self-care for men, Jeffrey Irwin
Healthy Living

Self-Care for Men: 6 Tips for Men to Improve Their Health

Jun 14 2024

People are more focused than ever on self-care. Sometimes, it’s hard to know what healthy changes to make in your life. Part of that is because self-care looks different to everyone, including between men and women. Here are some ways guys can practice self-care for men.

First off, what is self-care?

As a whole, self-care involves tending to your:

  • Body
  • Intellect
  • Mind
  • Practical needs
  • Social needs
  • Spirit

To practice self-care, you need to make time for it. However, when you work to nurture all parts of yourself, there’s a good chance you’ll feel happier and more balanced.

“Self-care frequently just feels like one more thing to do in our already busy lives,” says Jeffrey Irwin, MD, a primary care provider in our Hampton Roads market. “The way I see it, we must put in the time and energy either way. We can do it to stay happy and healthy, or later in my office, trying to put everything back together.”

Self-care for men

Practicing self-care improves your health both physically and mentally. Although self-care can include any healthy activity that makes you feel good, here are a few self-care tips for men to incorporate into their weekly or even daily routine.

Interact with others

Interacting with friends, family and coworkers is important for good mental health.

Social interaction can:

  • Help strengthen relationships
  • Improve mood and wellbeing
  • Make life more interesting
  • Offer a sense of belonging

Remember that social interactions don’t need to be face-to-face. You can also interact with others through virtual chats, emails, texts and phone calls.

Give back to others

Giving back can improve your mental and physical health. Sign up to volunteer with an organization that has a mission that inspires you. Or, get involved with your child’s recreational sports league as a coach. The possibilities are endless, and you will feel good taking time out of your day to help others.

Get a good night’s sleep

After a good night’s sleep, everything seems better. To ensure you’re getting plenty of rest, make your bedroom extra comfy. Cover your mattress with cool cotton sheets in the summer and cozy flannel sheets in the winter. Don’t forget to change them regularly.

Set the room to a comfortable temperature before bed. Also, calm your mind by turning off your smartphone, tablet or television at least two hours before bedtime. To fall asleep faster, consider a noise machine with a variety of sounds. Think ocean waves, forest sounds or white noise.

“Consistency is super important!” Dr. Irwin says. “Wide fluctuations in our sleep patterns throw off our circadian rhythm. Our body does best with a similar bedtime and wake-up time within a 30- to 60-minute window.”

Take time to meditate

If you’re looking for one of the best self-care ideas for mental health, try meditation. If you have a smartphone, there are many apps that make learning to meditate simple for beginners.

Just a few minutes of meditation every day can help ease anxiety, reduce stress and improve sleep in your daily life. As you become more skilled in meditation, you’ll enjoy even more benefits like:

  • Greater self-awareness
  • Improved attention
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Pain control

Take care of your skin

For men, good skin care involves more than a bar of soap and a disposable razor. A skincare routine helps men’s skin stay fresher and younger-looking and prevents sun damage.

Stocking up on just a few products like sunscreen, moisturizer, face wash and beard oil makes a world of difference. Dr. Irwin recommends avoiding harsh soaps that strip your body of its natural oils, adding that many brands make “gentle” or “sensitive skin” formulas that are kinder to your skin.

“Having a dedicated face moisturizer with added sunscreen can add a youthful glow while protecting your skin from the rays that contribute to skin cancers,” Dr. Irwin says.

Follow your passion

Whether you enjoy sports, painting or walking in nature, make time for activities that bring you joy.

Doing things you love can:

  • Boost your brainpower
  • Build your confidence
  • Give your life more meaning
  • Increase your productivity
  • Make you happier
  • Feel and achieve balance

“Make a list of things that speak to you. What have you enjoyed doing over the years? Now, how many of those things are you currently doing? Take that list and start reincorporating some of them back into your life. You used to enjoy playing football, going for a run or painting? Time to do it again,” Dr. Irwin says.

How we can help

One of the best ways to practice self-care for men and keep your body in tip-top shape is to see your primary care provider and get the proper health screenings when you have concerns. If you feel like your mental health is suffering, you can start the conversation with your physician, who can make some suggestions about where to start, or you can reach out to a mental health professional directly.

Learn about the primary care services as well as the behavioral and mental health services we offer at Bon Secours.

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