Life is stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Male millennial burnout is an issue, but the solution is simple: men’s self-care. Self-care shouldn’t only be planned out weeks in advance; in fact, you should be practicing self-care every day. Our Dudefluencer men’s daily self-care routine is meant to fit easily into your current lifestyle.
Men have been putting off self-care for too long, or worse yet, utilizing unhealthy coping mechanisms to relieve stress. I get it; I’ve been there. During my teaching career, I’d often find myself driving home from work chowing down on two McDonald’s cheeseburgers or sitting on the couch binge-watching episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. And while both of those activities made me feel right now, that relaxation was fleeting because I didn’t make the structural changes to my life necessary to deal with my anxiety and stress.
This article isn’t here to shame anyone, but instead, provide you with some tools for your daily routine that will allow you to enjoy your favorite television show or fast food burger shop without having to worry about those fleeting feelings of unhealthy living. Adding just a couple minutes for yourself every day can reduce heart disease, strokes, and cancer. The Dudefluencer men’s daily self-care routine highlights five mental and physical areas that will lead to a happier and healthier life.
Focus on your sleep.
The National Sleep Foundation reported in 2015 that the appropriate sleep duration for adults is between seven and nine hours per night. The range is designed to allow individual circumstances to designate the proper amount of sleep based on their health or any sleep disorders. Those long nights burning the candle at both ends and a lack of sleep are dangerous to your health.
When not getting enough sleep, obvious immediate issues include lack of alertness, daytime sleepiness, and increased levels of moodiness. Effects of long term sleep deprivation include “high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure or stroke. Other potential problems include obesity, depression, impairment in immunity, and lower sex drive.” We often don’t recognize or value sleep enough daily. Still, the long term effects of late nights out can be debilitating.
What to do:
Before we build a brand new routine, let’s take some time to focus on one of the most essential parts of your current routine (I mean, come on, everyone sleeps). If you’re currently getting between seven and nine hours of sleep, then fantastic, you can move onto the next step. If you’re now struggling with too little or too much sleep, then continue on.
When I’m experiencing depression symptoms or struggling with anxiety, my sleep is traditionally the first thing to go. When working with my mental health, I can expect to sleep for at least 10-12 hours at a time. If my anxiety is the issue, then sleeping through the night will be nearly impossible. That’s why focusing on my sleep is the number one priority when re-establishing my daily self-care routine. And it should be for you too.
To fix your irregular sleep clock, you should know that naps aren’t going to cut it. Instead, you should focus on manipulating the lighting in your room. Turn off your cell phone, laptop, or iPad in bed and make sure night mode is turned on as well. You should also try and wake up at the same time every morning, avoid eating late at night, and if all of that still doesn’t work, go in for a sleep test. Sleep apnea affects three percent of all people, and there are serious health concerns that come with it.
If your sleep issues are a problem, you’ve got to take care of them first. Here are some recommended items for your men’s daily self-care routine.
Philips SmartSleep Wake Up Light Alarm Clock
Anyone who’s met me knows how much I talk about my Philips Wake Up Light. If you’re still using your phone, or worse yet, one of those archaic beeping clocks to wake yourself up in the morning, do yourself a favor and pick up a wake up light alarm clock.
The way the clock works is simple; rather than waking you up with noise (although you can select some bird noises as well), the alarm light glows slowly to recreate waking up to natural light. Whereas before I’d wake up tired and ready to hit the snooze button, I found myself waking up refreshed every morning with this clock. And if you’re ready to start your men’s daily self-care routine, you’ve got to start it at 100%.
Bose Sleepbuds II
I mentioned the Bose Sleepbuds II in our ultimate men’s gift guide, and I’m going to talk about them again here. If you have a snort partner or sleep near a window with excess noise, there’s no better product to help you get a good night’s rest than the Bose Sleepbuds II.
Armed with a library of different noises ranging from soft meditation music to waterfalls, the Bose Sleepbuds II is the most comfortable sleep headphones on the market. With a battery life of 10 hours, these things will definitely last through the night and are utterly non-intrusive while you’re sleeping on your side. Between these and the alarm clock, my sleep schedule has never been better.
Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed
They say there are two things to never skimp on: your shoes and your mattress. And considering you’re going to be spending half of your day laying in bed, why not go for the very best. That’s why I’ve selected the Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed as one of the best tools you can use for men’s daily self-care routines.
