Ever pay attention to pre-flight instructions? When oxygen masks come down you put your mask on before you help others. Makes sense on an airplane and in fatherhood. You can’t help anybody else if you haven’t taken care of yourself.
You’re smart if you take care of yourself, but research suggests that you probably don’t. Men are less likely to seek medical care or ask for help. You could say we’re pig-headed or too proud or trying to be macho and you’d probably be right. We don’t live as long either. But, we can change that as we evolve as men. There are things we can all do to take better care of ourselves and be more able to care for others. Here are a few basics…
Drink water – This one is a struggle for me. Coffee, Soda, Beer, Juice etc. are way more appealing but none beats water – 3 liters a day for men is recommended.
Eat healthy – I’m no food guru but fruits and vegetables and whole grains are pretty good things. Everybody has their belief on what else we should or shouldn’t eat but I think we’d all agree on a balanced diet of actual food.
Exercise – several times a week. Go for a walk, ride, swim, run or do weights or work.
Get enough sleep – at least 6-8 hours daily.
Keep a healthy weight – Nevermind cleanses, shakes, gimmicks, and fad diets. Losing weight is simple – eat less calories than you burn and exercise enough to keep burning more than you eat. Websites can help tracking the numbers. You’ll be surprised how tracking your caloric intake will help you eat less.
Regular checkups – I know some of the checks are fully irregular, but if it helps find something that could have killed you, it’s a small price to pay. Be healthy and seek help when something’s wrong.
Manage stress – Eating right and exercise will do a lot, but you may need other outlets. Try yoga, meditation, and recreational sports. Work through stuff that’s bothering you with positive communication and an open heart and mind.
Do something for yourself. Find time to feed your soul. You will find that taking care of yourself will do wonders for your ability to take care of others.
Image Credit: Happy-Bandits