I recently decided to take some time and go out of town. Now, for those who know me, I am a hustle every second out of every day person. Even if I am on vacation, I will find ways to work. So my break would never really be a break. The thing here is I am not alone. Many of us out there don't know how to regularly take care of our mental and physical. Most of us cannot turn the world off and focus on ourselves. I feel that men are incredibly guilty for not wanting to indulge in self-care. Until last week I was completely guilty of this.
First off, there is this misnomer that self-care is selfish, self-indulgent, and primarily just for women to do. Well, let's look at the denotative meaning of "self-care." According to Dictionary.com, "Self-care" is "the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's well-being and happiness, particularly during periods of stress." From this definition, I knew I was not doing that, but most importantly, I didn't see the need to, If I did not feel stressed. But, there's the rub! "Feel,".... meaning I didn't think I was stressed until I actually sat down and inadvertently started doing things that were not stressful and made me feel good. It began with seeing my brother, a Chiropractor, and got my back adjusted. (Definitely holla at him... visit the website ChiroSense.net), I did some high-intensity workouts (I lost about 4 LBS in a week), hung out with friends, made some new ones in the process, and got some excellent food (For those who know me, know I'm a foodie). I unplugged from social media, but most importantly, I just took time for myself!
Now, did this make me feel guilty? Yeah, somewhat. But, I came out of that time feeling refreshed and renewed. I had a bunch of ideas that seemed bottled up come pouring out. I gained some clarity on some aspects of my life, and I mainly released the stress I had no clue I knew existed. I came out the other side feeling like a brand new man with a whole new perspective on life. I realized that self-care is something that I need to incorporate into my weekly schedule in some form or fashion. Although I have not figured that out yet, I am working on scheduling that out for myself this week!
Now, one thing I fully need you to understand is that self-care does not look the same for everyone. What is self-care to me might not be for you. I love to visit new restaurants and try new things on a menu. That works for me, but what would work for you? That is for you to figure out. I didn't think I would ever like a pedicure until I got one recently and learned how relaxing it is and how good you feel after you leave. So try some new stuff that has to do with taking care of yourself.
Three of my friends (Von, Sue, and Yolanda) have a podcast called the Vary Necessary Podcast (Listen, very dope podcast by three extraordinary and intelligent ladies). At the end of every episode, Sue closes the show by saying, "Each week, do something to improve your physical, financial, social, spiritual, emotional, and mental health... Why? Because Self-Care is Very Necessary." And it is. According to a study done by BirchBox, thirty-nine percent of men polled said that they consistently make time for self-care...... Do you?