I know, I know…some of you guys out there have raised eyebrows as youre reading this. You may be thinking something along the lines of self care is for women and/or self care is for sissies. I used to think that way too.
In the past five years my overall holistic health and mental stability have both improved dramatically. One of the main reasons is due to my increased awareness of and focus on self care. In my experience, the more effort and time I put into self care the healthier and more mentally stable I am.
When you read self care what comes to mind? Id encourage you to stop reading, take a couple of minutes, and see what you write down.
Review your list. How do you feel about what you wrote? Do the words feel too feminine? Do you feel like a wuss reading your list?
There are a TON of things you can do for self care. Best of all, many of them can be done in the privacy of your own home. That way you wont feel embarrassed or less of a man by doing them.
What I do for self care
Monthly massage – This doesnt always happen, however Ive been pretty consistently getting a massage once a month since 2009. Ive been seeing the same therapist that entire time. Benefits of massage include relaxation, lymph drainage and stress release to name but a few. If getting a monthly massage is not affordable for you, I have a few suggestions. Is there a massage school in your area which offers discounted massages done by students? Would you be able to trade services (barter) with someone? For example, if you are really good at organizing and decluttering you could do that for someone for an hour and they could massage you for an hour. Or if youre good with technology and/or social media, you could trade services with a massage therapist to help grow their business. Think outside the box.
Epsom salt baths at home – I buy good quality Epsom salt bath salts at a membership-only retailer for a reasonable price. There are premium Epsom salts available elsewhere that are excellent however they can be very expensive. Taking an Epsom salt bath for twenty minutes while listening to relaxing music or watching a video on my laptop feels fantastic and is a great stress reliever. Doing so also helps reduce or relieve muscle tension, and it assists in detoxifying your body. I always have a glass of water within arms reach to help re-hydrate, and I sometimes have snacks as well. When that happens I can be in the tub much longer than twenty minutes! If you dont have a bathtub at home, consider going once in a while to a local health club or gym and using the sauna/steam room/hot tub. It will cost you some money however it is very worth it!
Spend quality time with very good friends – My friends and I schedule and plan this. Whatever were doing, when we meet our phones are off except for emergencies and/or important messages. For me, spending time with friends can take many forms: visiting each others homes, doing something active outside together, going to a concert, playing pool somewhere, going out to eat or for coffee, or even having a skype/phone call. You dont have to spend any money for this one! The key is to be fully present and put your phone away.
There are various other things I do for self care. The point of this post is to get you thinking outside of your macho guy head…and putting your overall AND mental health first.
What do you do for self care?
Read more of Scott’s blog posts for IBPF here or visit his personal blog.