This particular smart bed reacts in real-time to your movements, adjusting the firmness on each side of the bed for maximum comfort. Plus, if your partner has a different preference, you can change the sides individually. But where the Sleep Number bed comes through clutch is that they can calculate your SleepIQ score with personal insights through their app. If you’re in the process of looking for a new mattress, definitely spend the extra money on one that is designed to maximize the quality of sleep. You deserve it.
It’s time to move.
After a good night’s sleep, it’s essential that the next step for any men’s daily self-care routine needs to be movement. I’m not just talking about a full-on workout routine. I’m talking about any kind of action. Playing sports, walking the dog, heck, dancing around your kitchen. Health psychologist Kelly McGonigal published her book, The Joy of Movement: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage, and said she wanted people “to understand [exercise] in a different way than the usual conversation we always have about weight loss, preventing disease and making our bodies look a certain way.”
Let’s talk about adding movement to our daily self-care routine for no other reason than increasing our happiness. Movement invokes those dopamine hits that provide instant doses of joy and boost those brain muscles. Simply put, movement needs to be a part of any man’s daily self-care routine.
What to do:
There’s nothing wrong with throwing a workout into your daily self-care routine. Still, sometimes you just need something quick to get the blood flowing and dopamine popping. For those instances where you’re feeling tired or unenthusiastic, this will be the guide to finding movement quickly.
Our first suggestion is to just simply go for a walk. Walking is often overlooked as one of the less exciting forms of exercise. Still, the benefits, both physically and mentally, are enormous. Ann Green, a world athlete, told NBC News, “Walking improves fitness, cardiac health, alleviates depression and fatigue, improves mood, creates less stress on joints and reduces pain, can prevent weight gain, reduce the risk for cancer and chronic disease, improve endurance, circulation, and posture, and the list goes on…” And the best part? Walking is easy. Just go outside, find a sidewalk, or really any piece of ground, throw on your headphones, and do it. A walk is an easy add to men’s daily self-care routines and fits in as a perfect break during your afternoon work.
We here at Dudefluencer strongly believe in owning the confidence to play, and that means taking time in your daily routine to just act goofy and have fun. Maybe that means throwing down with a dance break first thing in the morning or going out for a bike ride in the day. It doesn’t matter. When building a daily self-care routine, you need to have some movement included.
It’s hard not to go with an Apple Watch when it comes to tech that will help you with your daily self-care routine. Something you’ll notice right away with any smartwatch is they can continuously check your movement status and then remind you it’s time to get up. Way more manageable and more accurate than your smartphone, smartwatches can also remind you to take deep breaths throughout the day, drink more water, or when it’s time for you to sleep.
But maybe you don’t like Apple products; there’s always the Whoop to check out too. Instead of your more traditional fitness bands, the Whoop aims to be the most comprehensive fitness/wellness band on the market, featuring some of the most detailed health feedback information. And of course, who can forget the FitBit, one of the original health bands. With various styles and price points, plus functionality with both iPhone and Android phones, you can’t go wrong with any of the options Fitbit has on the market.
Stand Up App
Let’s keep things simple. Sometimes we get so busy during the day that we lose track of time and forget to get out of chairs and stretch a bit. Thankfully, the Stand Up App on iOS was created to help remind you that it’s time to take a break from work and to get moving. Easy to use, just put in your work time, and from there, the app will send you reminders to get up.
Unfortunately, outside of generic reminder apps, there isn’t much available for Android systems. You can always set up something on your desktop at work, though, if your phone or Apple Watch isn’t cutting it.
Alright, alright. I know I said this list is supposed to be about small additions to your daily routine, but just take a second to look at this puppy.
If you’re serious about fulfilling your human needs (we talk about that later), want a better reason to go for walks, and most importantly, can love and care for a dog, then absolutely get one. With Orla, I’ve found that I’m walking around the neighborhood much more often while also feeling fulfilled by contributing to the joy of my dog’s life. Sometimes taking care of yourself also means taking care of others.
Fulfill your human needs.
When building men’s daily self-care routines, you absolutely need to look at what activities can fulfill your human needs. Tony Robbins says there are six human needs, but the most essential needs are growth and contribution. Growth is all about personal development, so the steps you take to be a better person. Whether it’s reading self-help books or pursuing learning opportunities in other ways, growth makes us happy. And the same goes for contribution. The more we contribute to others, the more we do for our community, the happier we are.
