Self-care was the app trend of 2018, and yet while more than half of millennial women made it their priority, many men have yet to embrace it.
Perhaps put off by misleading notions of candlelit baths and yoga with the Moms, it’s time that men see self-care for what it is; listening to your body and taking care of your mental and physical wellbeing.
Whether it’s making that long overdue doctor’s
Why is self care important
Of all the suicides in 2017, 75% were male. In the US, there are only 28 mental health workers per 100,000 people. Committing to self care means finding ways to strengthen your mental health before problems seem too large to overcome.
It means reaching out and talking to people, taking small day to day opportunities to see the positives in your situation, and improving your physical health to keep you stronger and fitter for the challenges which life throws your way.
Start with an MOT
The chances are, you get your car checked out more regularly than your body; one survey found that only 2 in 5 men go to the doctor when they fear they have a serious medical condition.
Government guidelines suggest that men aged between 18-39 with no existing health concerns should have physical exams including blood pressure checks every 1-2 years, dental exams once or twice a year and eye exams roughly every two years.
By taking the first step and booking these exams, your health professional can help you spot any potential problems, and reassure you as to your overall physical wellbeing.
Fitter, stronger, calmer
Whether it’s a trip to the gym or a game of tennis with a friend, taking exercise is one of the best forms of self care; it’s been proven to reduce stress levels and improve mental wellbeing.
Support your active lifestyle by looking closely at your diet: does it contain all you need to feel strong and well? Ensure that you’re eating plenty of slow energy release wholegrains, with good quality proteins which help to repair muscle and boost hormones which the body needs.
In a recent study of 20,000 US adults, nearly half admitted to feelings of loneliness. This feeling of isolation can be worse among men, who may feel unable to talk openly and form honest social connections and friendships. One of the best things you can do to care for yourself is to reach out and talk more.
Perhaps it’s inviting friends round to watch the game, asking how they are and really listening to the answer. Maybe it’s a game of squash with a good friend you haven’t seen for a while, or suggesting a bowling night with work colleagues. In this age of social media, we are arguably less connected than ever.
It’s time self-care is treated as an important priority for everyone. Treat your body and mind with kindness; get them checked over, exercise them, feed them well and nourish them.
Most importantly, talk and listen. If men can help other men to practice self care without embarrassment, the boys and young men of today will grow up surrounded by true superheroes.