Mental health stigma and the pressure on men to ‘man up’
6th November 2020
Mental illnesses affect both men and women, but so regularly men are told to just ‘Man Up’. This stigma could be the reason many men don’t talk about their mental health. Recently, Men’s Health Month in June highlighted that men have a higher suicide date rate than women. It’s now more important than ever to raise awareness of preventable mental health problems and encourage early detection and treatment among men and boys.
10 tips for managing your mental health
Knowing how to manage your mental health can be tricky, but these ten tips will help you along your way to becoming mentally healthy.
- Catch some more Zzzz – sleep is really important for your physical and mental health as it regulates the chemicals in our brain.
- Eat well – the food you put in to your body is just as important for your mental health as it is for your physical health. Deficiencies in key minerals and vitamins can cause you to feel a bit lower than usual.
- Avoid alcohol, drugs and smoking – substances like alcohol can decrease the level of serotonin that your body produces. This can negatively affect your mood.
- Get outdoors – Vitamin D helps encourage the production of serotonin, which can ‘literally’ boost your happy hormones. A lack of vitamin D can make you feel more fatigued.
- Manage stress – You can’t always prevent stress but mindfulness is a great way to calm your mind and body.
- Be active – Studies have shown that regular exercise can improve mental wellbeing and lower incidences of depression, so it’s important to keep moving.
- Do something you enjoy – Take time for yourself and to do things that you enjoy. Take up a hobby such as walking, painting, reading or crafting.
- Connect with others – People are sociable by nature and keeping in regular contact with friends and family is good for your self esteem. People who have one or more close friends they can rely on in times of trouble are happier. Joining local community groups has been found to improve mental wellbeing.
- Be kind – Be kind to receive kindness. People who volunteer or care for others are happier and less depressed. Caring can involve volunteering, but it can be as simple as making eye contact and thanking someone for opening the door for you.
- Ask for help – One of the most important ways to keep yourself mentally healthy is to recognise when you’re not feeling well and to ask for help. There’s no shame in asking for support if you’re feeling low or stressed as everyone will feel this way at one point or another.