Making ourselves truly happy needs to come from something within us, not external. That’s why when I ate those cheeseburgers, I didn’t find happiness. When it comes to building daily self-care routines, finding activities that fuel our human needs is what makes life worth living.
What to do:
Now that we know our human needs, how can we find activities for our daily self-care routines that actively promote wellness, growth, and contribution?
Let’s start with growth. As a writer (and former English teacher), one of my favorite past times was and always will be reading a good book. And whether it’s a work of fiction or non-fiction, reading increases your brainpower, thus contributing to growth. You’re always learning while reading, whether you realize it or not. This is an activity you can throw in at the end of your daily self-care routine; give yourself 10-20 minutes before bed to just read a good book. But that’s not the only way any form of personal learning contributes to growth. Take a class from Masterclass or Youtube, learn how to cook meals at home; as long as you’re learning, you’re pursuing growth.
As for contribution, think about how you can give back to your community. A community that includes your friends, family, and partners. Maybe it’s writing them a quick note or text showing gratitude. Or doing something around the house for your partner that you’ve been putting off. Don’t think about contribution in the immense sense when it comes to men’s daily self-care routines. Instead, focus on doing little things for the people you care about daily. Those seemingly small gestures make a big difference in the people you love lives and contribute to you fulfilling the human need of contribution.
The Five Minute Journal
There’s just something special about the feeling of a pen in your hand, watching the ink soar across the page as you think about your day/week/future. What The Five Minute Journal does is take the difficulty of trying to continually figure out what you’re going to write about away through a series of prompts that are intended to only take you five minutes per day. And who doesn’t have an extra five minutes in their daily self-care routine for personal growth and reflection?
I’d also suggest Mind Journals featuring guided journal entries and a vital mission to keep you healthier and happier. Mind Journal was explicitly made with dudes in mind, so you know they’ve got all your needs covered. Whether it’s a traditional blank journal or one with prompts, the point is that all it takes is just five minutes of writing a day to make a positive change in your life.
Join a Men’s Group
Have I mentioned Tribe Men’s Group before? Seriously, they are one of the best men’s groups around, and we all know the importance of community when it comes to men’s health. What better way to grow than to join up with a group of like-minded dudes who are interested in personal growth just as much as you? That’s part of why I always shout out Tribe Men’s Group as opposed to many other ones out there at the moment because they understand that redefining masculinity isn’t going to be solved by going back in time.
If you’re looking to find a way to add some meditation, self-reflection, or gratitude into your daily self-care routine, then look no further than Headspace. At some point, I should just add in a counter for how many times I’ve mentioned them on this website. But if you haven’t taken your 10-day trial yet, go on and do it already.
There are two specific Headspace programs that I really enjoy: the first is about personal growth. Over the length of the program, you’ll experience a mental transformation where real change is made possible. For such a low price, Headspace is an absolutely incredible deal if you’re looking to find both growth and contribution opportunities.
Let’s get to grooming.
Whenever I find myself overwhelmed or struggling with my mental health, the first thing I like to do is shave my beard or go for a nice haircut. I don’t really know why this helps me. Still, it feels like I’m almost physically removing whatever stress that’s bothering me. Obviously, you can’t fit in a beard trim or haircut every day. Still, there are plenty of other grooming options available for men’s daily self-care routines.
See grooming is an essential element to self-care. Whether it’s showering consistently, making sure your clothes are clean, or brushing your teeth throughout the day, self-care is about taking care of you. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to smell good, look good, and feel good, which is why making sure you stay up to date on your grooming needs to be part of your daily self-care routine.
For a more detailed article about grooming, check out our guide to men’s grooming and manscaping guide.
What to do:
I’m a big believer in showering every day, although that isn’t always necessary. But at the very least, you should be changing your damn underwear every single day. Seriously, if you’re not already doing that, start now. Please. That being said, my daily self-care routine usually begins with a warm shower and then immediately brush my teeth afterward. It’s a nice one-two punch in the morning. We can throw in the weekly cutting of fingernails and toenails as well.
Those are pretty obvious though, let’s get to the good stuff. Got a beard? Perfect, make sure grooming your beard makes it into your self-care routine at some point but don’t forget about beard oil. Get rid of beardruff and allow your beard to live its softest, most hydrated life. No beard? That’s fine too. You need to get on that face mask game, brother. Face masks allow your skin to re-hydrate and stave off annoying blackheads and pimples.
