When Black men neglect their self-care routines, it can wreak havoc on their physical and mental health, leading to everything from depression to diabetes. The good news is that self-care routines are not as complicated as they may seem. These 10 self-care routines every Black man should follow will set you on the path to feeling better about yourself and living your best life.
1) Get enough sleep
Many people don’t get enough sleep, leading to a host of issues, including a higher risk of obesity. To help get your rest, try going to bed at roughly the same time every night and waking up around the same time each morning. Also, make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet – blocking out light (with blackout curtains or heavy shades) and sound (with earplugs or an eye mask) can make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Sleep deprivation can have a negative effect when it comes to our thinking and emotional wellbeing, so make an effort to get a good 6-8 hours every night.
2) Eat Healthy
As Black men we face higher rates of hypertension, stroke, heart disease and prostate cancer, it’s important to take care of our health. Eating healthy can help you maintain good blood pressure and a lower risk for these serious conditions. And while exercise is an essential component to self-care, so are well-balanced meals and nutritional supplementation. Healthy eating comes down to one thing: moderation. You shouldn’t completely abstain from foods high in fat or calories; instead, aim for a balance between good and bad foods when possible. Need a hand getting all your daily nutrients and vitamins? Our Immune Defense Support Vitamins give you an effective combination of natural vitamins and minerals to provide a daily multi-system immune support and defense so you can feel great daily.
3) Exercise regularly
Exercising regularly is an essential element of self-care for Black men. Taking care of your body, both inside and out, will help you look and feel your best. If you aren’t used to regular exercise, start slowly by getting into good habits. Try doing a light walk or run everyday or every other day. Try walking up stairs instead of taking elevators and escalators whenever possible. Work yourself up to brisker exercises over time as you become accustomed to working out and see results! Exercise also helps clear your mind and improve sleep quality, making it even more important that you find ways to get in some kind of physical activity every day.
5) Practice good grooming habits
Grooming is an essential part of self-care. When you take care of your physical appearance, you also signal that you’re committed to your mental and physical health. Most people don’t think twice about shaving or moisturizing their skin—but sometimes we neglect basic grooming tasks like brushing our teeth. And while these tasks may seem small, they can have serious impacts on your health and well-being over time. Of course, we've got you covered when it comes to good facial hair grooming, from beard oil and beard washes, to convenient all-in-one kits when you're on-the-go or traveling.
6) Daily Quiet Time
It’s important to remember that we often don’t know what we need until it’s too late. So take time every day to detach from your responsibilities and enjoy life for a bit or reflect. Take time out of your day, close your eyes, and reflect on all that you have going for you. You are loved, supported, capable—you just have to trust yourself. Be grateful! If you make time for practices like yoga or meditation, that can be useful. But it can also be as simple as setting aside a few minutes each day to unplug and unwind. Between work, taking care of our loved ones, and the pressures of society, it can be overwhelming just getting through the day. Thus, it's important to remember to set time aside to breathe and take care of yourself.
7) Prioritize Your Mental Health
Mental health issues are relatively common in the Black community at large. What’s more, Black men are often stereotyped as being less in touch with their emotions and overall well-being than other racial or gender groups. These assumptions make it even harder for us to seek out help or support when we need it. The problem is, we shouldn’t have to—because mental health issues don’t discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity. To that end, if you ever feel like you aren’t thriving emotionally or mentally—or if you feel like your life isn’t balanced, healthy and fulfilling—you should address these feelings before they become bigger problems. Therapy can be a helpful resource, and if you can even find Black therapists or psychiatrists in your area through resources like Black Mental Health Alliance or Betterhelp.
8) Maintain Friendships
We all need friendships to thrive. However, many of us don’t take care of our friendships like our other relationships. Black men need to connect and build healthy friendships with other men, and it's important to make an effort to maintain these friendships over time. For example, church or the workplace can be a good place to regularly see acquaintances. These settings are great for friendship building but they should not be relied on as your only way to maintain connections with friends. Make an effort to plan events or outings with friends, and from there, you can strengthen your support system and trust each other to open up and communicate when you need each other.
9) Curate Your Online Content Intake
Social media is a major source of information—and misinformation—in today’s society. It’s easy to get sucked into a world where you feel like your peers are more successful than you, or that you should have already reached your goals. The key is to monitor what you read and consume; if you see things that are filling your mind with negativity, it’s time to delete that app from your phone or disable notifications for a while. Or maybe it just means making an effort to seek out supportive, uplifting sources instead. Either way, curating your online content intake can help keep you on track as you pursue big goals.
10) See Your Doctor Regularly
Finding a doctor you can trust and genuinely listen to can be fraught for Black people. The good news: there are resources like BlackDoctor.org, that can help you find a medical professional you can trust. It's essential that we keep our health in check, especially with a high risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, kidney diseases, and chronic lower respiratory disease among Black men. Plus, health is about more than blood pressure or cholesterol numbers; studies have found that your overall happiness — not just your diet or physical fitness regimen — may also affect your long-term well-being! So schedule a check-up with your doctor today as a small but mighty act of self-care.