In my psychotherapy work, I see a lot of men (old and young) who simply don’t know how to care for themselves. There is so much cultural pressure on them to be the best sons, best fathers, best brothers, and best husbands. It’s all about them making earning a degree, getting a good job, getting married, having children and by this time, they have simply neglected the most important person in their lives: themselves.
Having said that, thanks to the social media, we have a lot of awareness on looking after ourselves. You will see massive number of younger men making an effort on the way they dress, their hair care, and self grooming. But self- care is much more than just this.
Which is where this book comes in handy.
Meditation: this is simple act of clearing your mind. You don’t have assume the Buddha pose or listen to chanting music. Benefits: lowers blood pressure, improve blood circulation throughout body, slows down breathing, getting more oxygen in your bloodstream, decreases anxiety, lowers stress, elevate mood and reduce cortisol levels in the brain. If you don’t want to follow YouTube video, you can also download apps for meditation.
Acupuncture: used for relieving all sorts of muscular and joint ailments, chronic heart issues, fatigue, skin and hair issues, gastrointestinal issues; can also help alleviate stress and anxiety, depression, fear and even addiction. Can also help with PTSD and social anxiety disorder.
Time Management: you can always learn to create more time by managing your time. The more time you have, the less stressed out you will be. How to manage time:
Make a To-Do list one day before, Use a Calndar, Make things Habit, Limit Multi-tasking, Practice Time Blocking, Take regular short breaks, Allow for flexibility, Learn to say no, and Prioritise yourself.
Coffee: isn’t alway good for you. Too much caffeine can cause brain fog and anxiety. Use alternatives: Green tea, Golden milk, Hot water with lemon, Apple cider vinegar, Kombucha.
Mental Health: Don’t isolate yourself, Keep a journal, Set time aside to focus on yourself, Practice gratitude, Put down your smartphone, Get moving, Practice forgiveness, and Find a community. Going to therapy doesn’t mean you have to address any particular disorder, you can simply go and just voice your concerns to an impartial party without feeling judged.
Supplements: some of the good ones are Probiotics, Prebiotics, Adaptogens, Collagen, Omega 3, Ginkgo Blob, Biotin and Melatonin.
Exercise: No excuses here really. Even if you don’t have time to go to the gym, you can always do some stretches from home.
Detoxing: cleaning our bodies ensures our bodies function at a higher level. Juice cleanse, Fasting, Elimination diet, Colon cleanse, Liver cleanse, Bone broth cleanse. Make sure you are pooping regular- that’s the only way our bodies will release bad toxins.
Sleep: sleep deprivation is the worst thing we can do. Tips: Dim the lights, Lower the temperature, Get rid of screens, Avoid stimulants, Start your routine earlier, Don’t eat too late, Get good sheets, and Use a noise machine.
The book suggests using CBD (recreational marijuana) as a way to improve your health and it may be acceptable in the Western culture so I am not going to comment on this. The book also suggests having sex to improve our bodies and stress levels.
Baths: Skip the showers, take baths instead. Why: Improve our mood, Muscle recovery, Better sleep, Strengthen your immune system, Help your heat, Burn calories, Soothe skin, and Ease arthritis pain
Manicure and Pedicure: essential self grooming
Lotion: essential for skin care. Nothing unmanly about it.
Spa: wide variety of spa treatments available for men in Lahore.
The book also talks about getting a tan and getting a tattoo. Again, it may be the norm in the Western culture, so I won’t talk about this.
Facial care routine: cleanser, eye cream, moisturiser. Sunscreen also.
Shaving: there are ways to shave properly if you don’t want to keep a beard.
Masking: various kinds of masks available out there for men.
Facials: again, 100s of salons out there all offering large number of facials.
Teeth: maintain good teeth hygiene. Get them fixed.
Anti-Aging: exfoliate, moisturise, vitamin c, retinol and sunscreen.
Take care of hair: Don’t shampoo everyday, Use the right shampoo, Always use conditioner, Massage when you shampoo, Use a scalp scrub, Dry hair gently.
Hair dryer: use one.
Hair products: understand the difference between pomade, clay, wax, paste, gel, cream and hair spray. They all have a different function.
Barbers vs Stylists: Understand when to go to which one.
Hair loss: a very common fear of every man, unless you are Bruce Willis. There are ways to reduce hair loss
Manscaping: very important for personal hygiene; shaving, trimming, waxing or laser hair removal.
Nature: get outside, experience nature, sunrises and sunsets, walks,
Gratitude: practice it daily. Start with a list, Write it down, Be specific, Be consistent, Keep it fresh, Find time though the day, Be flexible and Start giving.
Extrovert: teach yourself to be more outgoing.
The book also talks about using crystals for healing, connecting to a medium, and using tools to remove the smudge. Not necessarily something I agree with as it felt too “new age” for me.
Convert Man Cave to Self-care Space: Living room, Kitchen, Bedroom,
Build a better Bathroom
Houseplants are essential
Candles: best candle scents for men- Sandalwood, Pine, Patchouli, Palo Santo, Neroli, Vetiver and Leather.
The book also talks about Feng Shui, which I don’t necessarily practice but some may find it useful.