I recently told my wife that I think I want to retire from being an adult! I must admit that sometimes the pressures of life can begin to weigh on you heavy. As a man, this idea of protecting and providing is a heavy load to carry and sometimes we feel that we can’t ever show any signs of wearing down.
Trying to be the best at a job, the best at a business, the best in organizations, the best father, and the best husband can sometimes cause us to neglect our own health and wellness. Oh and let’s not even start talking about the pressure of trying to be a “good black man” (I’ll save that for another blog).
Most often, when you hear about this idea of self-care it’s usually always directed at women. Now don’t get me wrong, self-care is important for women, as well, as they have many of the same stressors (if not more.)
However, I want to give men permission to participate in some self-care as well. Here are a few reasons men need to take care of themselves too!
The better we can be at managing stress and staying in good physical health we increase the chances of living longer and leading healthier lives. The average life expectancy for black men is about 72 years (old which is still less than other races of men). There are multiple reasons that could be attributed to it but I do know that good self-care could help with the issue. If we want to be around longer for our kids and wives and families, then we must do things to better take care of ourselves.
For better mental health
The better mental space you can be in, the better you will show up for your family and at work. If you are consistently stressed, you probably aren’t thinking clearly. Furthermore, stress can cause you to breakdown or become easily agitated. Many times, that stress can cause us to have short tempers and to lash out or even become depressed. Take care of your mental health so that you can be your best self!
For peace of mind
No one likes to be around someone who is always agitated and who has a short fuse. If you are always snapping at your wife or children or if you always look like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders, you will become bitter and resentful. Suddenly the fun and lively man you used to be becomes the boring and bitter man that no one likes to see coming. Kinda like the crotchety old man you see the grandkids running from. HA!
For providing a better example
We all know that our children are always watching us, no matter the age. It’s okay to instill a good work ethic in them and responsibility and all those great things, but what are you teaching them about self-care and taking care of themselves? Are you leading by example and helping them to understand they can’t be great to anyone else until they are great to themselves? Our example is so important so be conscious of the messages you are sending out!
Don’t put the weight of the world on your shoulders…especially if you aren’t going to at least make sure you are conditioning yourself to carry the load.
Here are a few things men can do for self-care:
- Physical activity
- Regular doctors’ visits
- “Me time” and alone time
- Pursue hobbies
- Improve your diet and drink plenty of water
- Talk it out and express yourself
- Have lots of SEX with your spouse
These are just a few things we can do as men. But at the end of the day, just do something to better take care of yourself. Don’t put the weight of the world on your shoulders…especially if you aren’t going to at least make sure you are conditioning yourself to carry the load. Take care men—literally!