalty it is probably less than super high interest rates or credit damage from not paying your bills on time.
Another option would be to take a loan out against assets you already own such as a home equity line of credit or car titles loans. These let you take out a larger amount of money so you can pay off the other debts and reduce your stress.
Go Fishing And Get Back In Touch With Primal Man
Some people enjoy meditation and that's really what the best version of this is if you think about it. Sitting silently in a boat with plenty of time to think while focusing on a single task at hand is a great way to get back in touch with your masculine side. Plus, spending some time fishing out in the fresh air and sunshine is a great way to improve your physical wellbeing too.
Get In Touch With Yourself and Explore Your Sexual Side Solo
Some of you may stop reading right here but as men, too much of our identity gets tied up in our sexuality.
From the time we were boys, other people told us what we should feel, what we should do, and what areas were off-limits ... even if they felt good. While self care and self love are really two different concepts, you can use this moment of self care to try something new.
So take some self care time to explore new ideas, try something different, and maybe even treat yourself to something different than your hand. By exploring the world of sex toys for men you can have a fun time but also learn something new about your own body and what you like so that you can share that later with a partner for even more excitement.
Try a Food That You Don't Think You'll Like But Have Never Tried
There's a lot of foods that I didn't think I liked ... until I tried it. For instance, I tried some Greek yogurt on a plane recently and turns out it wasn't bad. That's a small step forward to opening the mind but you can apply the same thinking to an exotic cuisine such as Ethiopian or Korean for an even better effect.
Go Hiking On a Trail You've Never Explored Before
Exploring a new trail means that you can't just exist on autopilot. There's new sights, sounds, and adventures around every corner and that's a great way to open your mind.
Volunteer At An Organization You Care About
While self care is intrinsically about a man taking care of himself, the emotional feeling of helping others and doing good is a fantastic way to recharge your body, mind, and spirit. Whether it is helping to create hygiene kits for homeless families, playing basketball with a kid at the Boys & Girls Club, or just simply taking dogs in the shelter for a walk around the block. This is men's self care opportunity is as much about helping someone else as it spiritual self care is about helping you too.
Treat Yourself To A Spa Day or Professional Shave
While other ideas on our list of mens self care day ideas have focused on the rougher side of being a man, maybe it's time to learn how to pamper yourself as a man. There are few things in life that feel better than a good massage, facial, and a professional shave. For me, it's more about the act of having someone take care of you than the benefits of the treatment itself.
Take a Long Shower And Take Time to Explore Your Body
While it is a wonderful treat to have a professional take care of you, sometimes just taking a moment to explore your own body is a good way to center your emotional and mental self as well as better understand your physical side too. I don't mean exploring yourself erotically - we've covered that above. However, simply taking the time to feel for lumps and bumps that might indicate a problem as well as appreciate the muscular tone of your arms, legs and other parts of your body. By getting in touch with yourself, it is much easier to share what makes you tick with your partner too.
Go Through Your Email In-Box and Delete Unread Messages
One of the easiest ways to de-stress and get rid of a mess is to clear out your inbox. For me anyhow, simply the process of watching my "unread" number go from 123,000 to 100,000 to 80,000 or less is a huge stress relief. It isn't just the fact of having fewer emails but there's an emotional release that you've made an impact and that's one of the most important aspects of self care that men can appreciate since there's an immediate reaction.
Learn A Manly Skill Like Smithy, Woodworking or Auto Repair
Some guys were raised with dads and brothers who trained them in the masculine arts like woodworking, auto repair, and plumbing. Others, like myself didn't have this and while I'm lucky to have gained other skills, now's a great opportunity to learn something new, explore a skill that I can bring to my daily life and use to improve confidence. If you want to try to do something different then there are online sites like Skill Share where you can take courses ranging from management and leadership to art and photography.
Clean Out Your Closet and Donate Your Un-Wanted Clothes
This one is a two-for-one! Cleaning out your closet allows you to improve your mental state by eliminating a mess and you can get emotional satisfaction by knowing your unwanted goods can go to help someone in need.
Reach Out To An Old Friend And Say Hello Again
One of the big challenges we have in social life today is that there are inevitably friends we met at a conference, hung out with at a previous job, or simply used to see around the neighborhood and then we lose contact. Sure, Facebook is a great way to see photos of kids and celebrations, but how about reaching out to an old friend and saying hello again!
Plan a Guys Weekend With Your Friends
Male self care ideas don't have to be a solo endeavor. Call your friends and plan a guys weekend to do something together that aligns with self care and rediscovery of masculinity. Regardless of what you are doing and where you are, there are tough conversations and questions that will come naturally when with a close group of guys that can help realign your mental and emotional balance.
You can even do something like online basketball training together to help yourselves get better at the sport. If you think you might want to start a sport like basketball but you don't have the confidence in your ability yet, then this is a fantastic way to spend your weekend with your guy friends. Get them involved and get exercise, education, and so much fun from hanging out with your buddies.
Lock Your Phone Away In a Drawer For the Weekend
This one is easy - just put your phone away in a drawer for the weekend and eliminate your daily routine of distractions from social media, friends calling, and the flurry of notifications that pop up incessantly. While it might be awkward initially, use this digital detox to learn and rediscover new ways of answering questions, take the time to get up and turn the lights on manually, and maybe even just walk to the store for dinner instead of calling for delivery.
Create a Work Of Art (or just enjoy some creative play!)
The ultimate combination of mental, emotional, and physical expression is art and so is just playing in a creative medium such as sculpting or painting. This is your chance to create a great masterpiece or just have fun getting dirty with paint on a canvas, clay on a pedestal, or just chipping away at a piece of wood till the inner spirit is revealed. Nobody even needs to see your creation but creating art like this is a great opportunity for male self care since you use physical energy in creation, emotion flows through your physical body, and mentally it can be therapeutic to focus on a single task while eliminating distractions.
Are You Man Enough To Practice Self Care?
Whatever path you choose for your mens self care day, just remember that it's all about you. The little secret here is that many of the happiest and most respected men out there practice self care - most without even knowing it. Fundamentally it comes down to simply developing a recognition that you aren't invincible. That just like your car, sometimes you need to take a break as well ... before needing to be brought into the shop by a tow truck.
Regularly scheduled maintenance is something most guys understand when it comes to cars, but we often ignore the same needs from our own body.
There's no right or wrong way for men to practice self care and it can be as basic as going somewhere quiet for a few minutes of alone time before returning to real life - or it can be an elaborate spa getaway with essential oils and a trainer to help you develop an exercise routine.
No matter what it is is, take that moment and spend time focused on you! Spending time to achieve balance in your life will net massive results if you just simply make the time to pause the task at hand and take care of yourself for a few moments.