The Man’s Guide to Self-Care
To get started, we listed 7 simple ways you can add self-care into your daily routine. Our best advice: start small. Pick one good habit to pick up daily and feel good about. It’s best to not overwhelm yourself because that kinda defeats the purpose. It’s all about those small habits that really change your life. Once you have the motivation and momentum to work on one area of your life, other good habits will come into play. So go ahead, peruse this article and get some inspiration on how you’ll improve your well-being.
1. Let's Get Physical
There’s no greater therapy (other than therapy) than sweating it out. No pressure on becoming a gym rat, physical activity is all about how you see fit. Do you take a daily walk? Do you do a daily stretch? Do you punch your frustrations out on a bag? All of these are more than acceptable, and all of these will allow you to reap the psychological benefits of physical activity. Exercise doesn’t just release endorphins (which make you happy) it also has been proven to increase confidence, get you some better zzz’s, and even quell anxiety and depression. Endorphins are powerful and give you a feel-good sensation that you’ll crave daily. However you get active, just start, you’ll thank us later.
2. Journal it Out
Journaling literally changes lives. No, for real. It has been scientifically proven that journaling helps you meet your goals, and improve your quality of mind, and life. It’s funny how we as humans can avoid doing something as simple as writing when it makes us feel so good. Self-sabotage, anyone? There are plenty of methods to help get you started. You can search for positive journal prompts online to get your mind going, you can block off 15 minutes in your calendar to keep you motivated, you can type it out or write it out, you can dedicate this journal to gratitude. However you do it, writing it out vastly improves your mental state. Imagine you’re having a stressful day at work, and you pause, take 15 minutes to breathe, and journal your thoughts, maybe instead of snapping at your annoying co-worker, you’ll come back to work with a refreshed sense of self and control. It can feel daunting, so once again start small. And journal how you see fit, not how you think you should be journaling.
3. Be Mindful
It’s harder than it sounds. Meditation can be an intimidating word for people just getting into the self-care game. And while you might envision it being an hour-long session complete with bells and sound baths and incense, it doesn’t need to be that intense. Unless you’re into that. Again, self-care is about tapping into your needs. So if meditating for you looks like downloading an app that reminds you daily and guides you, do it. If meditating is going outside and shutting your phone off for 10 minutes, do it. If it’s in the morning or evening, however you feel best just do it. Being mindful basically means staying present in your mind and body. It means to not sit in the past or worry about the future, it’s about here and now. That means, quiet time, little distraction, and lots of calm breathing. You’ll be surprised at how mindfulness changes your life. It’s proven to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, improve your mood, the list goes on.
4. Create an AM or PM Routine
If you find yourself missing meetings at work, or scrolling for hours on your phone before bed, a simple routine in the AM or PM will feel like a weight off your shoulders and give you more control over your day. Again, self-care is about you. So if you’re a morning person, maybe lean into that and create a routine for yourself. This could be where you incorporate journaling or meditating. Whatever you decide, just stick with what feels good. If you’re more of a night owl, a nighttime routine will kickstart your brain into realizing it’s time to sleep, and having a wind-down period will improve your quality of sleep. Maybe you make an herbal tea before bed, read a book, meditate, or take a long shower. Keep post-its or notes around your house as reminders to stick with your routine.
5. Affirmations Are Your Best Friend
Another silly thing about us human beings is how unkindly we tend to speak to ourselves. As humans, our anxious subconscious has programmed us to think of ourselves as less than we are, which sucks. Imagine speaking to your friend the way you sometimes speak to yourself? Affirmations are the key to rewriting your brain to stop these sabotaging negative thoughts. They quite literally change the way you think about yourself, and in turn, change the way you project yourself to the world. Start small, and focus on what you feel. If you find yourself often beating yourself up about how you look, then maybe create some affirmations that are the opposite. A good rule of thumb is to write these affirmations down to remind yourself, but say them out loud until you start to believe yourself. Say it with me: “I am a creative, thoughtful, beautiful human who deserves love.” Okay, so it doesn’t have to be that mushy, but you get the idea. Just give yourself some props, dude.
6. Add Some Green to Your Life
No, not that kind (unless you’re down.) We’re talking houseplants. Yep. Houseplants not only add some aesthetically pleasing green accents to your house, but they also purify the air and are scientifically proven to boost your mood. Don’t worry if your thumb is not green, succulents are hard to kill and still give you these mood-boosting effects. Taking care of a plant is proven to reduce stress levels, and sharpen your attention span. So go ahead and turn your apartment into a little jungle.
7. Get Outside
Fresh air works wonders. Becoming in tune with nature and the elements around you can be as simple as going for a daily walk. Being out in the fresh air is proven to increase your serotonin, your mood, and also give you access to Vitamin D which is essential for the health of your body. Just make sure you wear sunscreen. This is also one of the simplest ways to increase self-care in your life. You don’t need to go on mile-long hikes every day, but heading outdoors will do wonders for your concentration levels, patience, and overall well-being. Plus, it gives us time to appreciate the little things in life, like how the sun feels on your skin, or how the grass feels on your toes. Get out there, friend, the world awaits.