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A man and his young son practice shaving in a sunny bathroom with shaving cream all over their smiling faces.

All About Dad: Self Care for Men

As we celebrate Father’s Day, we can’t help but think of the incredible ways we have seen the men and dads in our lives show up for their families, friends, professional networks, and communities. We also can’t help but notice that, in contrast to how often we hear about the importance of self-care practices, from social media advice gurus to chats with friends, the conversation rarely seems to be centered around self-care for men. So when we began to ask the men in our lives how they practice self-care, it wasn’t entirely surprising to find that most of them had to spend some time digging for an answer, or simply didn’t have one. 

Whether you’re looking for tips to step up your own self-care game or share with someone you love, or you simply want to join the conversation of normalizing self-care for men, you’ve come to the right place. 

Prioritizing Men’s Well-being 

Any lack of focus on men’s wellness practices likely isn’t due to misplaced priorities at the personal level. According to a report by the organization Global Action on Men’s Health (GAHM), while men’s health has improved over the last 40 years, it still remains far below ideals. Largely, this is because of barriers at the macro level, including gender norms and some healthcare systems not designed with men in mind. Worldwide, men’s wellness and self-care are regarded as lower priority. This helps to explain why men can face lower health literacy and life expectancy rates, and higher risks for certain health concerns.

While the GAHM points to research and initiatives being set in place by institutions like the United Nations to address these discrepancies at an international level, at the core of self-care is this: Our best and healthiest lives, regardless of sex or gender, are made possible through intentionally prioritizing our own well-being. 

Benefits of Self-Care 

In the United States, only 39% of men say they consistently make time for self-care, but research shows that men who regularly practice holistic self-care are: 

  • 2.2 times more likely to feel a sense of balance in their lives
  • 1.6 times more satisfied with themselves
  • 1.4 times more satisfied in their romantic relationships

There appears to be no limit to the areas of life self-care can benefit, even including greater professional success.  

Types of Self-Care 

Wellness isn’t a solely physical experience. If what comes to mind when you think of self-care is visions of cucumber slice-covered eyes and frequent bubble baths (by all means, you do you), that’s not quite the whole picture. The International Self-Care Foundation names 7 Pillars of Self-Care:

  1. Mental
  2. Emotional
  3. Physical
  4. Environmental
  5. Spiritual
  6. Recreational
  7. Social

Self-Care Tips for Men

Below, check out some actionable, high-impact ways to get started. 


We can’t underscore the importance of physical self-care enough. In addition to regular exercise, be sure to focus on supporting your body with adequate sleep and recovery time. Caring for hygiene and appearance also fall under this pillar, which are linked to our self-perception, confidence, and emotional wellness. And of course, quality nutrition is key to supporting any exercise regimen and looking and feeling your best.

Try this: This week, give yourself permission to invest in looking and feeling your best by adding at least one of the following into your regular rotation:

    • Groom well. Treat yourself to a professional shave, and start a skincare routine. Skincare won’t just help you look your best; it’s also been linked to mental and emotional health, according to Harvard
    • Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, says the Mayo Clinic. Switch it up by trying a new home workout.
    • Craft a nutrient-rich meal plan. Without a proper diet to fuel us, our bodies simply can’t perform challenging movements or carry us through the day with ease. Be sure to get plenty of protein, veggies, and whole grains, and don’t forget to factor in the healthy fats. We love this burrito bowl for an easy meal-prep staple. 
    • Get serious about taking care of your body by adding vital supplements into your regimen to address nutritional gaps, like a probiotic to help balance digestion or a convenient men’s multivitamin. You can also show your body some love by scheduling your annual physical check-up and committing to daily hydration. Forget the eight-glasses of water a day rule: the Mayo Clinic recommends at least 15.5 cups daily for men.     
    • Rest, rest, rest. Our bodies need time to recover and restore. Sleep is crucial for building muscle and supporting all of our brain and bodily functions. Aim for between one and three rest days each week as part of your fitness routine, seven to eight hours of sleep per night, and don’t forget the importance of post-workout nourishment.  


