Society has led many people to believe that the primitive stereotypes and expectations of genders are still accurate today. One of these is that men are the protectors and providers, while women are the caregivers. This means that men are often expected to put their work and obligations before their health and well-being.
And while this may seem like the right thing to do, it can lead to long-term physical and mental problems. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, men are more likely than women to die early due to avoidable causes. They are also more likely to suffer from health conditions like heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer.
This is why men need to take time for themselves and their health. If society has made you believe you don’t need self-care because it’s only something women do, you need to unlearn that quickly. Self-care is for everyone, and it’s different for everyone, too. So, if you need help starting, here are a few tips you can use:
Tip #1: Make Time for Exercise
One of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health is to make time for exercise. It doesn’t have to be a major commitment, either. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day can make a world of difference. And there are plenty of ways to fit it into your schedule. For example, you can:
- Take a brisk walk or jog around your neighborhood
- Ride your bike to work
- Join a local sports team
- Take an exercise class at your gym
Exercising doesn’t have to be a chore. If you can find an activity you enjoy and make it a part of your routine, you’ll be on your way to a healthier mind and body. So, consider exercising as a healthy habit rather than a chore that you have to do. This way, you’ll likely stick with it in the long run.
Tip #2: Eat a Healthy Diet
What you put into your body can significantly impact your health. So, if you want to feel your best, eating a healthy diet is crucial. This means you should eat a lot of fruits, veggies, and whole grains. It also means watching how much processed food, sugary drinks, and red meat you consume.
And if you’re unsure where to start, you can check out books, articles, and even apps to help you make healthier choices. Remember that eating healthier isn’t synonymous with condemning yourself to a lifetime of bland food — anything can taste delicious if you know how to season your food properly.
You might want to consult a dentist if you’re having trouble eating crunchy veggies or lean meats because of tooth problems. They may recommend a teeth replacement procedure to help you be able to eat better and enjoy your food more. Or you could train your jaw muscles to be stronger to chew better.
Tip #3: Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is crucial for your overall health. It’s just as important as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. But unfortunately, many people don’t get enough sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night because that’s when the body heals and repairs itself.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, you may be at risk for health problems like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. You may also be more likely to get into car accidents or make mistakes at work. So, make sure you’re getting enough quality sleep every day. This means setting a regular sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, and creating a relaxing bedtime routine.
Tip #4: See Your Doctor Regularly
Another critical part of taking care of your health is seeing your doctor regularly. This way, you can get any necessary screenings or tests and catch any health problems early. For example, your doctor may recommend that you get a colonoscopy if you’re 50 or older.
Or, if you have a family history of breast cancer, you may need to start getting mammograms at an earlier age. But even if you don’t have health concerns, it’s still important to see your doctor for an annual physical. This way, you can create a baseline of your health and catch any problems early on.
Tip #5: Take Some Time for Yourself
Last but not least, taking some time for yourself every day is essential. This can be anything that makes you happy and helps you relax. For example, you can read a book, listen to music, spend time outside, play with a pet, or do some crafts. You can do whatever you want if it helps you unwind and de-stress.
Self-care is vital for your physical and mental health. When you’re happy and healthy, you’re more likely to be productive at work and have healthier relationships. So, make sure you’re taking some time out of your busy schedule to take care of yourself without feeling guilty about it.