By India Leigh
One of the positive changes that has come out of our collective experiences of the past year is an acceptance and deeper understanding of the importance of self-care. The intense stress of the pandemic turned up the heat on everyone mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically, and tuning in and taking good, gentle, centering care of ourselves was upgraded from luxury to necessity.
Many men, however, may still face a few extra layers of resistance and difficulty when it comes to taking loving, preventive care of themselves. Centuries of conditioning and training to override their feelings on all levels and tough things out no matter what makes it extremely challenging to move into receiving mode and feel safe letting their guard down and letting go.
Here are a few bits of guidance to help men practice better self-care in whatever way feels best.
Think about what makes you feel relaxed, clearminded and free. Is it hiking? Relaxing in a lawn chair in the sun? Listening to music? Taking an aimless drive? Hitting golf balls? Reading a great thriller? Anything that takes you out of your head in a healthy, uplifting, connected way totally counts as self-care! Pay attention to what does it for you and do more of that, plain and simple.
Pay attention to what your body is telling you. Our bodies are astoundingly accurate barometers for how well we’re staying in balance and doing what’s right for us. Listening to the symptoms of anxiety, tension, discomfort or pain and noticing when and where those are popping up will tell you volumes about what you need to reduce or cut out completely as an act of self-care. Often self-care can look like dropping a client that gives you headaches or a toxic friendship that constantly leaves you drained.
Schedule it, write it down, put reminders on your phone…anything that will tell your brain you are serious about taking care of you and that you are making it a priority. Don’t get too stuck on the frequency or duration of your self-care time. Just be consistent, and don’t bump it off your schedule. The feeling you’ll have inside from putting yourself first and seeing concrete proof that you’re doing that is powerful self-care in itself!
Let the results speak for themselves. When you are putting the time, focus and energy into taking care of you, it will show in every way! You’ll feel better in general, the quality of your work and relationships will improve, and you’ll be able to tune in to your higher knowing, or intuition, much more consistently and clearly. Give it a couple of weeks and see for yourself.
Voice your self-care needs vulnerable. Men in relationships have historically been known to fall into patterns of using the things they love to do as “escapes” from connecting and staying involved with those they love. This is because men sadly have not been taught to voice their needs for self-care in a vulnerable way that lets them speak from the heart instead of the defensive mind. Talk openly about the ways you are trying to be more present and connected within yourself in order to be the best self and partner you can be, and you may find you are much more supported in doing the things you truly love than you ever thought you could be.
Spirit intuitive reader, clairvoyant and coach India Leigh empowers others to come into more connection with their own divine creative power, aligning their energy, thoughts, words and actions with their greatest good and highest purpose. indialeigh.com