It’s important for our well-being not only to take care of our own spaces, but to spend time in places that nourish us. At home or work, taking the time to keep things tidy or making visual edits for the sole purpose of creating joy can make an unexpectedly large impact on how we feel. But getting outside, connecting with nature, and leaving the stressors of everyday life behind can be just as valuable. 

Try this: Visit your favorite natural locale, or find a new one, and get moving in the fresh air. Whether you find yourself on land or on water, practice being present in your surroundings, make note of what you love about this place, and soak up some much needed vitamin D. Bonus points for bringing along a friend or family member who lifts your spirits. 


For some, this will look like setting aside time to engage in prayer or religious service. For others, this can look like practicing yoga, exploring creative expression, or even volunteering for a cause. But at the center of spiritual self-care is connection to both ourselves and something greater.  

Try this: Take a “you day” or schedule a solo getaway, and reconnect with an area of your life that holds personal meaning to you. Set aside time to work on a goal you’ve been dreaming about, take the art class you’ve had bookmarked for ages, or carve out some quiet time for introspection. For parents of young babies, making time for bonding and skin-to-skin contact can be an especially beneficial experience, both for the health of your little one and for your own spiritual well-being. Because as a parent, what could be more meaningful than ensuring your child knows they are safe and loved?


Have some fun! Seriously, fun and play are a crucial part of wellness. Your volleyball rec team, fantasy football league, and monthly board game night? All essential to self-care. 

Try this: If there’s a hobby you’ve been wanting to try, or a passion you’d love to reconnect with, now is the time! Sign up for that improv class, or check the physical, recreational, and social self-care boxes by signing up for a local sports league


The power of social connection cannot be overstated. In 2023, PBS shared that a staggering 60% of people in America reported feeling lonely on a regular basis, with recent stats counting 57% of men among them. The impacts of loneliness on our health has been compared to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. According to the CDC, strong social relationships and community can help to:

    • Protect against illness
    • Increase longevity
    • Manage stress, anxiety, and depression
    • Improve sleep quality
    • Build healthy eating and fitness habits

Making time to nurture relationships never looked so good. While everyone is different, most of us need around one to three hours of social interaction per day to stave off loneliness and benefit from connection. 

Try this: Cultivate community in your life by joining a men’s group or planning a guys’ weekend. If you’re in a new area or just looking to broaden your circle, check out Meetup to connect with new people who share your interests, or try a group martial arts class. And, don’t forget to factor in plenty of quality time with your partner, kids, or other family members.  


According to Psychology Today, when stressed, men often face the unique pressure of feeling required to stay strong, handle difficult situations in a solitary manner, and avoid seeking support. One of the simplest acts of mental self-care we can practice is allowing ourselves to be human, and asking for help when we need it. Otherwise, our mental health can suffer, which prevents us from showing up for the people and careers we love as fully as we aspire to do. And isn’t that why we push ourselves so hard to begin with?

Try this: Check out one of the many helpful books or podcasts on self-care to enrich your mental world while broadening your perspective and discovering other helpful tactics. 


The more we connect to what we’re feeling, the more we can recognize what sort of care we most need. An excellent way to care for ourselves emotionally is by intentionally pausing to reflect on growth and celebrate small accomplishments. With the busyness of life, it can be easy to move quickly from one project or success to the next, but celebration can actually help us feel a greater sense of belonging and happiness.  

Try this: Explore ways to check in with yourself mindfully, like journaling or meditation. Both practices have been shown to support emotional well-being, and will give you an opportunity to reflect on how far you’ve come. The next time you find yourself with an accomplishment to celebrate, plan to mark the occasion over a special dinner with family or friends. Bonus: build social self-care into the festivities. 

As William Earnest Hensley famously penned in his iconic poem, Invictus, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” No one gets to decide for you what it is that you need to live well and feel great. You’re steering this ship, and you deserve to sail it through waters you can thrive in. For that, a little self-care, however it looks for you, could take you a very long way. This Father’s Day, Men’s Health Month, and beyond, self-care could be just the gift you need. 

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