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Elevating Wellness: Healthy Habits and Self-care Tips for Men

Cultivating Daily Habits and Rituals to Support Your Mental Health 

Alright guys, let’s talk about self-care. In a world that often encourages men to suppress their emotions and prioritize productivity over self-care, it’s crucial to highlight the importance of nurturing one’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being. The idea of adding self-care to our already busy schedules might seem overwhelming, especially when we link self-care with activities such as soaking in bubble baths or treating ourselves to massages. But, the truth is self-care isn’t about extravagance and it isn’t something you have to spend money on—it’s about prioritizing our well-being in simple, everyday ways.

Understanding & Redefining Self-Care for Men

“Self-care should be a priority, not an afterthought,” says Ryan Shick, our in-house specialist when it comes to all things related to building healthy habits and routines. Self-care for men is about recognizing and respecting your individual needs and taking proactive steps to address them. Whether it’s managing stress, improving physical health, or fostering emotional resilience, creating a daily routine that includes self-care empowers men to lead more fulfilling lives. Here are some examples of simple, easy-to-implement physical, emotional, and social self-care shared by our team.

Please note that these are only gentle suggestions and can be modified to best suit your needs and lifestyle. 

Physical Self-Care

  • Drink lots of Water: Did you know increasing your water intake will promote happiness? Staying hydrated is crucial for optimal brain function, so ensuring proper hydration throughout the day will support your brain’s ability to function more efficiently which can increase your brain’s production of serotonin – our happiness hormone. 

Tip: Set alarms throughout your day to remind you to drink more water 

  • Eat a well-balanced diet: Nutritious eating plays a crucial role in promoting mental well-being by providing essential nutrients that support brain function and mood regulation. Eating balanced meals throughout the day helps stabilize blood sugar levels; by maintaining stable blood sugar levels, regular eating promotes a more consistent and balanced mood, avoiding mood swings, irritability, and fatigue. 

Tip: Make sure you always have healthy snacks available for when you need a ‘pick me up’ during the day

  • Prioritize Physical Activity: Engaging in regular physical activity not only benefits your physical health but also boosts your mood, reduces stress and anxiety, improves your quality of sleep, enhances your cognitive function, and can boost your self-esteem. Finding activities you enjoy is key; whether it’s hitting the gym, playing sports, or opting for an outdoor activity like going for a walk, hike, or run. 

Tip: Engaging in physical activity with a friend can be a great way to increase your accountability and motivation, enhance enjoyment of the activity, and it allows you to strengthen your friendships, leading to a sense of connection and belonging.

Emotional Self-Care

  • Journaling: Journaling is a great way to cultivate emotional awareness; writing down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences can be a powerful way to process emotions, gain insights into yourself, and release pent-up stress or tension. 

Tip: Try out the voice-note feature on your phone for journaling! For some people, verbal or audio journaling can be a more natural form of expression compared to writing. By verbalizing thoughts and feelings, you can develop greater fluency in expressing yourself verbally, which can benefit communication in various areas of life. 

  • Developing a Gratitude Practice: Practicing gratitude involves intentionally focusing on and appreciating the positive aspects of life, no matter how big or small. When faced with challenges or setbacks, those who practice gratitude are better able to maintain enhanced emotional resilience, perspective, and optimism.

Tip: Practice Gratitude as part of your bedtime routine. By focusing on positive aspects of life before bedtime, individuals who practice gratitude experience fewer negative thoughts and emotions, leading to improved sleep onset and sleep continuity. Rather than thinking about the stressors of the day while trying to fall asleep, think about what went well, pleasant moments throughout the day, and people who you are grateful for. 

  • Deep Breathing Exercises: These exercises are great because they can be practiced anytime, anywhere! Taking deep, intentional breaths can help calm the nervous system, reduce stress, and promote relaxation. Simple breathing exercises, such as diaphragmatic breathing or the 4-7-8 technique can help manage emotions and restore balance during moments of chaos. 

Tip: Start by practicing the 4-7-8 breathing technique twice a day, when you wake up and when you are going to sleep. This exercise activates your parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for relaxation, and suppresses the opposite system that is responsible for the stress response. It’s a great way to start and end your day! 

Social Self-Care

  • Get Off Your Phone & Cultivate Supportive Relationships: While technology offers many benefits, excessive screen time can interfere with real-life connections and contribute to feelings of isolation. Surround yourself with people who uplift and encourage you, you’ll get way more validation from meaningful connections with friends, family, and community than you will from likes on your social media.

Tip: If you are struggling to find meaningful connections with your current friends, family, and community try joining a book club, sports team, volunteer organization, etc… Participating in group activities with like-minded people can make prioritizing social self-care much easier! 

  • Setting Boundaries: Setting boundaries is an act of self-care and self-respect. Learning to say no when necessary and communicating your needs and limits to others can prevent you from becoming entangled in other’s emotions and expectations, which often leads to resentment, burnout, and a loss of personal autonomy. Remember, boundaries are not walls to keep people out but rather gates that allow us to invite others in on our terms.

Tip: Start by practicing saying ‘No.’ It’s okay to decline requests or invitations that don’t align with your priorities or values. Remember, you’re not obligated to say yes to everything.

  • Engage in Acts of Kindness: The world we live in can feel challenging for all of us. Giving back to others not only benefits the recipient but also boosts your sense of well-being. Performing acts of kindness releases feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin, and it has also been shown to lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the body.

Tip: Check out some local Volunteering opportunities with initiatives that interest you. It also allows you to connect with like-minded individuals who are passionate about making a difference.

A final Note on Self-care for Men

Self-care is an integral part of leading a healthy and fulfilling life, regardless of gender. By prioritizing physical, emotional, and social well-being, men can cultivate a healthier masculinity rooted in self-awareness, compassion, and resilience. Remember, self-care isn’t selfish—it’s an act of self-preservation that allows you to show up as the best version of yourself in every aspect of life. So, gentlemen, take the time to nurture yourselves—you deserve it.

Break the stigma ❌

You are enough 😇

Break the stigma ❌

You are enough 😇

Don’t just talk about it, do it ✨

Don’t just talk about it, do it ✨

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