Throw in a face wash, and you’re golden. The difference between grooming and the other items on our list for men’s daily self-care routines is that what you’re doing for grooming will probably change daily. Some days it’ll be necessary for a pedicure; other times, you need to groom down there. When it comes to your daily self-care routine and grooming, finding a couple tasks to add every day makes a big difference. Aim to add them before or during your shower, and in no time, you’ll be feeling better than ever.
Billy Jealousy Beard Wash
If you haven’t tried beard oil before, then what’s the holdup? Seriously. And if you haven’t used Billy Jealousy’s Beard Wash, then you need to get on the beard oil train and fast. I mean, who doesn’t want to walk around with a super soft, clean-smelling beard all day?
Using green tea extracts to strengthen those beard hair muscles and aloe to make it feel silky smooth, Billy Jealousy’s Beard Wash is one of the best beard maintenance oils on the market. Plus, it’s designed for sensitive skin, so you don’t have to worry about breaking out after using it. And did I mention it smells fantastic? Throwing in some beard oil into men’s daily self-care routines is just a comfortable grooming quality of life improvement.
Beau Brummel Charcoal Face Mask
There’s just something so relaxing about a good old charcoal face mask which is why I have to recommend the Beau Brummel Charcoal Face Mask. For more information, I recommend you check out our Beau Brummel Face Mask Review.
Panasonic Electric Body Hair Trimmer
The Panasonic Electric Body Hair Trimmer is by far the best body trimmer on the market. It offers a smooth, soft trim without all of those nicks and scratches one expects from a traditional trimmer. Dudes, it’s time to step up your manscaping game and get the right tools for the job.
Throw in some fruit throughout the day.
I remember sitting down with a co-worker during a break between classes when he opened one of his desk drawers. “It’s time to get some energy,” he said as he pulled out three mini-packs of Skittles. I’d soon find out that his energy drawer was littered with sugary sweet snacks that my co-worker would dive into every couple of hours. And while the occasional candy isn’t a bad thing, why don’t we aim for something a bit more natural and healthy to add to our men’s daily self-care routine.
I’m talking about throwing some fruit into the mix as a snack during the day. There’s going to be ample time during the day to get your snack on, so why not make sure your daily self-care routine includes enough fruit to keep you energized and moving. They taste better than energy drinks, are healthier than candy, and provide your body with the right fuel to keep you running at peak performance.
What to do:
Food and diets can be really tricky things, so rather than subtract items from your food pantry, I suggest you just add items to it instead. For example, instead of completely cutting out chocolate candies as an afternoon snack, keep them but make sure to add healthier food (like fruit) to it as well.
And if you’re wondering what fruits to add to your daily self-care routine, look no further. Let’s start with the pineapple: sweet, delicious, and also hugely beneficial to your long-term health. Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain, which helps you absorb antibiotics and potentially fights diabetes and cancer. Heck, even throw it on some pizza if you believe in that sort of thing. Or maybe you’re looking for something to take with you on the go, pick yourself up a grapefruit. Containing 64 percent of your daily recommended vitamin C, the grapefruit offers anti-inflammatory properties and reduces the risk of cancer.
For my personal daily routine, I love having fruit in the morning as part of my breakfast. Traded in my Fruit Loops for real fruit: an apple and banana every morning. And when I’m feeling incredibly low energy, I grab myself a grapefruit or orange. It’s really that simple because self-care begins with sleep, takes time for the mind, and focuses on the body.
Daily Harvest Fruit of the Month Club – I love subscription boxes, and I love fruit, so it would make sense that I would love the Daily Harvest Fruit of the Month Club. Once a month, you can get some of the best tasting organic fruit from California, including oranges, pears, and apples. With 18 servings shipped monthly, there will be plenty to last you for a while.
And if you find yourself wanting/needing more fruit, then you can always up to your shipments every two weeks.
But seriously, if you’re looking for the best way to get fruit and vegetables into your daily self-care routine, just hit up your local grocery store (or even better farmers market) and pick some up. Taste test a bit to see which foods make you feel best throughout the day. You really can’t go wrong.
The point of our men’s daily self-care routine is to improve our lives throughout the day. Whether it’s adding a couple minutes to your morning routine for grooming, or just adding in a couple of healthy snacks throughout the afternoon, focus on taking small steps to create the best version of yourself possible.