Posted in Mental Health

Can Blokes Do Self-Care Too?

I’ve been thinking about this idea for a little while, but in all honesty I keep stumbling on the right words to say.

The term “self-care” is one I’ve seen used a lot more frequently these days in the blogging/social media world, and truthfully I never used to understand it.

What does it mean? What do you have to do to abide by self-care tips? How often?

Now of course, every person in this world is different and has different likes and dislikes. There are no universal self-care tips that are guaranteed to work for everybody.

One thing I have noticed though is that the majority of the posts written about self-care are written by women.

Is it because women are better at considering ways to look after themselves? Or is that a common misconception? Do men spend enough time considering how to look after themselves, or do we see it in a slightly different way?

Let’s have a think about that….

What is “self-care” anyway?

Well if you carry out a Google search, it’ll tell you it’s something along the lines of “taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health”.

Sounds simple enough.

I must admit though, I always thought self-care was to do with physical health. I completely underestimated the consideration of your mental health, mindset and happiness too.

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Why is self-care so important?

In these unprecedented times, we have a duty of care to look out for other people but one thing we don’t want to push to one side is how we take care of ourselves.

We’re living in an uncertain world but one thing we do often have the capacity to do is take better care of ourselves. Whether that’s taking care of our bodies, of our minds, or a combination of both.

Is talking about self-care a female-oriented topic?

Maybe. But then again, blogging in itself seems like it’s a very female-dominated business.

I don’t know whether that’s a common misconception or not, but the number of male bloggers I follow would probably only just creep into double figures; comparing this to the number of female bloggers I know of who are writing brilliant content covering a wide range of niche topics.

I do think that because of the way I understood self-care to be mostly to do with looking after yourself physically, I was under the impression that it wouldn’t apply much to men. The fact that so many blog posts written by women would, more often than not, appeal to that demographic means that the majority of suggestions about how to practice self-care will be suggestions tailored for women.

I see blog posts suggesting things such as painting nails, applying face masks (not those kind of face masks), get your hair done or lighting a candle; but then again as I mentioned, posts written by female bloggers are more likely to be taken from their own experiences.

So men can do it too then?

Well absolutely.

I mean, absolutely anyone can choose to find ways to improve the way they feel through different self-care methods. As I said before, it all comes down to the individual, what they like and what they’re into.

I have a few go to ways to look after myself, even more necessary during the spate of lockdowns and restrictions we’ve had. To be honest, I don’t know many other ways because I’ve only really started thinking about my mental health more recently. 

What are some of my ideas for self-care?

Personally, it all depends on my mood at the time.

I like getting out for a walk and listening to some music; that really helps me if I’m feeling a little stressed.

Blogging has become a good outlet for me and a source of being able to do something that is very much just for me, but sometimes the lack of motivation caused by feeling a little down can mean I get very downbeat about my blogging journey from time to time.

Personally, I’m open to suggestions. I have often been guilty of not using my time very well but I’m ready to find something else that could benefit me!

Why don’t men talk about it that much?

I might be wrong, but I think there’s still that perception that men will be ridiculed when they admit they need support; especially men of a certain age.

That’s why I think, historically, men don’t understand or talk about self-care as much as they should.

But that’s starting to change, little by little.

I’ve learnt from looking into ideas for this post that self-care is massively important and it can come from absolutely anywhere. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, but instead sometimes the smallest thing you do for yourself could make a huge difference.

Anyway, when I say “blokes” in my post title, I’ll advise you I’m using that term rather loosely.

I don’t consider myself especially “bloke-y” by the common perception of what constitutes being “manly”. I can’t stand the stigma that comes with behaving like a “lad” and frankly I enjoy musicals too much. However, there’s still this fear that men can’t talk about their feelings without being put down for it, so I sort of understand why self-care often gets left behind.

So how can we change it?

Well I guess in all honesty, it’s down to each individual to commit to looking after themselves in the way that they see fit.

I could write a blog post with my 50 best self-care ideas, but in reality at least 45 of those ideas might not interest you in the slightest. So you sort of have to find your own path with it too.

The main bit of advice I would give you, fellas, is to find one thing and do it well. Don’t try and take on too much too fast and find yourself in a situation where you’re unhappy and go right back to the drawing board.

Something I am personally guilty of is not talking much about how I feel. I keep things bottled up and, especially in current climate, I just roll with the punches and just accept right now that things are the way they are.

Everybody needs an outlet and everybody needs a chance to practice self-care. It doesn’t have to take long or change the world, but I definitely think that men have a lot of opportunities to look after themselves a little bit more.

What is your understanding of self-care? Do you agree or disagree that self-care ideas are usually promoted by women? Or are you a man who understands self-care and has some tips for others who might need some advice?

Let me know in the comments!

26 thoughts on “Can Blokes Do Self-Care Too?

  1. Love this idea Thomas! It’s great that you’ve found ways to look after yourself, I’ll be encouraging my partner to do self-care too!

