When you hear the phrase self-care, what comes to mind? If you’re a guy, probably not yourself. However, in these stressful times, maintaining your own well-being — physical, mental, and emotional — is more important than ever. We turned to the Nebia community, including Nebia team members, customers, and influencers, to ask how they practice self-care. We’re sharing their best tips below:
1. Establish a morning routine
Your day is often formed by how you spend your first hour. Picture this: You start your day with a cup of your favourite brew. Feeling the warmth against your palms, and smelling that toasty, invigorating scent. Taking the time to align your breath with the stillness of the morning, grateful for another day of life. Nebia team member, Carlos C. says one of his daily self-care rituals includes “saying thank you three times every morning when I open my eyes.” Sometimes, it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference.
For Nebia Co-Founder Carlos Gomez Andonaegui, the first hours of each day are dedicated to personal self-care. He wakes up at 6 am, makes himself a cup of coffee and reads for about an hour. As he explains, “Everybody in my house is still asleep so it’s the perfect time to think, read the news, and be calm. After that I exercise for an hour and then I am ready to face the day.” Give that quiet hour to yourself, fellas. It’s worth it.
2. Treat yo’self
You read that right! Treating yourself can mean a haircut, nail-care, or massage, to name just a few. Beyond that, the experience of getting a haircut, in and of itself, has been shown to serve as a place of solace and relaxation for men. In the words of NFL player, TJ Jones, “Being pampered every now and again definitely helps to ease the daily stresses that we all inevitably go through. So don’t be afraid to take a little “ME Time” because trust me you wont regret it.” We couldn’t agree more.
P.S. It's no secret that in these stressful times, getting a professional massage is no longer an option for many people. What’s the next best thing, you ask? Say hello to your new friend: a hot shower. Hot showers help reduce tension in your muscles as well as stiffness around your shoulders and neck, leading to the relaxation of the whole body and an instant alleviation of stress.
3. Put that (physical) work in!
You probably already know this, but we can’t stress this enough: health IS wealth, and one of the best ways to maintain a healthy state of mind. Exercising goes hand in hand with emotional and physical wellbeing, although how you incorporate physical fitness into your life will look very different for everyone.
Most Dads are super busy and inevitably some self-care falls by the wayside. According to Justin, proud dad and owner of Gilligan Phantom (a school bus that he and his wife converted into a tiny home), the trick is combining the elements of your life that are essential for your wellbeing so that you can knock two or three out at a time. For example, if you can ride a bike to work you can get your exercise in twice daily and commute as well. Even better? Throw on a bluetooth headphone with a podcast or an audio book during your bike ride commute and knock out three essential tasks, two of them related to your self-care at the same time. This way when you get home from work and your kids want to play you don't have to sacrifice your self-care to make it happen.
While some guys enjoy solo activities like long walks in nature, running, surfing, or yoga, others prefer team sports such as ultimate frisbee or soccer. The important thing is to find what works for you. Don’t have access to fitness facilities? Don’t let that stop you as there are plenty of gym-free exercises.
4. Show your skin some love
Consider adding one or more high-quality products to your skin or beard-care routine. Nebia Co-Founder Philip Winter has found that using a good face lotion at the start and end of each day makes him feel so much fresher. He recommends experimenting to figure out what kind of lotion works well for you on the spectrum of oil based to cream based. And when you look good, that often translates to feeling good. He also recommends after-shave which makes his skin feel much fresher post-shave. The best time to apply your favorite skin care product? Right after stepping out of a shower, while your skin is still damp in order to lock in the hydration.
5. Relax in front of your screen
Men are often given a hard time for playing video games or being glued to the TV when their sports team is playing. But the truth is, playing video / computer games or watching your favorite show, movie, or sport are all completely valid ways to disconnect from real-life stressors and relax. In fact, psychological studies show that engaging in these kinds of activities often lead to a better mood and a decrease in stress. So go ahead and binge watch a new show as long as you know when it's time to turn the screen off (according to our Head of R&D Tom M. watching three NBA playoff games in a row is fine, but watching four is too many).
6. Get a good night’s sleep
Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. You’ll wake up refreshed and ready to take on the world. Didn’t manage to get a full 8 hours and find yourself struggling to keep your eyes open? Consider taking a power nap. If you’ve got a packed schedule, don’t reach for yet another cup of coffee but instead find a quiet place to take a little siesta. Listen to your body when it says “slow down” and we guarantee good things will happen.
7. Complete a DIY Project
Nothing beats the feeling of seeing a DIY project from beginning to end, especially when it enhances your personal space(s). If you’re not generally a handy-man, start small: a light fixture, hanging those framed family photos, or maybe even installing an eco-friendly shower (wink wink). We promise you it's easy! Need some help getting started? We got you! Here’s a long list of Home Improvement ideas to inspire you.
8. Be Kind To Yourself (and others)
For anyone that needs to hear it, this one’s for you:
The next time you find yourself annoyed or frustrated with someone, ask yourself the question, “Is this the kindest interpretation of the situation?” People make mistakes, forget to do things, send an email with sharp edges. Is your interpretation of the situation the kindest one possible? Perhaps they were up all night with a newborn. Perhaps quarantine is getting to them. Or maybe your request was rushed and unclear. Nebia CEO Gabriel Parisi-Amon swears by asking these questions. Such questions allow you to take a step back and make solving the issue easier, and, most importantly, less stressful.
Now here is the self-care part, ask that same question of yourself. Is the anger, frustration, or disappointment you feel the kindest interpretation of what happened? It is so easy to beat yourself up, for a million and one things. Taking a step back and asking yourself, “Is that the kindest interpretation” allows you to get some distance from the situation and it can change your relationship with those feelings, and with yourself. And you deserve that.