Women’s Self-Care (from a Male Perspective)

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, October 18, 2017
By Todd D. Giardina, PH. D

I’m a man, writing about women’s health. (That’ll be relevant later). I’m also married. A feminist. A specialist in health psychology. And I almost exclusively treat women.
Let’s start with the elephant in the room – Self care often feels like a radical idea for women. Such that it becomes a joke, a “meme,” a contest to sarcastically document how little sleep you got and how much little Timmy threw up on you.

But why?! Does it have to be that way?!

If you have a man in your life, this probably is your reality. Be it a son, husband or maybe even brother or father. Men and women handle illness differently.

You know the metaphor – for women who’ve experienced labor pains, you have a sense of the discomfort a man feels when he has a cold 😉

These are silly joking stereotypes, but with some truth. When men fall sick, we fall hard. When women fall sick, you plow ahead.

Because we need you. And the family needs you. And the fantasy of being cared for rarely if ever comes true. So you “skip” the sick day. You skip the doctor. And press on.

And we (men) love you for it.

But we also need you to keep going and going and going. Like that little bunny with the battery. We want you around for a long while.

So bear in mind, aging gracefully is more than just facials and minding your hem line.

It’s also about maintenance. Self care. Rest. Vitamins. Checkups. Exercise. Healthy balanced meals. Proper sleep. Stress management. Mindful meditation.

It’s easier to PLAN time for appointments, spinning sessions and meditative walks. It’s far more difficult to juggle and scramble at the last minute when you get sick or injured or burnt out.

So selfishly, for our sake, take care of yourselves.

Really, it’s not selfish for you to engage in self care. It’s being a good team member. We can’t have you out of commission. We’re as strong as our weakest link, so for the sake of the greater good, let’s be sure you don’t fall ill or weak.

(I’m taking a joking tone, but seriously. Annual exams. Age appropriate health screenings. Smart choices. It’s not radical – it’s necessary! For all of us!)

Dr. G
Self-proclaimed pitiful & whiny-when-sick male