Healthoholics is committed to promoting and supporting personal healthcare and holistic
growth. In my previous blog, we invited our readers to consider the need for self-care and creating
a personal self-care plan. In this blog, I specifically want to reach out to the men in our
community as well as support those of you who love them.

I co-facilitate a Men’s Support Group at a counselling agency in Cambridge. The group
lasts for 12 weeks. We discuss many topics but one of the most impactful topics for the men is
when we address the concept of the “Man Box.” Inside this hypothetical box, is a list of qualities and
characteristics that make “a real man.”

We have been socialized by culture, media, and a host of other influences to believe that
Men and Women “should” be and “should” act in certain ways. “A Real Man”… is usually
followed by some generalizing stereotype. One way these boxes are damaging, is the way it
imprisons one’s thinking and way of living a life that is most empowering. Another way these
boxes are damaging, is the way others often respond to one who has decided to live “outside the

I believe that Men’s Health is one of those suffocating constraints. Men have been
socialized to believe that showing any hint of vulnerability makes them “weak.” “Real men”
don’t cry (unless it’s in sports), but messages like these do men a great disservice. Those who
love these men, and care about their well-being, are often frustrated and feel helpless in their fear
because their loved one refuses to ask for help until it’s a desperate situation or they are facing a
deadly scenario.

Men, such as those in my support group, often share their frustration with being “boxed
in” and not being “allowed” to enjoy the safety of male peer support and be vulnerable in front of
those they love and care for.

A healthy way of life is for everyone. We are all in this journey called life together. Life
comes with a variety of twists and turns that may require a rest stop. Healthoholics’ passion is for all
of us to address the whole parts of ourselves in order to live life to its fullest and be able to enjoy
long and fulfilling healthy relationships.

Self-care is not just for women. Taking care of one’s physical, mental, emotional, and
spiritual self is important and necessary for everyone. A healthy lifestyle requires maintenance
as well as repair as needed. However, the more maintenance, the less repair.

Men, every day you make life happen with acts of strength and courage. Your courage
may inspire other men in your world to do the same. Creating a personal self-care plan will take
courage, but will have priceless rewards.

Now is the time to take back your power and live the life you are destined for — to be the
best you can be. I invite you to an act of courage today:

  • Book that overdue physical exam with your doctor.
  • Start or restart your exercise plan.
  • Book a massage and spa package — explore the world of “manscape” and pamper yourself.
  • Address your stress with a 30 minute complimentary Discovery session with me.

You owe it to yourself, and those you love and care about you, to make choices that maintain
your health.

Grace R.A. Howe

Through therapeutic counselling, Grace endeavours to help guide you through the highs and lows of your life’s journey.

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