Updated: May 24
Self-Care is Essential
If you've ever been on an airplane, you've heard the safety spiel where they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first before helping anyone else. You literally have to care for yourself before you can help others because if you don't, your oxygen will run out and nobody wins.
Self-care is the same. If you're not taking care of yourself, your metaphorical oxygen will run out before you can help others. You won't have enough patience, energy, love, fill in the blank to give.
What is Self-Care Anyway?
Self-care can look a million different ways depending
on what you need (because remember my last post? What works for me, works for ME, not necessarily you!).
Self-care is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health and of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress. - Oxford Dictionary
This definition gives you the license to practice self-care any old way you like! What makes you feel centered? Happy? Calm? Whatever those activities are, doing them regularly means practicing self-care.
For me, self-care is hiking or climbing with my buddies, a lavender-scented bubble bath, a body massage, a late-night cardio session after the kids are in bed, meditation, smoking 🌿 , and reading a book. All of these things help me feel centered, happy, and generally well in different ways.
Breaking the Myth
In my opinion, we don’t talk about self-care for men enough. We are so busy supporting our partners, our kids, working, etc. and we’ve been taught to toughen up and just roll with it.
I’m here to break the myth. Dads, men, everyone needs to practice self-care. Parents in particular. Not sure where to begin? Keep reading.
How to Practice Self-Care
To start a self-care practice, identify one or two things that help you feel centered, happy, and calm and schedule them like you would a meeting. Hold that commitment to yourself, and make the time to do it consistently.
You can start simply by waking up and doing 5 minutes of deep breathing every day (heck, do 1 minute!) or going for a 10-minute walk outside 3 times per week.