Mental Health has been trending after the pandemic, which made us realise the importance of peace. In order to give men a better understanding of mental health, here are some mental health tips that are approved by psychologists.
Men play different roles as they are growing up; becoming brothers, husbands, fathers as well as grandfathers to their kids. While they are young, men might not have many responsibilities apart from paying the rent and their bills on time. However, as a man takes the next step, gets married and starts planning a family, he is loaded with endless responsibilities, such as taking care of his partner, making sure his kids’ homework is finished, taking his kids to ballet practice and so much more.
As a man, he is thought of as the man of the family who is supposed to take care of every problem that appears in the household, whether it is taking the kids to the school on time or washing the laundry. However, while men are silently taking up all these responsibilities, we often forget that they too are human and need some peace and relaxation in their life. They too need to unwind, speak up their feelings and emotions and express to make sure that they are mentally healthy.
In order to stay mentally healthy, we have listed down a few tips for men as accordance with some psychologists:
While most men try to bottle up their feelings and emotions as they feel that men are supposed to be strong and tough, the truth is that only a courageous man is able to speak up what is going on in his mind. A man should be able to talk about his feelings and emotions with the people he trusts, such as his friends, partner, parents or a therapist, if required. If you are struggling with a mental health disorder, then there should be at least one person with whom you can open up.
Dr Moumita Nandy, a clinical psychologist from Delhi says, “Men seek therapy for all sorts of reasons. Commonly, they go to therapy for help with mental health challenges like depression, general anxiety, social anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or eating disorders, to name just a few examples. But you don’t need to be experiencing a serious mental health problem for therapy to be right for you. Many men go to therapy for help with things like, marital or relationship conflict, lack of purpose or meaning in life, loneliness, important life transitions, separation or divorce, loss and grief.”
Be There for Other Men
You might be feeling completely fine when it comes to your mental health, however, there might be another friend, colleague or a man in your family who is dealing with a mental health issue or just feeling low at some point of time. If you do notice a man around you dealing with a mental health problem, try to offer them support and a kind ear to talk to, no matter how awkward or alien it may feel to you. Every time you do this, the dangerous expectation for men to man up and shut up about their problems will seem more and more outdated and unhelpful.
Focus on Being Yourself
While trying to man up by indulging in risky behaviour, men often forget to be themselves in their life. Instead they end up catcalling women, driving rashly, starting fights for no reason, just to show how manly they are. The truth is that just because you are a man you do not have to behave in a reckless manner. In fact, you need to focus on yourself and find out what kind of a person you are and whether you like such kind of behaviour or not.
Avoid Alcohol and Drugs
A lot of men drink alcohol or use recreational drugs as a way to relax or have fun, but some men can abuse substances and end up using them as a coping method for stress or other distress in their life. Men are more likely to use drugs and alcohol as coping methods when they are not feeling well, instead of getting the help that they need. You may not even realise you are doing it, as some things are very much ingrained into our culture, for instance, binge drinking on the weekend. You should instead talk to a professional therapist to learn better coping mechanisms that will actually help you out rather than using drugs or alcohol which will only harm you.
Find an Activity You Enjoy
In today’s era, life can be hectic and busy with so much work, which can cause some of us to feel tired and stressed. So, it is important to find an activity to help us decompress and relax in our own time. Whether it is trying out cooking new cuisines, learning a new skill, such as rock climbing, playing baseball in the park with friends or getting stuck into a good book or magazine, it’s highly recommended for you to find your very own fun and stress relieving activity to help you feel your best.
When it comes to exercise, it should not be something that you have to do, but something that you enjoy doing. As little as 10 minutes of brisk walking can increase our energy, mental alertness and help us stay in a positive mood. So whether you choose to sweat it out at the gym while running on the treadmill or go for a jog every morning, make sure that you do not miss out on your work out sessions.
Mental health and sleep are quite co-dependent. Regularly enjoying a good night’s sleep can help you to feel less tired throughout the day, more able to cope with the tasks of daily life, feel confident with good self-esteem and less likely to be worried and stressed. Try to get a regular 7-9 hours sleep a night by limiting your late-night device usage, doing some exercise during the day, eating a healthy diet and making your bedroom sleep friendly.
Dr Nandy says, “A good night’s sleep is just as important as regular exercise and a healthy diet. Have a proper sleep schedule rather than waking up at different times and try to meditate as well before you go to sleep. Have proper sleep hygiene, which includes not being active in front of any screen at least half an hour before you go to bed. Good sleep hygiene is certainly required to have good mental health.”
As a man you must be working, running here and there, doing odd jobs and so much more, so your body certainly needs its fuel to get recharged. However, if you believe in eating junk food, such as burgers and pizzas and prefer not to eat healthy or a balanced diet then it will show up in your mental health. Healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals to nourish your brain, whereas a diet high in convenience and refined foods like sugary snacks and processed meat can be harmful to the brain. So the best choice for you to go for is to eat healthy and take a balanced meal.
No man would like to feel low or go through a mental health disorder in his life. It can be really saddening to see a man go through this pain. So in order to make sure that you do not deal with any mental health problems, make sure that you follow the above given tips to live a healthy life.
Dr Nandy says, “Some of the habits that men should add in their lifestyle for good mental health are exercising as it not only keeps a man fit physically but mentally as well. Also, he should indulge in his hobbies and not just work in his free time. Eating healthy is very important for a man as a man is what he eats. And lastly, he should be social and should be able to talk about what he feels with the people he cares about.”