The Key to Men’s Self Care

The courageous spirit of living a man’s life in today’s society

One of three business owners of Jacks Mountain, Doug Smith, believes that men’s self care is necessary in the world we live in today, and feels it will always remain that way. Many of the findings below are tied to Doug’s views and tips of what men’s self care looks like. 

Doug is a husband, father, veteran, entrepreneur, and well-admired man in the Austin community. He is also the founder of a local verteran’s non-profit.  His thoughts regarding men’s self care were quite provoking and interesting to notate. Here’s a little about what he had to say about it. 

In the past 10-15 years, history has rewritten men’s self care, and the true benefit of what that appears to be in this world today for all men. 

The responsibilities of men have not changed but the expectations have. Men were raised in a specific mindset and culture. Men have always been seen as stoic providers; over time, however, it has become socially acceptable for men to be responsible for taking on dangerous, difficult jobs or jobs with the least amount of comfort. Men can sometimes be seen as toxic initially by society. 

Blue collar workers are looked down on in a casual conversation at the office. Men were raised to protect, provide, and care for their families, but society has changed in it’s reaction to men doing those basic services as hostile towards women due to many factors. Intent is assumed into every action men take in society without consideration of their inherent capabilities.

Something Doug believes in is tough love compassion as a way of being a mentally healthy man in today’s society. For example, saying, “I am going to let you struggle so that you can learn how to grow,” or “I am not going to fix the symptom of your problem, I am going to teach you how to fix the source of your problem.” “ I care about you, but I am not going to be your caretaker. I am going to teach and train you to improve your self-worth, self- confidence, and self-respect. I will not lie to you to make you feel better.”


Because of the worst aspects of the 1950’s such as spousal abuse and parental abuse, Hollywood and social media have honed in on men always having an aggressive manner. This is a disservice to men because it is showing the worst side of men and, therefore, society puts it on men to never fail.

It could be the exact opposite when we realize the wisdom and truth that resides for men’s self care such as remedies of wholeness and wellness as a necessity. 

Men should be welcomed and allowed to be emotionally healthy, which includes being affectionate, crying, and being vulnerable. Men can be respected without aggression and other assumed negative attributes surrounding men’s natural tendencies and behaviors. Men are not given the benefit of the doubt many times. 

It is not natural for a man to suppress his curiosity. Men need to be allowed to be vulnerable and ask questions so they know how it works and why it works, not what it works with. 

Every decision a man makes is assumed today. As a society, we have to ask ourselves how we can be the solution to men taking ownership and feeling good again about their inherent responsibilities because it is acceptable to do so. 

Society suffers whenever there is any large group mentally suffering together.

Men need a low level of community to be a part of, and if they are not taught this at a young age, they could potentially be more susceptible to bad decision making, and, therefore, harm to themselves or others.

We want to care about our men again. Men are not disadvantaged, we just need to care about men and reframe our assumptions towards men’s needs once again. 

We acknowledge the expectations that society tends to place on men and the challenges that simply come with being a human being living in this world. Our mission isn’t to fight those battles for men but rather to ride along on the journey, offering support through guidance and concrete tools. Sort of like a healer in an RPG. Or an IFAK.

Human history has not been kind. There will always be people out there who will not have you or your family's best interest in mind. That being said, because the average man is physically stronger than the average woman this would naturally make men the physical barrier to his family's safety. This has been true for thousands of years, and only recently has technology advanced to where women are given easy access to self defense weapons such as personal handguns.

When asked some questions, this was Doug’s response.

What does it mean if a man is more “traditional”?

Traditional means that people live according to their individual strengths, while also using your strengths to support the people around you. It means respect, humility, family values, and truth.

Most men have jobs that pertain to military personnel, veteran centric, police personnel, and compared to public services for women, it feels like men’s health is downplayed. 

Starting around the 1920’s to the 1960’s the machismo persona was invented primarily through entertainment. Just as women want to emulate beautiful women, a man will want to emulate a macho man. This has not always been the case as reading classic biographies will show you that men used to be very affectionate towards each other. Men were the mental health support for other men, not just because of shared emotional understanding, but because of shared experiences.

What do you think about men taking on more dangerous and dirty jobs and how this affects their mental health?

I think that the biggest relationship to men's mental health and the jobs they have is the lack of appreciation for getting “an honest wage” for their work, and being seen as less intelligent because of their chosen profession. If you ask nearly any tradesman who their favorite representation in entertainment is, they will nearly always bring up the genius janitor at the university because it shows that a humble job doesn't mean you aren’t intelligent.

Can you explain more on this statement: Men don’t understand their place in society, and they believe their life’s purpose is to get paid by working for one person.

Men’s place has always been to build, provide, and protect. Advancements in technology have only very recently opened this up to women being able to do generally the same thing making it so men are not required to do those things anymore. 

What is Jacks Mountain?

Jacks Mountain Self-Care Co. is a community that supports self-care through herbal goods—herbal teas, infused body oil blends, salves, bath soaks, and herbal extracts—individual consultations, and an open mind and heart to see how we can create space for others to find belonging and trust in themselves and their lived experiences. Our name is a nod to Elizabeth’s rural roots and a reminder to prioritize community, collective knowledge, and the earth.

What sets you apart from other holistic types of products?

We were borne from a desire to support Alan during his transition from Active Duty and have circled around the need for military veterans to find their center again—whatever “center” looks like for each person—after the military no longer provides it. We hold space to be heard and feel seen by tailoring herbal goods to better fit each individual. Our consultations acknowledge herbalism, mental health, and faith, to the extent that every person finds each important.

Jacks Mountain

2423 S Bell Blvd

Cedar Park, TX 78613


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