Masculinity is usually defined as toughness. It's all about the gruff attitude and the broad shoulders.
But we all know that is not true. Everyone deserves to be cared for.
Practicing self-love, self-esteem, and self-compassion can be tough for everyone, but it can be tougher for men. There is a societal stigma attached to the mental health of men. Men are considered to be level-headed when it comes to their emotions and self-esteem and this is one of the reasons it’s so difficult for men to take care of themselves emotionally and mentally. It can be really challenging.
Here are a few tips for men to start practicing self love:
Engaging is important, however, disengaging could bring you some rest from the stress of being involved. Take some time away from your present environment and engage in something completely different. Draw boundaries at work and do not let your professional life affect your personal life.
Creativity is not just doing different things, it is also doing things differently. Try a new skill or harness new learning. Changing your perspective towards a particular situation can also help you to look for creative solutions to problems.
Do not downplay your victories. As a father and a co-parent, you are already doing a lot. Focusing on small victories can make a huge difference in your day-to-day life. If you were able to deliver a project on time amidst your parenting duties, that is a victory! If you have been keeping up with your exercise despite your busy work schedule, that too is a victory. If you could clean out the closet or if you could successfully drop your kids at school despite their stubbornness that too sounds like an accomplishment.
You win at something and lose at some every day. In terms of goal-setting and self-reflection, being able to praise yourself and being able to realize what you need to improve, will help you work on yourself, and this indeed is called the art of self-love.
Routines can be monotonous, but they truly help as they force consistency. Being in a consistent pattern of work helps in yielding results. Routine also helps in negating glorified engagement, which is just a fancy word for overthinking. The best routine is the sustainable one. So, always prefer doing sustainable activities.
Many times we see men telling themselves to be tough. They put themselves in those barriers and shackles where they do not let themselves be weak or seek help. If they can not solve a problem, they lose confidence and self-worth. Make sure you are aware of what you are telling yourself. Give yourself space to make mistakes and accept them.
This is obnoxious advice, but it works. Being optimistic forces the brain to focus on the good of the situation and putting things in a lighter perspective. Ask yourself why you are doing this. Remember who you are! And most importantly know that you are loved, cared for, and desired. You have what it takes to be the change that you wish to be.
Listen to some good and motivating podcasts. Jam to a playlist that would pump you up. Know that your hard work is not going to waste.
Self-care is an act of self-love. We have hobbies that bring us some form of relaxation and comfort. Nurture those interests and let those be your escape from reality for a while. Make those interests a space for you to relax and devote some time to nurturing a whole different side of you.
Talking can be difficult but it is important to talk to the people you trust. Give yourself a space to feel heard and cared for. Try to make an environment of healthy exchange of ideas so that comfort can be achieved through mindful conversations.
To conclude, you deserve self-love. The only way you will build self-compassion is by truly believing that you deserve happiness. Most men are believed to be providers who support their families financially. But a man should support the family in many more ways. A man should also contribute to the emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental well-being of his family. For that, a man needs to look after his mental well-being first. Last but not least, every man has imperfections, just embrace your true self and enjoy the journey of life.