June 16 2021 | News
As we enter June we’re prompted to discuss a topic that has been long neglected by so many – men’s health!
Fortunately, the creation of Men’s Health Awareness Week by the Men’s Health Forum has helped to raise awareness of the multitude of medical issues that men frequently face.
The awareness week has been running for a number of years and has explored a variety of health related topics such as ‘Beating Stress’ and ‘Diabetes’ with the implementation of yearly themes.
This year’s theme is particularly relevant to the last 12 months – Men, mental health and Covid-19!
Everyone has mental health in the same way we all have physical health. Some people’s are in good condition whilst, unfortunately, others are in need of a little TLC. Nevertheless men’s mental wellbeing is widely considered to be a taboo subject that tends to be neglected because it’s ‘guy stuff’ that can be sorted ‘later’.
Unfortunately, for too many men, it doesn’t get sorted until it’s too late, with a high proportion of men not seeking out help when it’s most needed with poor mental health on the rise.
Whilst men’s mental health was already a cause for concern before the pandemic, our mental wellbeing has definitely been challenged over the last 12 months with three lockdowns, long periods of isolation and the disappearance of our social lives.
Even now when lockdown restrictions seem to be easing, there are still high levels of covid anxiety with various things such as the coronavirus vaccine, returning to offices and the uncertainty of how long normality will last for this time.
If you have been feeling distressed by covid anxiety and the easing of the lockdown, it’s important to remember that there is no ‘normal’ response to changes in the lockdown. Everybody is in the same storm but we’ve all been affected in different ways.
Created by the Men’s Health Forum, the CAN DO Challenge has five different ways to help improve our mental wellbeing and make us feel better.
The five ways are:
Try to connect with other people, either in person or online. A walk or coffee catchup is a good way to feel connected to the world. Make sure that, whatever you decide to do, that you feel comfortable with the person you’re with.
Keeping active such as going to the gym or on a simple stroll is a great way to clear your head. Physical activity also helps to release positive endorphins which can help to improve your mood.
Make sure that you acknowledge the world around you. Next time you go on a walk why don’t you make a list in your head about all the things you notice? Maybe it’s an animal, flower or signpost you’ve never seen before.
Why don’t you learn something new? Discovering new pastimes is an excellent way to engage your brain with something other than negative thoughts! It could be anything from reading a new book, trying a new sport or taking part in something you’ve always been intrigued in. The world is your oyster!
Doing something for someone else is a great way to feel positive about yourself and also helps to remind yourself of all the good things in the world. Why don’t you pay a coffee forward for someone else next time you’re picking up your Saturday morning cappuccino?
And if you are really struggling please do reach out for help. Our GPs are here for you to talk to and your appointment does not need to be shared with your local GP if you do not wish it to.