Breaking The Stereotype: Men and Self Care

When we think of self care many of us think of women, so I was surprised to see that half my blog audience in the last couple of weeks have been men.  Do men need self care too?  Of course they do!  So how do men take care of themselves?  My daughter says they do it secretly.  Hmm…Does or society have a negative stereotype about men and self care?  Possibly, but we shouldn’t.  Men benefit mentally and physically from self care as well.  Men who make time for self care often experience lower stress and increased creativity.  They tend to have more rewarding and productive careers.  All this leads to them becoming better role models to younger generations that learn to take time for themselves not only physically, but also intellectually, socially, spiritually, and emotionally as well.

I wanted to know more about what men actually do for self care so I asked a few.  Thanks to those who responded, I have a list of their ideas!

  • Driving in silence, no radio, in car
  • Work out/ Exercise
  • Play sports like hockey
  • Walk the dog
  • Reading to my daughter
  • Having my wife rub my back
  • Awareness meditation
  • Reading
  • Learning
  • Driving with music playing
  • Taking photos during a road trip
  • Creating art
  • See doctor for annual checkup
  • Eat healthy foods

This is a great start.  There are so many ideas men can use.  Just like women, they should do self care activities in all the aspects of self care including emotional, intellectual, physical, spiritual, and social.  Many of the activities women do are not gender specific or have a similar more masculine alternative.  Check out these ideas!

Intellectually

  • Explore new things
  • Take an online course
  • Learn a new language
  • Attend a play or music concert
  • Go to a museum
  • Watch a TED talk or documentary
  • Read a book

Socially

  • Take a social media break and connect with those around you
  • Have a date night with your significant other
  • Stay connected with your family
  • Nurture supportive friendships
  • Help someone carry a bag, open a door, etc.
  • Volunteer as a youth coach, dog walker at pet shelter, etc.

Spiritually

  • Enjoy a hike in nature
  • Attend a prayer service
  • Practice Tai Chi
  • Watch a sunrise or sunset
  • Meditation
  • Join a mens group at church

Physically

  • Eat healthy
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule of 7-9 hours of sleep nightly
  • Regular medical/dental checkups
  • Exercise
  • Yoga
  • Play sports
  • Use your sick time to let your body rest when you are sick

Emotionally

  • Be mindful (live in the moment using your 5 senses)
  • Get a haircut at a Barber shop
  • Get a pedicure
  • Get a massage
  • Take an epsom salt bath
  • Enjoy a hot tub/sauna
  • Burn a candle
  • Journal (Gratitude, mind dump, etc.)
  • Seek counseling for stress, etc.
  • Use positive affirmations
  • Tap into your creativity with art, cooking, photography, etc.

There really is a lot men can do to take care of themselves!  Women can support their man with gifts of time,  and supplies for any of the above activities.  Just as a woman who takes care of herself is more pleasant to be around, a man who takes care of himself is happier as well.  I encourage all men to beak the stereotypes and become positive role models for our younger generations by finding ways to take care of themselves in all aspects of self care.  Would love to hear in the comments what our men do for self care.  Perhaps your words will give another man an idea they can incorporate into their own lives.