9 Self-Care Tips For Men That Break Up Routine
One of the biggest myths going is that self-care is just for women. This could not be further from the truth. Self-care is not a gendered practice, it’s a human necessity, especially in these highly stressful times that we are currently trying to navigate. Self-care is a way that we can take stock of what’s going on in our lives, how we are coping with external stresses, and things that we can do to take care of our physical, spiritual and mental well being. These practices can be small shifts in mindsets, all the way up to changing the trajectory of our completely, it all depends on where you’re at in life. Here are a few self-care tips for men that could change your life for the better:
Take a Screen Break
Once you’ve finished reading this article, switch off your phone, close your laptop or turn the display off on your laptop for 15-20 minutes. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and either go do something else, or just sit and give your eyes (and brain) a rest. If you could squeeze in 20% less screen time per day, you could potentially lower your cortisol levels, lower your anxiety, and feel more present in your life.
Do Something Completely Spontaneous
One thing that leads to burn-out or work fatigue is monotony. Most of us don’t thrive by doing the same activities and tasks over and over again. We don’t feel intellectually challenged and we certainly don’t feel fulfilled. If you’re working from home, on your lunch break, grab your keys and go for a drive. Or throw on your running gear and hit up your favourite park or trail. Better yet, take the afternoon off, grab your camera, try your hand at some nature photography. Skip out on errands, just this once, and go shopping for that tactical wallet you’ve been researching for a while. If life feels like it’s on repeat, change it up, even if it’s just for an afternoon.
Attack One Long Overdue Project at Home
We’ve all got that ongoing list of stuff that needs doing. It could be a basic home repair, organizing an overstuffed closet, or tidying up your garage. You might be reading this thinking, ‘how is cleaning up going to make me feel better, I HATE cleaning.” Despite your hate-on for staying organized, that disastrous corner of your room, or leaky pipe under the sink in the kitchen has probably been nagging at you for sometime, think about how good it will feel to have taken care of it? Small accomplishments help build up our confidence, combat overwhelm, and often inspire us to keep tackling other unfinished projects.
Ask For Positive Feedback from Friends & Colleagues
One of the reasons we all need self-care so desperately is because we’re walking around thinking very little of ourselves. We’ve got the negative self-talk dialed up to a thousand, and what we really need is some validation in a number of areas in our lives. Don’t think of this as merely ‘fishing for compliments’, but rather, doing some soul searching and learning that how you perceive yourself is not how others see you. We are our worst critics, and our friends, family, and work colleagues are able to see things we don’t.
Unfollow Negative or Toxic People on Social Media
Set aside some time in your day for this one-time task. Go through your social media lists, analyze who you’re following, and have a look at who is following you and engaging with you on those platforms. If there are individuals who are always leaving negative comments or trying to start arguments, ask yourself; do these people make me feel better about myself? Now, that doesn’t mean go through and delete everyone who doesn’t agree with you because it’s as important to have discourse with individuals who hold different viewpoints than not. However, you should only be keeping those who are capable of respectful conversation. Better yet, stick with those brands and individuals who convey uplifting, positive messages.
Join a Men’s Group
We often forget that humans are naturally community oriented beings. We need connection, especially during a time where we’re all being forced into isolation. One of the greatest gifts men can give themselves is a voice for issues that are not usually talked about. A men’ group is a safe space to talk about things like mental health, thoughts of self-harm, stress and anxiety, relationship struggles and anything else you may be afraid to discuss for fear of judgement.
Take an Unplugged Staycation
If you were fortunate enough to keep your job during this pandemic, you’ve probably been stuck at home or you’ve been working all year without taking time off for a holiday because, well, where are you going to go! But if you don’t take an extended break from work, you run the risk of burn-out and that’s going to set you back mentally. You need a break! You may not be able to hop a plane to enjoy palm-fringed beaches and turquoise waters, but you can book yourself into a nice hotel, order room service, pull out that tactical wallet and snag yourself a massage. And to really feel like you’re on vacation, throw on the ‘out-of-office’ on your email, switch off the phone, and enjoy a few days of not being on information overload.
Organize a Zoom Game Night
Laughter is some of the best medicine, literally. It’s been scientifically proven that laughter lowers blood pressure, it triggers much needed endorphins, diffuses negative thoughts and a whole host of other things that do the body good! Along with laughter, connecting with those we love and care about is also good for us, so rather than a plain old FaceTime or Skype chat, plan a games night, with prizes. Bingo, Cards Against Humanity, Pictionary and Charades are all hilarious game options you can try over Zoom that will instantly lighten the mood and bring your tribe together.
Write & Send Postcards
When was the last time you wrote someone an actual letter, tossed it in an envelope and mailed it off? You may not have time to write full-fledged letters, but what you could do is pick up some postcards from a local gift shop, write some positive affirmations, and let your friends and family around the world know that even though you’re not able to be with them in person, you’re thinking about them.
So, grab your tactical wallet and invest in your own self care.