Resilience is the quality or ability a person has to not just survive life but to thrive and live life to the fullest as well as bounce back from stress and adversity such as losing a job, a marriage or a loved one. Resilience also helps us deal with difficult situations in our families, at work and life in general.
Sometimes we believe that resilience is the strength to “power through” these rough patches. However, research has shown that an ongoing maintenance plan of self-care is what makes resilient people resilient, protecting them from stress and improving overall physical and mental health.
It may help to think of self-care like maintenance for a vehicle which needs regular brake checks, filter replacements, tire rotations, tune-ups and occasional realignments after hitting giant potholes to keep it running smoothly. Self-care activities help keep us strong and flexible, even when life’s road has some unexpected detours and potholes.
Men don’t often think about self-care for themselves. The word “self-care” itself can seem like a feminine thing – i.e. getting your nails done, engaging in aromatherapy and taking candle-lit baths. However, self-care is great for everyone and can encompass many activities that men enjoy.
Self-care ideas for men
Here’s a list of some activities that can boost your resilience. You might notice some of them overlap. If you do any that fall into more than one category, make sure to give yourself a bonus atta-guy!
Spend time in nature.
Kayaking, sailing, rock climbing, fishing, mountain biking, hunting, hiking, walking, ultimate Frisbee, camping or just being out there in it. Countless studies have shown that spending time outside relieves stress, reduces muscle tension, improves blood pressure and focus, reduces depression and anxiety, protects your vision and may eliminate fatigue. – Business Insider
Whether you hit the gym, participate in a league or take your workout to the great outdoors, exercise can improve energy, sleep quality, memory and resilience as well as help combat depression, anxiety, stress, PTSD and more. Experts say to aim for 30-minutes five times a week, but any activity is better than none. – helpguide.org
Finish a project.
It’s a great way to stay active and feel a sense of accomplishment. Build something, fix something, demolish something, paint something, saw something or do something else. – ManTherapy
Make it guy’s night out (or in), join a men’s sports team, participate in a men’s group, help a fellow man out, call an out-of-town friend and make plans for a camping weekend or vacation. Choose to keep in touch with people that make you happy and bond over common interests. “Positive support not only helps buffer individuals from negative effects of stress, but also by enabling them to flourish either because of or in spite of their circumstances.” – Psychology Today
Volunteer or get involved in the community.
Choose something that matches your interests… coach a youth sports team, mentor a youth, help build low-cost housing, volunteer on a maintenance crew, mow the lawn for an elderly neighbor, bag trash on your favorite backwoods trail, walk dogs at the local shelter. According to Create The Good, volunteering can decrease your risk of depression, increase self-confidence and reduce stress.
Men’s Health Month is recognized every year in June to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems among males and encourage early detection and treatment of medical conditions, including mental health issues.
By Kris Brown, staff writer.