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Men's Health Awareness Month: Practical ways to support mental wellbeing everyday

This week marks the beginning of Movember, a month dedicated to men’s health, but whether mental or physical it’s the everyday actions that can make a big difference.

Movember is an initiative that gained publicity raising awareness around men’s health issues - particularly prostate cancer, testicular cancer and suicide. Today, the conversation around wellbeing as a whole, as well as dedicated conversation around men's health, is much improved, but the realities of mental and physical wellbeing continue to impact everyone each day.

The Movember moustache

While the moustache has provided a symbol of this valuable month, it has also been instrumental in breaking down barriers and opening up the ability to talk about mental health across the board.

While all people struggle with all manner of mental health in equal measure, it is recognised that the ways in which people of different genders handle mental health varies, and certainly the way society has facilitated the discussion around it historically has been different.

Phrases like ‘man up’ and ‘big boys don’t cry’ have been highlighted as damaging rather than innocuous, for the subtext they convey, and the power of the language we use around men’s mental health. That in itself has been a powerful acknowledgement.

Mens Health Week carpenter
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The conversation around men’s health

Mental health is now something we discuss more openly in a bid to prevent the horrors of feeling isolated.

We understand that openness when discussing men’s health as a whole can be identified as a literal life saver when it comes to diseases such as testicular cancer as well as the depression and anxiety that can lead to suicide.

While the big discussions are vital to have however, it is everyday feelings and situations that we all need to find our way through, and more often than not it is the small things that are hard to handle.

Anna Williamson, TV presenter, counsellor and author or the hit book Breaking Mad, is outspoken about her own anxieties and mental health issues, and in her book discusses daily challenges such as how to handle a panic attack when you’re travelling on the tube.

She told us:

“I documented having a panic attack on the Tube the other day, and when I had my son I was walloped with postnatal anxiety. If we take the pressure off and learn management techniques, we can learn it’s ok to just ‘be’. Don’t measure yourself.”

Luke Sherriff
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Practical solutions to help handle mental health everyday

Mental health charity, Mind, stresses the importance of regular exercise, even if it’s only a small amount, and looking after your physical health with a good diet and plenty of self care as and when you can manage it.

The emphasis is on a little and often, as with most things, and here are some of their other tips which can make a big difference to your everyday:

  • Connect with people at work by talking to people in the office instead of sending emails all the time.
  • Ask other people about their weekend and really listen to the response.
  • Share the journey to work with a colleague and spend time talking to one another.
  • Get more exercise during the day by going for a walk at lunchtime, walking part of the journey into work by getting off the train or bus one stop early, and using the stairs instead of taking the lift wherever possible.
  • Spend a little time each week clearing the clutter from your desk and your workload.
  • Change the journey into work sometimes.
  • Sign up for a new class, read a new blog or take a little time to read a book or do a crossword.
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