Who Said Men Don't Need Self Care Too?
For all my fellas out there that think self care is a "woman thing", I'm here to tell you not to believe the hype. Self care is so much more than bubble baths, mimosas, and facials. Taking care of yourself impacts your well-being and your personal relationships. Not sure where to start? Read on to see our 6 ways you can practice a little self care as a newbie.
Routine exercise (for real): Exercise is the easiest (and least expensive) means of dealing with damn near anything that ails you. The hook is, you have to find something you like. If lacing up running shoes and hitting the treadmill is your idea of ritual suicide, you won’t stick it out. Most people enjoy some degree of physical activity – find what you dig and turn it into a regular activity. The Mayo Clinic says you should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week. That’s just over 20 minutes a day – less time than you spend scanning Netflix for something to watch.
Keeping down stress: Stress is a well-known killer, but there are so many ways to combat it. Since the accumulation of stress is often death by a thousand cuts, it’s essential to take stock of everything bringing you stress in your world and determining what you can do without. Some of it is nigh unavoidable (read: Being a Black man in America), but you’d be surprised to find what you can get rid of. Of course, you can always purchase our Men's Self Care Baskets and more.
Check that diet: We make fun of white folks and their unseasoned cuisine, but we like to go in the other direction by not giving a damn about our diets and eating the things that are slowly killing us. There’s obviously a significant historical and socioeconomic component to this, but even those of us with options often choose bad ones. Folks should incorporate healthy options and indulge in unhealthy ones in moderation without cutting cold-turkey…because where’s the fun in that? Check out The Doc’s Kitchen from University of Chicago gastroenterologist (and certified chef) Dr. Ed McDonald for ways to eat healthily without going the cardboard-flavored-rice-cakes route.
Get therapy if you can: Not only do Black men often struggle with the concept of paying strangers to chat about our deepest problems, but it’s often financially preventative for us. Sliding-scale therapy exists in most places, though, and some brothas carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders might find talking to an impartial stranger like the male equivalent of giving birth. I’ve tried it…you should as well, if you can.
Get a massage, man!: I realize this will come off as an extravagant indulgence for many of you. But getting a massage for 60 or 90 minutes at least once a month is one of the most renewing things I do. Hit up Massage Envy for a membership that will only cost you $60-70 for one massage per month. Your muscles – and your sanity – will thank you.
GO TO THE DAMN DOCTOR: It’s the most obvious answer but also an elusive one: Each of us loves at least one old-ass black man who refuses to go to the doctor because he’s distrusting of white doctors, is scared of finding out his body is riddled with disease and he’s about to die tomorrow, or some combination of both. If it’s the white doctors you really don’t trust, check out BlackDoctor.org. Either way, let’s be the generation of Black men to do away with that stigma, yes? If not for you, do it for the people who love your ignorant ass.