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.
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?
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!