It’s 2022. Let’s normalize men taking care of themselves. I mean, by now we know that there are bare minimum things that we should be doing for ourselves. We also know that the goal of self care is to be able to manage day to day stresses. In addition it helps us notice the way our inner world is fairing on. It is also fair to note that self care is not something we should delegate to other people. I know it is confusing to imagine that massage and spa treatments do not count as basic self care. But really, how many times in a week do you visit the spa when stressed?
In our first monthly tweet chat we asked to know how self care looked like for men. One of our guests said, “Self-care for me is more basic than beauty oriented. Eating healthy, working out, dressing good and getting medical attention when necessary.” It stood out because we have been exposed to what I dare call “the self care aesthetic”. It is a performative at best and always seems to miss out on the actual purpose it’s intended for. In short indulgence has very little to no psychological or emotional benefit.
On that same breath I would like to point out how much exercise is not mentioned enough. It is great for all round health reasons. For starters, it helps the body complete the natural stress cycle by being an outlet. The screaming, groaning and many other things that happen in the gym help the body release tension. Beyond that men actually have a space to exist without the need for perfection or being uptight. If that is not a two for one deal, I don’t know what is!
I would like to acknowledge that men are human beings. So it is not weird when they end up abandoning themselves. This is a zero judgement zone. It is also the reason why we wondered, “What leads to men abandoning themselves?”
A guest answered “Perfectionism – having unrealistically high expectations for themselves, never feeling worthy regardless of how much you do and what you accomplish.”
As a society we often forget the standards that men are held to. One of the biggest rhetoric is that men are nothing without finances. Or the catchy phrase “No romance without finance!” Of course we want men to be able to provide for their families. However, we would like them to be healthy enough to enjoy the time they spend with their families. We are definitely thinking of health as a whole by the way.
We finished by asking how men can establish community for themselves. By now you also know that building community takes intentional efforts. It also takes showing up and committing to maintain the communities we build for ourselves. These were the answers we found resourceful.
I found this analogy very useful for someone who may not the essence of self care. Read the full article here.
“If you’ve ever been on a plane, you know you have to secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others.
The impact of securing your own oxygen mask sharply heightens your ability to perform at work, improves the harmony of your families and relationships, and greatly increases your ability to achieve your goals.”
PS: We are grateful for having guests in our first ever tweet chat. We are excited for the future ones that are to come.