Self-care and self-love are not just for the girls - it’s absolutely for the guys too. So, it’s time for stereotypes and stigmas around masculinity to be cancelled; and time to proudly bring out the candles and essential oils.
Self-care comes in many shapes and sizes and looks different for everyone. When we talk about self-care, the main goal we’re actively trying to achieve is reducing stress and anxiety. Here at Ryderwear, we’re not only about living our best life through fitness but also in mindfulness and mental well-being.
It’s never been more important to look after your mental health. Feelings such as being overwhelmed, anxious, insecure or even negative body image are not gender-specific - they happen to everyone, and it's time we start normalising this.
So sit back, relax, hey maybe practice some meditation because we’re about to take you on a journey through 10 helpful self-care tips to ensure you’re doing what you can to live a balanced, happy and fulfilled life.
01. MOVE YOUR BODY
A lot of us know that exercising is not only great for our gains, but it’s also highly beneficial for our psychological health. Endorphins, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin are all released after completing physical activity. These neurotransmitters play a huge part in regulating and boosting your as well as relieving stress.
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02. FUEL YOUR BODY WITH THE GOOD STUFF
A balanced diet complements your training regime and gives you the energy you need to take on that daily grind, making you feel good from the inside out. This includes eating plenty of vegetables, fruit, protein, carbohydrates, whole grains, fibre and good fats. Don’t get us wrong, we love to indulge in a cheat day treat, but it should come without a side of guilt. Highly restrictive diets often do more harm than good psychologically. So fill your body with the foods you love and crave - just in moderation, of course.
Additionally, if you’re someone who enjoys a beer (or a cocktail, we don’t judge), or perhaps 15 on the weekend, then it’s probably best to avoid binge drinking. The side effects of binge drinking not only includes the classic characteristics of a hangover but can also affect your mental health, including mood, energy levels, sleeping patterns, concentration and memory loss.
03. GET YOUR SLEEP
Sleep is such a crucial factor when it comes to overall mood and wellbeing. We all know how grumpy we can get when we haven’t gotten enough zzz’s. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is between 7 - 9 hours. So pop away those phones and screens at a reasonable time and wind down before hitting the pillow. Night-time routines can be a great way to keep yourself accountable. And if you generally have trouble sleeping, here are some helpful tips from the Sleep Foundation:
- Make sure you have a good quality mattress and pillow as well as bedding (i.e. sheets & blankets)
- Avoid light and noise disruption
- Find an ideal temperature for your bedroom
- Set a fixed wake-up time
- Build sleep into your schedule
- Avoid those sneaky naps
- If you have to adjust your sleeping schedule drastically, it's best to gradually do it for an effective outcome.
- Wind down and disconnect from electronic devices for a minimum of 30 minutes before sleep
If you’re still suffering with your sleep, it's best to consult your healthcare practitioner for further professional advice.
04. SHOWER OR HAVE A BATH
It might sound a little funny because we hope you shower every day for hygiene purposes (especially after a next level sweat session). However, a long hot bath or a steamy, refreshing shower can leave you feeling super relaxed and in an ultimate state of comfort. Hot showers are also great for blood circulation and loosening muscles, joints, tendons and tissues.
05. READ A LITTLE MORE
Reading can be a great alternative to staring at a screen all night before trying to get that good rem sleep of yours. And there really is a book for everyone out there - the choices of genres are endless; fantasy, crime, romance, horror, self-improvement, humour, the list goes on. So flex your imagination muscle and get some epic downtime, all while improving your communication skills.
06. WALK A LITTLE MORE
Take a breath of fresh air and stretch those legs out. Walking is fantastic for taking some much-needed time for yourself, being physical, and promoting clarity and focus.
07. HANG OUT WITH FRIENDS & LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE
Scheduling time with your mates or even spontaneous catch-ups are excellent for taking your mind away from the daily grind and checking in and supporting the people you care about. However, it’s also beneficial to connect with like-minded people (who potentially aren’t your nearest and dearest) to share the same interests and values. Whether you talk about these interests or just simply spend time with the people, you get along with helps to boost your overall mood and look after your mental well-being.
08. PRACTICE POSITIVE SELF TALK & AFFIRMATIONS
We can all be quite hypercritical in our minds, so it’s important to focus on the types of thoughts whirling around your head and how they affect you. If you notice negative thoughts pop up, take a second to stop and reset your mind. By identifying and then utilising positive self-talk, you are one step closer to taking those words and turning your mood around. So when perhaps you feel like you have failed or are embarrassed at an outcome of something, try thinking about how proud you should be to have the courage to give it a go in the first place. Or even have a few affirmations you have in regular rotation so you can rewire your brain to believe in yourself and all the great things you are good at. If you practice this positive self-talk diligently, then before you know it, it will become like second nature.
09. JOURNAL & SET GOALS
Journaling is fantastic, and there are no rules as to what is the right or wrong way to journal. It’s simply a place to put all your thoughts, feelings or all the things that happened throughout the day, good and bad. It’s also a great place to document your goals, make life decisions (big or small), and even heal from past traumas. Journaling keeps you accountable and is a central place to track the progress of your goals. It is known that some great minds kept journals, including Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla, and Ernest Hemingway, so why not give it a go and see if it’s for you.
10. TRY SOME MOISTURISER, ESSENTIAL OILS & HERBAL TEAS - NO ONE’S JUDGING
When it smells nice and feels nice on the skin, it will probably make you feel just as nice mentally. Your skin gets a bit of a beating during the day. So why not treat the largest organ in the body to a hydrating serum or moisturiser. And why not diffuse some essential oils every now and then. In fact, essential oils can stimulate your limbic system within the brain, which plays a role in emotions, behaviours, sense of smell, and long-term memory. As well as this, it also contributes to controlling multiple unconscious physiological functions, including breathing, heart rate and blood pressure. And why not finish off the relaxing trifecta with a delicious and warming herbal tea. Not only is it great for extra hydration and digestion, but some herbal teas contain l-theanine, which is an amino acid that promotes stress relief and relaxation. Some relaxing teas include chamomile, green, peppermint (for mood-boosting), and lavender tea.