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  2. I think self-care is advertised in the media for women or a more ‘feminine’ thing to do but really, it just means taking care of yourself externally and internally – and this shouldn’t have a gender labelled to it. Self-care also means setting boundaries for yourself, having good lifestyle habits and cutting out toxic energy xx

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    1. I agree, the way it’s advertised is very much geared towards women. But then again even looking at stuff on Pinterest and Canva when I typed in self-care, it was all stuff about skin routines, beauty treatments and things like that. I agree also that self-care is relatively simple but we need to put more time and effort into it! Thanks for reading.

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  3. Very insightful post, Tom! I laughed out loud at your comment about liking musicals too much.

    Seriously though…self care is so important for anyone. I agree that women are more open and talk about it more and I hope your post is a door-opener for the conversation on why it’s important for men, too.

    I’m not a big fan of hair and nail salons, facials, makeup or any of the typical self-care strategies that many of these posts promote. In fact, I usually skip over them in my feed because most of the suggestions don’t appeal to me. How do I practice self care? Like you, I enjoy going for a walk outside in nature. I also think working out, mindfulness and meditation, reading, or just watching a silly comedy on Netflix count. Maybe we’re not that different after all!

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    1. Thanks Michelle, I enjoy a musical and that would never change! When it comes to a go-to film I’ll revert to either Blazing Saddles or Airplane, something always guaranteed to make me laugh. I think a lot of men probably do some of these things already, but don’t treat it as self-care. I certainly agree that not many men feel comfortable talking about it, so yeah hopefully this helps!

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  4. I love this post! I agree, most of my readers are female, and most of the people I follow are female, too. I think it is true that self-care posts seem to be directed towards other women, and I had this very conversation with my boyfriend the other day! I think as long as men know they can (and should) be looking after themselves, both mentally and physically, I think that’s what matters 🙂

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  5. My man’s version of self care is going for a run, a quick shower and then paying fifa. I never understood that this is what it was before but now I can see it happening a mile away and let him crack on!
    Rosie

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    1. Oh I would love to sit down and play FIFA, reminds me of my childhood and I really miss it! All part of growing up I guess! Well done to him for having something he can go to and to you for seeing that it’s needed from time to time.

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  6. You’re right the blogging world is VERY female dominated so naturally the talk of self care will be of that nature but everyone needs self care. It might look a little different for you but it’s no less important. Also, I love the word “blokes.” Dunno why, I just find it funny.

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    1. I like it too, mainly because I’m very far away from being a typical “bloke” it’s almost ironic. Yeah I agree now looking at it self-care can come from anywhere and from anyone. Still very important though no matter what you choose to do. Thanks for reading.

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  7. This is a great subject to cover Thomas, I think you’ve done it very well.

    I LOVE self care, but in our house the person who is better at it than me is my fiance! He is so good at making time for it, sub-consciously but he is very tuned in to what he needs and when he needs it. Dare I say it, life is not so busy for him… so he can make time for it when I struggle.

    I think we all need to make an effort with self care, Brilliant post x

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    1. I think sometimes when you’re not as busy you’re more inclined to waste time – I know I waste time at weekends especially whereas sometimes you blink and the weekday is over. Agree that more effort is needed, I need to be able to say openly when I’m feeling down and just need some time – especially during a pandemic! Thank you for reading x

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  8. Self-care is definitely for everyone and I fully support anyone who does it as it’s such an important aspect of our own health. The great thing about self-care is that it can be anything so can (and should) be tailored to who we are and what we need. I love that more people seem to be exploring this — fab post!

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  9. This is a great post! Thank you for broaching this topic. I absolutely agree. We don’t hear men talking about self-care often, even though it is just as important for them. I think it time for that to change and it’s posts like this that will help to make that change.

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    1. Thank you – I do agree we all need self-care but there has been a lack of focus on it when it comes to men. Maybe we don’t know how to talk about the subject or even what it entails! Thank you for reading.

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  10. Great post and I think a really important issue to think and talk about. I think men do self care, but indeed as you say maybe in a different way. Although, my boyfriend also loves taking a hot bath every now and again with a glass of wine, so that’s not much different from my own way.

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    1. See for me a bath doesn’t really do it, especially when I’m too switched on I get a little restless! But that’s the beauty behind it, everyone has their own way of doing it 🙂 Thank you for reading.

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  11. I think everyone should do self care no matter who they are.
    Me and the boyfriend often do self care togeter (is it then us-care? lol) and its such a relaxing thing to do, no matter if it’s doing a puzzle or doing silly facemasks.

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  12. What a great post, Thomas! In my personal opinion, self-care is open to everyone! And it’s primarily because when we feel good about ourselves and when we learn to love ourselves first, we will then be able to really make someone else feel good too. This, in turn, helps in all of our relationships. So yes, men should most definitely practice self-care!

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  13. what a great post – something I did not even consider! But you are completely right, this is definitely a niche that needs to be discussed more, because self care is so important – man or woman. Especially now!

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