Today’s world is full of stress and uncertainty, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Self-care is often seen as effeminate and thus only associated with bubble baths, yoga, pedicures etc. in a stereotypical way. Even though practices like yoga and meditation are therapeutic, they are mostly marketed to women. As a result, many men may feel ashamed or uncomfortable to indulge in self-care practices. Men’s mental health needs as much attention as all the discussions that address the issues faced by women. Why are men less likely to seek help for their mental health? The reasons why men’s mental health is neglected are many but we need to look at some ways in which men can make self care an important aspect of their lifestyle.
Men often suffer due to all the misconceptions around masculinity. Crying or being depressed is often viewed as a sign of weakness instead of an illness. All the stigma surrounding mental health also makes it difficult for people to form self-care habits. While mental illness affects every demographic, men in particular often do not seek out support for their mental health struggles.
If you’re a guy, self-care might be hard for you even when stress is turning your world upside down or creating a cascade of chaos in your life.
It’s high time that mental health and self-care is normalised for men. Here are a few tips to get you started:
1) Recite Affirmations
“How can reciting a few words improve my life?”
It might sound silly if you’re new to the power of affirmations. You might even laugh at it initially. The mind is a powerful tool. However, it is also very susceptible to suggestion and surroundings. It can easily be engulfed by negative patterns and self-sabotaging thoughts. That’s where affirmations come in to save the day. Affirmations are positive statements that are meant to rewire your conscious and subconscious. They help you break your damaging patterns and reprogram your thinking patterns.
The great thing about affirmations is that they can be whatever you want them to be. You don’t need to necessarily rely on guided affirmations if you prefer customising them. Affirmations are very personal and can be tailored to suit your preferences. Listening to guided affirmations while working or meditating also works since your subconscious absorbs the message. You don’t even need to pay attention.
2) Consider Professional Support
One of the most essential acts of self-care is recognizing when you might need professional help. There’s nothing to be ashamed about in seeing a therapist or counsellor. Mental health, just like physical health, is an illness, not a reflection of your masculinity. Getting help can do wonders for your mental health. A certified therapist can recognise patterns, behaviours and illnesses that you might not be able to.
There are vast amounts of mental health resources available online. You can find therapists in your area through the internet easily. You can also read more about mental health and acquaint yourself with different conditions and their symptoms.
3) Be Social
Making time and engaging yourself with those you love are important aspects of self-care. Relationships with others are important to our wellbeing. Men can make their mental health a priority by working on improving their interpersonal relationships.
Schedule weekly or monthly activities with friends that you can truly relax around. Spending time with people who genuinely care and uplift you is a great way to practice self-care.
4) Exercise Regularly
Exercising is a great way to reduce stress and release those endorphins. There are literally so many exercises that are effective and fun. You could also pick a sport you love and play it regularly. Playing sports is also a great way to make friends and form a community. Taking long walks in nature can soothe your mind too. As far as men’s mental health practices go, this one has shown proven results.
5) Start Journaling
Journaling is something that every person should try to make a habit out of. It is not only a form of introspection and expression, but also a space to write down your goals. This can help you to measure your progress and be accountable to yourself. Journaling is helpful in rewiring your brain to not focus on negative thoughts and adopt better habits.
The priority, in this blog, is to supply the reader with clear and unambiguous information. However, neither The New Me nor Gagan Dhawan makes promises, or guarantees regarding the completeness of the information found here. The content is not a replacement for advice of a licensed professional. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely that of the writer’s.