Men’s Health Week takes place from 12-18 June. This is a time to bring awareness to health issues that affect men and focuses on getting them to become aware of problems they may have or could develop and gain the courage to do something about it.
We all have fathers, brothers, sons, grandfathers, and friends that are men. We want the men in our life to be healthy, happy, and with us for a long time, and encouraging them to take care of themselves is a big part of that. Men’s Health Week helps us talk to the men in our life about their health.
The Mental Health Foundation found that around 1 in 8 men have a common mental health problem. However, men may be reluctant to seek support for their mental health or disclose mental health problems to loved ones.
Statistics have shown that 1 in 3 men in England have experienced suicidal thoughts as a result of feeling stressed, and suicide is the largest cause of death in men under the age of 50. Because of this, it’s important to adopt some activities and habits to help reduce and manage stress.
1.Talk About How You Feel
Talking about your feelings isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s part of taking charge of your wellbeing and doing what you can to stay healthy. Identify someone you feel comfortable with and who will be supportive – your work colleagues, partner, family or friends can all be sounding boards.
2. Keep Active
Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem, concentration, sleep and mood. Exercising doesn’t just mean doing sport or going to the gym. Experts say that most people should do about 30 minutes’ exercise at least five times days a week. Try to make physical activity part of your day.
3. Eat Well
What we eat can affect how we feel both immediately and in the longer term. A diet that is good for your physical health is also good for your mental health. You should try to reduce your caffeine and refined sugar intake if you’re feeling low or stressed – switching your choices to fruit/ vegetables and drinking more water.
4. Drink Sensibly
We often drink alcohol to change our mood. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary. Occasional light drinking is perfectly healthy and enjoyable for most people but remember to stay within the recommended daily alcohol limits.
5. Ask for Help
None of us are superhuman. We all get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things don’t go to plan. If things are getting too much and you feel you can’t cope, ask for help. Your family or friends may be able to offer practical help or a listening ear.
6. Keep in Touch
Strong family ties and supportive friends can help you deal with the stresses of life. Friends and family can make you feel included and cared for. They can offer a different viewpoint and can help find practical solutions.
7. Care for Others
Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. Why not share your skills more widely by volunteering for a local charity? Helping can make us feel needed and valued, and that boosts our self-esteem. It also helps us to see the world from another angle and can help put our own problems into perspective.
8. Do something you’re good at
Enjoying yourself can help beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it and achieving something boosts your self-esteem. Concentrating on a hobby can help you forget your worries for a while and can change your mood.
9. Take a Break
A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health. It could be a five-minute pause from cleaning, half hour lunch break at work away from your desk, or a weekend exploring something new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you.
10. Accept who you are
We’re all different. It’s much healthier to accept that you’re unique than to wish you were more like someone else. Feeling good about yourself boosts your confidence to learn new skills, visit new places and meet new people. Be proud of who you are. Recognise and accept the things you may not be good at but also focus on what you can do well.
If there are men in your life that you love and care for, there are some things that you can do to help and support them in leading healthier lives.
- Let them know that you are there to support them
- Encourage them to speak up about how they feel
- Empathise with what they may be struggling with
- Give them space when they need it
- Avoid harmful terms such as “be a man” when they are being vulnerable
- Reassure them that they have a safe space with you
Remember, if you are struggling in anyway, we have our Live Chat service which is available 6pm-9pm, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You can also self-refer into our counselling services via our website to access support.