Talking About The Crisis In Men’s Mental Health

A growing issue that is still taboo?

Men’s mental health seems to still be taboo in society. The sad fact is that there is a crisis in men’s mental health.

Here are some statistics for you:

  • 9 out of 10 Suicides are men
  • 87% of rough sleepers are men
  • 12.5% of men have underlying mental health issues

As you can see there is a growing crisis. The current situation in the economy is only going to make thing’s worse.

Everyone has ups and down’s in life and there share of dark periods. What most of us need is to share those times with a support group.

It can be tough for men, we don’t want to appear to be weak and we don’t like to talk about how we feel.

If you are someone going through a difficult time in your life. Hang in there.

There is always light at the end of the tunnel, I’ve been there myself and it does get better.

Some of the things that have helped me through the hard times are:

  • Writing down 3 things I’m grateful for every day. Even in the worst of times, we can find something. One of those can completely change your perspective.
  • Stay social. We are social animals we need interaction with our friends and family. Even when we really don’t feel like it that interaction is important. You could also join a group like man up:speak up for social support.
  • Talk about your situation. This is both the hardest and bravest thing to do. Talking to others does help. You would be surprised at the number of people who will be there to listen and support you.

If you know someone who may be going through a dark period you can help them by:

  • Offering your support
  • Being there to talk to
  • Letting them know that they can open up in a safe environment without being judged

This is often all the reassurance someone needs to open up.

Men’s mental health is a real issue, every year loved ones are taken away from us and it’s all preventable.

Please let’s lookout for one other and be there when we need help!

Getting Active

Its not steps, or duration, it’s doing what works for you

Waiting for the spark…

Life is full of changes, up’s/down’s and bumps in the road.

It is often at these times that we stop being active, getting started again can be a huge intimidating thought.

As with most things in life the thought is much worse than the reality, this is where procrastination takes over before you know it.

We wait and wait for the spark of inspiration, to kick start us again.

The truth is though no one and nothing else is going to provide that spark, it can only come from within us…


10,000 steps and the intimidation factor

This is the single biggest road block for many people….

How the heck do I manage 10,000 steps, that’s a huge and intimidating amount of steps.

I have news for you, it’s just a made up number.

Getting active is all about what works for you.

1, 10, 100, 1000 steps, 5, 15, 30 minutes of exercise.

What works for you is best for you.

Physical exercise and activity should be fun and motiviating, not intimidating and a struggle.

This is the single biggest road block for many people….

How the heck do I manage 10,000 steps, that’s a huge and intimidating amount of steps.

I have news for you, it’s just a made up number.

Getting active is all about what works for you.

1, 10, 100, 1000 steps, 5, 15, 30 minutes of exercise.

What works for you is best for you.

Physical exercise and activity should be fun and motiviating, not intimidating and a struggle.

Start small and build up to what works for you, however that best works for you.

Try different ways to get active and have fun along the way.


Learn to love it

Physical activity does something primal to us, it moves and motivates us in ways nothing else can.

It also rewards both the brain and body.

Once you start to get active, the best thing you can do for yourself is keep going, you will after some time, learn to love it.


Small beginnings lead to big changes

This is true of pretty much anything we start in life, but with exercise and physical activity its especially true.

Keep going and make it a daily or even a weekly habit and there are small improvements that take place over time that add up to big changes such as:

  • Weight loss
  • Gain muscle
  • Improved fitness
  • Increased Stamina
  • Mental clarity

The list goes on, even a short 5 minute walk will provide these benefits over time.

Finally…

It can seem tough to get going on the path to getting active, and it times the path itself can be really tough.

It doesn’t have to be intimidating though, it should be a fun and rewarding experiance.

My advice, ignore all the BS around step targets and 150 minutes a week.

Do what works best for you and stick with that, keep going, build the momentum, listen to your body and look for those positive changes.

One thing I can guarantee is that you will be glad you did.

Morning Exercise

The most refreshing way to start the day???

The way to start the day??

The answer will be different for us all, but for me right now, I have to say starting the day with exercise make’s a huge difference to me.

It gives me motivation to get up and start the day with something enjoyable.

At the moment that for me is a cycle of around 1 hour.


The positive action

I’m used to starting my day jumping straight into work and eating the frogs first, that is to say, tackling the hardest jobs first.

There are a couple of issues with that approach that I had actually never thought about until I started working from home:

  • I’m not motivated in the mornings at all, I know im going to face difficulty and so I end up getting more motivated as the day goes on and I end up too switched on and ready to work at the end of the day.
  • I don’t have a plan for the day, I just have a to-do list that I jump into head first.

Exercising first is a positive action that motivates me for the rest of the day:

  • Exercise makes me feel good, this alone motivates me to get up in the morning
  • I still have a to eat a frog — my 1 hour cycle, but its a physical challenge and that motivates me
  • I have 1 hour to myself on my bike and during that time, my mind wanders and I actually strategize my day

Those frogs in the shape of tasks are still their to be eaten, but I have a plan for them and im mentally prepared for the day.

The fact that Im prepared for my work day, and also I have the motivation from the exercise, my mornings are much more productive and I actually feel tired at the end of the day.

I also have a routine which helps me feel grounded.


The negatives

The negatives for me exist only on the days I decide not to exercise in the morning.

On those days I have less energy, im less motivated and I get less done.


Final Thoughts

Everyone is different and what works for you, wont work me and vice versa.

What I have found is a routine that is working for me, that im getting alot of motivation from.

The days I decide to stay in bed, I feel worse than the days I get up and at em.

My days are happier and more productive, which is a fantastic reason to keep going and to embrace a healthy lifestyle.

Does it squeak?? Tales of prosthetic balls and mens health

As I was offered a prosthetic testicle, and knowing I was not going to be starting a new career in nude modelling or porn, the only question I could think to ask the consultant was does it squeak when you squeeze it?

It was 2013 and I was being talked through the surgery options for testicular cancer. After some confusion about the question being asked, the consultant informed me that no the prosthesis would not squeak and so we both decided that since there was no fun element being added by it that I could live without it.

Fast forward to 7 years later and after the surgery and a round of chemo therapy, I’m happy to say I remain cancer free and live with good health. I also realise that I not invincible or not as much as I though it was anyway, and that mens health is a big deal.

Most men are good at putting off illness or pain or other health concerns and dont like to visit the doctor. I’m definitely in that camp myself and because of that attitude I’m lucky to be able to be here to write this.

I think that especially in these times when we are all so focused on the covid pandemic it easy to lose focus on other areas of our health.

My message in these times is that we need to stay focused on our general health and stay alert to changes in our body.

Testicular cancer for example which affects around 1 in 270 men per year has a 95 percent sure rate, but like everything else it needs to be caught early.

Please make sure you are checking yourself daily, any pain, anything different, any lumps or bumps that were not there before, get it checked it out.

I could certainly have saved myself alot of stress and hardship by manning up and going to the doctor when I first noticed something different.

Same goes for all areas of your health. I see so many stories right now about health services being stretched by covid 19 and while that’s true, If you have a health issue whatever it may be you owe it to yourself, your loved ones and your friends to go get it checked it, 99 percent of the time it will be nothing, but the one time it may be something that visit could literally save your life.

Stay safe and health.