Men are notorious for not taking care of themselves. Why? I’m not sure. It could be the “suck it up” attitude so many of us are raised with. It could also be because we men are impatient creatures and taking time away from stuff we’d rather be doing seems like a waste. But the time has come for men to get with the program--a wellness program.
Self-care has never been more important that it is right now. We all need ways to manage stress and reduce anxiety on our own in a healthy way. But self-care doesn’t have to mean taking a long bath with rose petals in it, like so many of us think it does.
In my new book, Self-Care For Men, I go through every aspect of a man’s life, from what he puts on his skin to what he puts in his body to how he organizes his home, to show that self-care is not one size fits all and can, in fact, be something a man can do easily and effectively. Many men are already practicing self-care without realizing it. But to really get the benefits, men should, you know, realize it.
Self-care can be almost anything you do with the intention of making yourself feel better (like, in a healthy way). Not sure where to start? Here are 10 things anyone can do.
1. Upgrade Your Sleep Hygiene
Getting enough sleep is a no-brainer when it comes to wellness, but what you do to prepare yourself to go to sleep has a big impact on how much you get. Turn off screens two hours before bed, lowering the temperature of your room, upgrading your sheets to cotton or linen, and using a noise machine can all help you sleep deeper and feel better when you wake up.
2. Put On Moisturizer
Even if you have no skincare routine to speak of, doing something to your face not only helps it look it’s best, but also just feels damn good. The easiest thing to do for beginners is get a facial moisturizer (look for oil-free if you have oily skin) and apply it after you wash your face morning and night.
3. Get Up and Move
Most of us know that exercise releases endorphins that help elevate our mood, but it doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym for hours. If you spend most of your day bent over a computer, getting up and stretching or walking for a few minutes not only gives you a mental break but can help release those same endorphins.
4. Light A Candle
Aromas have a proven impact on our brain functions, which is why aromatherapy is a thing. The easiest way to reap the benefits of scent is to light up a scented candle. Certain scents have specific effects on your mood: lavender calms you down and lemon (or other citrus scents) energize you.
5. Unfold A Sheet Mask
Sheet masks are fun, look bonkers, and actually do make your skin look and feel better. Plus, they force you to relax since you can’t really do much besides what tv while it’s on. Look for a moisturizing mask that contains hyaluronic acid to soothe and hydrate your skin and use it once a week.
6. Try A Meditation App
If you’ve never meditated, it can be intimidating and really uncomfortable. Meditation apps like InScape or Headspace make it easy for beginners and just a few minutes a day can help decrease stress and anxiety and help you sleep better.
7. Get A House Plant
Just like plants outside, a plant inside your home purifies the air and releases chemicals in the air that can help to elevate your mood. Even just one house plant can change how your home feels. If you have a black thumb, don’t worry - get a hard-to-kill succulent.
8. Use a Scalp Scrub
Scalp scrubs are basically the same as face scrubs - they help remove buildup and dead skin cells from your scalp that can make hair look damaged and, some say, even contribute to hair loss. Once or twice a week, use a scalp scrub before or in place of shampoo to help your hair look the best it can.
9. Try CBD
It seems like CBD is everywhere right now and if you haven’t tried it, now is the time. This anti-inflammatory ingredient helps regulate stress and calm anxiety inside your body and can help stabilize your mood during the day. Try a tincture at night, as well, to help promote better sleep. And if you’re suffering from joint or muscle pain, try a topical cream which can help reduce it.
10. Take A Bath (Seriously)
Baths are a cliche self-care move, but there is truth behind the stereotype. Baths are more than just getting your body clean. They have a proven relaxation effect on the body and can also aid in joint and muscle recovery (especially if you add epsom salts). No need to add rose petals, but you can drop in some essential oils for added aromatherapy benefits.